Square Enix has over 1 million players across three major MMOGs: Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy 11 and Dragon Quest 10.
The publisher and the keeper of some of the biggest franchises in videogame history stated that the aforementioned games have maintained a solid revenue base for the company. 1 million of subscribers pay monthly fee to get access to the games’ servers.
You may remember that two years ago Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn boasted 1.5 million of registered users. The game however was not really successful and it’s almost impossible to say how many of these registered users actually continue to play and pay for the monthly subscription.
The company is looking to completely change its strategy in the upcoming years. There’s going to be more attention to long-term and large-scale development. The company is also looking to review its disk-based sales model and apply variable pricing models, which are now used in F2P titles. These changes will surely bring substantial benefits, Square Enix believes.
Last year platform providers began to promote content delivery services based on the F2P model, in addition to conventional paid content sales, for newly-released home game consoles. Promotion of online HD games based on this new business model is an important pillar of structural reform for us as well, and we conducted a large-scale review of both our HD games development and our European and American studios, in preparation for this course of action. The list of titles that have been announced is still limited at present, but we will be introducing new HD game titles featuring variable pricing models.
Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix president and representative director
The optimism of the report seems a bit out of place. There’s really no way to put it nicely: 1 million paying users is not enough for the company with some of the oldest and most well-known IPs in the world. Final Fantasy is among one of the top-selling videogame series and yet Square Enix seems incapable of producing a decent modern Final Fantasy MMOG to accommodate millions of loyal fans.
Final Fantasy 14 was a massive failure. That the company had to remake the whole game and publish a revised product under the label A Realm Reborn. Yet this MMORPG haven’t been able to become a massive hit.
Dragon Quest 10 could have done better. Dragon Quest is synonymous with the abbreviation RPG in Japan. It is literally the biggest RPG franchise in its home country able to compete in influence and popularity with Super Mario Bros. and Pokemon. Dragon Quest also has a huge following around the globe. In USA in particular. How can such a huge game attract only a fraction of its fans online?
These questions are mostly left unanswered by Square Enix. The company tries its best to come up with new ideas and new business models, but so far it hasn’t achieved any visible results.
In the nearest future Japanese giant is going to try making games tailored to local cultures and lifestyles. The company management thinks that a shift to open source, low-cost game development tools and crowd funding will allow it to publish and create interesting games much cheaper than before. It will also be easier to distribute such games via download.
The field of F2P-games will no longer be neglected by Square Enix. We’ve previously reported, that the company is going to make a special move to conquer Brazil and Russia. F2P games are going to be ideal for these markets with vast communities looking for high-quality gameplay.