Square Enix to 'aggressively pursue' a new multiplatform business strategy 'designed to win over PC users'

Final Fantasy 16 concept art Clive
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy developer Square Enix has announced a new business plan in which it states its intent to "aggressively pursue a multiplatform strategy that includes Nintendo platforms, PlayStation, Xbox, and PCs", possibly heralding an end to the publisher's historic prioritization of Sony platforms.

Titled "Square Enix Reboots and Awakens", the plan opens with a frank assessment of the company's previous medium-term business strategy, with which the publisher "did not reach final-year net sales/operating income targets". This plan, which focussed on expanding the company's MMO business and streamlining its portfolios by "divesting some overseas studios and IPs" (read, selling off its entire Western arm including Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics), struggled due to "cannibalization of our new titles due to launch schedule overlap" and the failure of some games to "live up to profit expectations".

With its new plan, Square Enix says it wants to "build an environment where more customers can enjoy our titles", which essentially means it wants to release its games across more platforms quicker. In particular, Square Enix intends to "pursue initiatives designed to win over PC users, which represent a growth market." One wonders whether Square Enix has been watching Sony's own push toward PC with interest, particularly the concurrent launch of Helldivers 2 on the service, which saw Sony reap huge reward despite doing its utmost to spurn the Helldivers 2 community on PC.

Another intriguing point is the type of game Square Enix wants to make. The plan emphasizes a general "shift from quantity to quality", but within that is a commitment to "be bold in attempting to create new IPs, prioritizing novel forms of excitement." As an aside, I do love it when business folk attempt to describe human feelings like enjoyment. Another pearl of corpspeak in the presentation is the phrase "delivering contents filled with ensured fun".

Nonetheless, this intention of focussing on new projects is fascinating to hear from a big publisher, given how overwhelmingly most companies of this ilk currently prioritize sequels and licenses. It makes one wonder how much confidence Square Enix has in its big franchises like Final Fantasy, especially given the rumours that the current PS5 exclusive Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth did not sell as well as the publisher hoped.

You can read the full plan here, if you're so inclined. In this context, it'll be interesting to see how Final Fantasy 16 performs when it launches on PC, which is due to happen fairly imminently. Last we heard, Square Enix was working on a demo of the PC version so its devs could better gauge the recommended system requirements of the port, which director Yoshi-P suggested would be pretty hefty.