Square Enix is committed to developing single-player games going forward, according to CEO Yosuke Matsuda, and by the sounds of it those games will be pretty light on loot boxes.
Last year, the company said it would invest in the 'games as a service' model, which set alarm bells ringing for many players, but Matsuda said the model does not just mean loot boxes and microtransactions. "Games as a service has a very wide meaning," he told Metro.
"Recently people have been discussing loot boxes and people not using that properly, I think that’s all linked to this bad perception people have to the words ‘games as a service’. But really, the way we’re looking at it, what it boils down to is… that idea of keeping people engaged with our games and enjoying them for longer periods of time.
"The way we use that expression, really… the whole idea, for a single-player game particularly, is the idea that you have the game released and you keep adding more content to keep the players engaged and enjoying the game. And that helps to make it more of a full experience, and that brings in more players to the original game. That’s the rough approach we take to the idea, and that’s why we described games as a service in that sense."
The commitment to single-player games—"we really do want to continue making single-player games"—is welcome. Square Enix is best known for its Final Fantasy series, but it also owns Eidos Montréal, developer of the recent Deux Ex games. Eidos' recent announcement that it would focus on online gaming had fans of the series concerned, but if Square Enix is as committed to single-player as Matsuda makes out then we should have nothing to worry about.