After speaking to Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda it looks unlikely that the Japanese-based publisher will follow the likes of Take-Two or EA in a broad strategic push towards games-as-a-service titles with microtransactions.
Having been asked about the different models of mobile and console games, Matsuda replied: "The way that console games are made, the volume of content and how much effort goes into them, there’s something in that which doesn’t fit in the mind with microtransactions.”
Instead he was happy to continue with a DLC model of providing content post-launch: “Our feelings on it is people have bought those games and we want them to be able to enjoy them and play them as long as possible. So after they’ve completed the game, to add extra things and give them new things to enjoy. That’s an important thing and very vital for us to provide that.”
He also added: “Overall it really comes down to customer perceptions, what people expect and want in a home console game is perhaps quite different from what people want in a mobile game and it’s looked at in a different way."
He then equated the PC market as being closer to the mobile market. "Certainly with mobile games they are all the online model, maybe looking at them as being closer to PC online games than console games in that sense. In the PC market there are percentage-wise a lot more free-to-play games, PC gamers are much more used to those than console gamers are, so I think in that sense mobile games are much closer to PC games in that sense."
Of course a real test of that opinion on microtransactions and console games will come with the upcoming Avengers game, which as a very lucrative game with access to innumerable Marvel characters, would be perfect for such a model.
You can read the full interview with Matsuda in the latest edition of MCV – available to read here online.