A lack of faith in current-gen consoles is to be blamed for Square Enix’s roster of games for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to a new report.
Citing people familiar with the matter, British freelance video game journalist Jim Sterling reportedSquare was “convinced” that the age of console gaming was coming to an end along with other video game publishers. Before the launch of PS4 and Xbox One, they reportedly thought both of them would be a flop.
“Free-to-play games, mobile games, and the PC were considered the future. Nobody wanted to invest in new intellectual property, and Square Enix especially wanted to make its old IP online-only experiences, expecting micro-transactions and piecemeal episodic content to be the only way to go,” Sterling added.
So much so, that both the upcoming stealth game Hitman and recently released open world adventure Just Cause 3 were initially planned as online-only experiences for the PC with no single-player campaign to boot. And owing to the zero confidence Square Enix placed in current-gen consoles before their arrival, the studio struck down multiple games in the planning stage, Sterling added.
But after the PS4 and Xbox One turned to be successful, Square went back on its word and rethought its strategy. Just Cause 3 was given a campaign as is now clear, while the Hitman reboot too has a single-player mode though still being episodic like before.
“This is the result of the publishers having no faith in consoles because sales were down towards the end of the last generation,” Sterling remarked. He went on to say that the commercial success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4 has been responsible for convincing the publishers – including Square Enix – otherwise.