Square Enix recently held a briefing session Q&A regarding its latest financial results, and as is often the case, the entire transcript was documented and published within a bulky PDF file. While the transcript is loaded with juicy (as well as dull) tidbits about the company and its operations, one question stood out regarding the success of Nier: Automata and how the game will impact Square's approach moving forward.
Prior to the question about the game, it was noted that Nier: Automata "was another earnings contributor, generating sales significantly above our plan." The question that resulted from this had to do with said results' impact on strategy, including "allocation of human resources."
Q: “NieR:Automata” is a mid-sized title that has produced strong results. Will that have any impact on your strategy going forward, including the possibility of revisiting how you allocate your human resources?
A: In terms of the balance between in-house efforts and outsourcing, we intend to primarily develop our major franchises in-house and to outsource mid-sized titles. It is also important to cultivate new titles, and for that reason we are also thinking about how tie-ups with external companies can help balance our mix.
It's an interesting conclusion, and one that, if nothing else, bodes well for folks like Platinum Games. Since Nier: Automata overperformed and received positive buzz and response from gamers generally speaking, it could very well mean that Square Enix plans to be substantially lenient and frequent with facilitating development of titles cut from a similar cloth. From what the document suggests, this would be via talented outside development partners like Platinum and others.
Also notable from the Q&A are remarks regarding localization, and how Square intends to "aggressively roll out" both Japanese and localized versions of its mobile games, such as Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. It appears the plan is to bring "catalog" mobile releases to the West in the coming months, and attempt to release future mobile titles simultaneously in Japan and the West forward from there.
The full PDF is available on Square's site if you're the sort who enjoys combing over such things, but truth be told there's about as many walls of text as there are riveting insight (perhaps more). If you did for some reason missed Nier: Automata when it came out, you can check out our review here. There's also a superb PC edition, a trend not mentioned in Square's Q&A document but one we certainly hope the company intends to continue.