A whole section of Square Enix’s mobile library is seemingly coming to an end. Square’s selection of Go games are no longer in production according to Head of developer Square Enix Montreal Patrick Naud. The Square Enix Go games include Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go, and, most recently, Deus Ex Go.
“I have to say no [we’re not working on other Go games], I’m sorry,” Naud told PCGamesInsider.biz (through PocketGamer.biz) in a recent interview.
After their mobile debuts, Hitman Go and Lara Croft Go eventually came out on the Vita, PS4, and PC while Deus Ex Go only made it to PC and other ports still have not been announced. Deus Ex Go, being the most recent title and not branching to other platforms, may have been the telltale signal that this series was on its downward slope. Naud described how difficult it was to make a premium mobile games in an environment full of free games.
“It’s one of the challenges we have today is the premium mobile market is diminishing,” said Naud. “You’ve got more and more high-quality free titles so there are even fewer and fewer people inclined to try something that will not be free.”
The Go games did well both critically and commercially. Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go, and Deus Ex Go all reviewed well and generally did a great job of combining the specific game’s aesthetic with mobile-friendly puzzles. Naud even said the games brought in good revenue, but also admitted that it wasn’t enough to survive in the competitive market of free titles.
“Despite the critical success and the great revenue we’ve had, it’s sad to see that our games are only played by a small slither of the population because of the price point,” said Naud. “That’s such a big barrier for mobile users. A lot of people consume mobile games only and they have all these options, all these games; why should they invest money in this one unless they’re very convinced?”
After pivoting to mobile in 2013, Square Enix Montreal is still going to stay within the mobile space. Naud stated that he wants the studio to build on what they did for the Square Enix Go games. This includes putting their spin on an established franchise or being a model developer for others making mobile games.