“WE DISCUSS VANA’DIEL” is a series of conversations between Producer Matsui and special guests who are familiar with FINAL FANTASY XI (FFXI).
Our ninth guest is Yosuke Matsuda, President and CEO of Square Enix. In this second part of the conversation, he shares his initial impressions of Square back from when he joined in 1998.
President and CEO of Square Enix. Following his career as a certified public accountant (CPA), he joined Square (now Square Enix) and was primarily responsible for the company’s financial and accounting operations. In 2013, he was appointed President and CEO of Square Enix and Square Enix Holdings.
Square’s financial situation from a professional accountant’s point of view
President Matsuda, with your career background as a CPA, what were your initial impressions of Square?
I joined Square the year after FFVII was released, but the extensive scope of its development had me astounded. The development budget alone was so enormous, I can’t mention the figures here.
Aside from being shocked by the scale of their business endeavors, from a financial perspective, I couldn’t fathom how game development could be so expensive.
The FF series debuted on the PlayStation with FFVII, and you could tell Square was really fired up for it, judging from the endeavors that went into the game, such as the proactive use of polygons for 3D imagery.
We developers place a lot of importance on providing state-of-the-art game entertainment, and technical research is required to make that a reality... so you know…
Technical research is important, of course, but I was still astounded. (laughs)
Personally, I’m more familiar with developing games using common technology and conserving costs as much as possible. But that sort of style would hinder us from creating state-of-the-art games and wouldn’t produce a flagship title we could present to the game industry. I believe pouring development costs into state-of-the-art technology is a way of investing in the future, as well as part of Square Enix's brand identity.
From my perspective as an average gamer, I had a strong impression that Square was always striving to push the envelope of the game industry.
There’s no doubt about that. I believe the way Square developed games using state-of-the-art technology back then is what led to the globally renowned game company we have today.