Square Enix says monetization and free-to-play models have diversified the game market but new releases tend to be considered a success or a failure due to how many major titles there are.
In its latest earnings report, Square Enix explained: "As a result of digitization and other technological advances, consumer game content is increasingly sold via downloads rather than physical packages.
"Monetization methods such as free-to-play, microtransactions, and subscriptions have also given rise to a greater diversity of business models outside the confines of traditional one-off sales."
Today (February 6), the company will launch its latest 4v4 party shooter Foamstars for free to all PlayStation Plus members as part of the PS Plus monthly lineup. It will be available in this format until March 4, after which it will cost $29.99 (£24.99) on March 5 for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. The game will also feature a battle pass system and in-game microtransactions.
"As such, the consumer game market continues to grow," Square Enix continued. "New releases tend to be met with either marked success or marked failure as players throng to a handful of major titles."
Square Enix launched Forspoken in January 2023, but despite the AAA title being labeled a major title for the publisher, the game didn't perform well for the company. Square Enix’s president and representative director Yosuke Matsuda called the sales "lackluster" in its February 2023 financial report and said that there was “considerable downside risk to our FY2023/3 earnings”.
In the latest earnings report, Square Enix added: "Given the intense competition in both the consumer and smart device game markets, it will be important for the Group not only to leverage existing intellectual properties but also to endeavor to create new intellectual properties and to recruit development resources if it is to continue to produce hits."
Square Enix is gearing up to launch the highly anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth this month, which is set to release exclusively on PS5 on February 29.
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