Kingdom Hearts 2 producer Shinji Hashimoto is expecting “the Xbox 360 to increase its Japanese market presence” with the help of Square’s Eastern role-playing games.
Microsoft’s strategy for invading the Eastern world has been based on a dual strike of price cuts (the Xbox 360 is currently the cheapest current generation console in the country) and Japanese third-party support for the platform. Square Enix, being one of the lead Japanese developers for all platforms, is supporting the Xbox 360’s worldwide initiatives with its own new products; Star Ocean 4 and The Last Remnant both took public positions in Microsoft’s Tokyo Game Show booth.
“We expect the Xbox 360 to increase its Japanese market presence even more in the coming months,” said Hashimoto. “There is a growing interest in Xbox 360 among Japanese users, due to the release of familiar titles, the increasing appeal of overseas titles, and the excellent reputation of the Xbox 360’s network services.”
Square Enix’s additions to the Xbox 360 library aren’t so much dealings with Microsoft as they are internal attempts to broaden Square’s sales worldwide.
Hashimoto commented, “We would not make decisions regarding hardware based solely on the Japanese user base. [Star Ocean 4, Last Remnant and Infinite Undiscovery] were developed with the global market in mind, so by releasing them on the Xbox 360, which enjoys a high market share in the United States and Europe, we are hoping to gain more recognition from this large user base.”
Surely Square Enix is watching its bottom line, but the inadvertent assistance to Microsoft must be appreciated. Both companies are hoping that the press from major announcements such as the Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360 E3 shocker will translate into profits on both ends.