Following the disappointing sales performance of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, fans of the sci-fi shooter feared Square Enix would put the series on indefinite hiatus. However, CEO Yusuke Matsuda wants to end this impression by assuring that the franchise is simply “waiting its turn” while Eidos Montreal is busy with other projects. The statement was said during an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, in which Matsuda discussed the balance of Eastern and Western projects inside the company and the current status of their Western properties.
Deus Ex fills a special role in the company’s IP catalogue, as its one of the few first-person shooters of their lineup. Matsuda says that they are internally discussing the approach of the next entry, and that while there is no immediate project in development, the series is far from over: “What I can say is Eidos Montreal has always developed Deus Ex, and the issue is we do not have limitless resources. We have several big titles that we work with and that’s partly a factor in what our line-up looks like. Of course, it would be ideal if we could work on all of them all of the time, but the fact of the matter is some titles have to wait their turn. The reason there isn’t a Deus Ex right now is just a product of our development line-up because there are other titles we are working on.”
Matsuda also confirms that a particular project that is taking a lot of time and effort of most of their Western studios is the upcoming Avengers project being developed in partnership with Marvel. The CEO says that he checks out the development regularly and it is looking “amazing,” and that we will hear more news in the future.
Another very important Western property in the company’s catalogue is, obviously, Tomb Raider. Back in 2013, fans were surprised to hear that even after becoming the best-selling game of the series, the reboot still came under Square Enix’s expectations. Matsuda now admits that the company’s forecast might have been too high: “The fiscal year prior to the one where I became president [in 2013] was one where overall our earning numbers were not very good. It was immediately before the end of that fiscal year, in March, that Tomb Raider came out so we had very high expectations for that. Looking back on that now, I think the target we set for ourselves was extremely high.”
It is undeniable that in the recent years Japanese franchises like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest have performed more in line with the company’s expectations than their Western-developed titles. However, Matsuda believe that the management of the company doesn’t make a distinction between Japanese and Western releases, and simply has a wholesome view of the lineup. Also, their Western lineup seems to be getting good catalogue sales, which affects their consideration for certain properties, and opens a new market for them.