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Square Enix Wants Its Whole Catalogue Of Games Available Digitally

Square Enix Wants Its Whole Catalogue Of Games Available Digitally

With each passing gaming generation, we lose hundreds, thousands, of games. And that's especially true of titles, of consoles, that preceded the introduction of (and our acceptance of) digital downloads. Preservation of video game history is a hot topic in the industry, as while eShops and Steam and the like can keep a number of games alive, and the current wave of mini consoles is doing its (small) part, there's simply no elegant, legal solution to keeping everything available.

But, as reported by Game Informer, Square Enix - the publisher behind the Final Fantasy series, and so many other classic JRPGs - is really trying to open its catalogue to contemporary players.

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The company's CEO, Yosuke Matsuda, is aware that there's great demand for Square's extensive library of games, stretching back to 1984 and the 8-bit era, to be available digitally - and his team is on the case.

Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger

"We're working on that in a variety of ways," he said. "It is a request we get often. As far as our major titles go, most of those, we still have variations out that you can play now. The more classic titles that you might have played on NES, we are working hard to make it so you can play those."

Matsuda revealed that Square Enix has an internal team set up especially to develop a means to play its old games, across a variety of platforms. "Down the road, we would like to see that on a subscription, or a streaming service," he added, "so we're exploring the possibility of creating a dedicated channel for ourselves."

Which will be music to the ears of gamers schooled on Square's (and Enix's) role-players of the 1980s and '90s - games like Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Evermore and Xenogears, which haven't been in regular circulation throughout the hardware generations of the 21st century. And with Bethesda revealing its Orion streaming service at E3, showcased with 2016's DOOM running on a mobile phone at 60 frames per second and with no obvious latency, there's no reason why Square Enix couldn't do something similar for its catalogue.

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"We still don't know if it would be a subscription service, or an exclusive downloading service, or what form it might take," Matsuda continued, "but we do want to leverage our catalogue."

Secret of Evermore
Secret of Evermore

There's definitely a problem when it comes to some early Square titles, though (hopefully the notoriously racist Tom Sawyer amongst them), as not every piece of code the studio completed was sensibly filed away for a later date.

"I'm embarrassed to admit it," Matsuda said, "but in some cases we don't know where the original code is anymore. Back in the day, you made [games] and put them out there, and you were done. Sometimes customers ask, 'Why haven't you released that yet?' And the truth is because we don't know where [the code has] gone."

Is this why we've not seen Secret of Evermore since it came out for the SNES in 1995? Seems reasonable to believe so - but that game would be perfect for our current gaming climate, as you're paired with a dog! What more does a game need in 2019?

Would you pay a small subscription for access to a company's entire catalogue? Let us know - we're on Twitter and Facebook, and we're now live on Snapchat Discover, too.

Featured Image Credit: Square Enix

Topics: Square Enix

Mike Diver

Head of Content at GAMINGbible. Former gigs include VICE Gaming, BBC Music, BBC Gaming Show. Author of 'Indie Games: The Complete Introduction to Indie Gaming' (2016), 'How to Be a Professional Gamer' (2016), 'Retro Gaming: A Byte-Sized History of Video Games' (2019). Contact: [email protected]

 

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