Square Enix is Moving Away from the “Increasingly Competitive and Oligopolistic” Console Game Market

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The morning of my 11th Christmas I had little clue as to the windfall that was about to come my way. My dad had bartered a Sega Genesis from a coworker along with a library of about 10 games. To young Andy, this was a treasure trove of immeasurable wealth. I was beside myself opening package after package and I was shortly planted in front of the family tv for the remainder of the day. As the snow fell that fateful winter day, I began a journey that continued from the Sega to a Gameboy, to various family desktop computers, a Game Cube, an arcade I took a part time job at, a PS2, an ever-evolving PC of my own, and of course my iPhone and iPad.

I feel like my story is similar to many gamers, and indeed, to many game developers. We fell in love with games in the medium of the day. We hold these as precious memories and occasionally revisit them to stir up nostalgia, but we also look towards the next innovation and the next platform that best supports our passion. Square Enix has recently announced that they know where their next platform is going to be. Following a staggering 49% net income increase from last year on the backs of their mobile titles, they have decided to turn their efforts from the console market to mobile endeavors.

To anyone, like me, who grew up on titles created by this company, this is a turning of the tide. Square has been a company that historically sells the systems it develops on. Anyone who likes a good Shaun Musgrave article could probably rattle off a dozen titles this company has published that have affected their system purchasing decisions and now the writing is on the wall as they are clearly shying away from consoles that have benefited from their attention for so long. We have seen big dollar figures showing the pure market share the mobile industry holds, but a titan of the console market like Square is really indicative of the start of a larger movement. Is it possible we may be seeing the beginning of the end of console dominance?

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