Joint Interview with Yoichi Wada, President of Square Enix Holdings and Eidos CEO, Phil Rogers
Square Enix Group has introduced a new corporate structure following the integration of major UK game developer and publisher, Eidos Ltd. Square Enix Holdings President, Yoichi Wada, and Eidos CEO, Phil Rogers, discuss the aims of and response to the integration of their businesses, and future strategy and prospects.
Could you please give us an overview of the Eidos group and explain its strengths?
- Phil Rogers CEO
Eidos is a unique company; we have a rich history as one of the oldest established videogames companies in the UK, responsible for creating some of the world's greatest videogame properties. We have a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including; Tomb Raider, Hitman, Championship Manager, Thief, Just Cause and Deus Ex.
We operate a studio-led business model designed to build focused cross-discipline teams around cornerstone franchises, working closely with channel and distribution expertise to drive product positioning and sales. Our main studios today include Crystal Dynamics based in San Francisco, IO Interactive in Copenhagen, Eidos Game Studios and Beautiful Game Studios in London and Eidos Montréal, a new studio established two years ago. We have sales and distribution offices in Europe and the US.
We are a global business operating in many different time zones and across different countries. Our aim is to create innovative, high quality games supported by high-impact, focused and coordinated marketing campaigns.
At the beating heart of the company is the employees. Without our people we would not have the games, the characters, campaigns, innovations, creativity, energy or successes we have had. I am proud to be one of the people who now have the opportunity to lead the company forward on its exciting journey as a part of the Square Enix family.
Please tell us why Eidos decided to join Square Enix Group.
- Phil Rogers CEO
I think it's a great compliment when you do something you feel is right in business and people see a commonality in what they are also trying to achieve. The combination of our companies boasts synergies to move faster or wider and this makes sense. I think the best transactions are the natural ones and they are born from unforeseen meetings or events.
When I became CEO of Eidos in 2008 I knew that we had to do things differently. Internally we had to get closer to our games and externally we had to explore partnerships and needed greater virtual scale which we could not achieve on our own. This brought me to Japan and to my first meeting with Wada-san.
It became very apparent on that first meeting that we share a vision and similar goals and I came away from that meeting with a good feeling that we would be working together in some capacity in the future. I was honored when Wada-san made his intentions clear that he wanted Eidos to become a part of the Square Enix group.
As a company Square Enix Holdings has a very strong ambition, as does Eidos, and we are confident we can achieve this ambition together.
Why did Square Enix Group make an offer for Eidos, and what are your impressions so far of Eidos and its management team?
Our goal is to become one of the top ten players in the world's media and entertainment industry. Since the game market is global, both our contact with our customers and our game development must become global, too. It would, however, take us a considerable time to mature into a global enterprise under our own steam. It was essential that we found a successful European or North American company to work together with, and Eidos proved to be the ideal partner.
In order to become not only one of the major names in the game industry, but in the worldwide media and entertainment industry, it is extremely important to have one's own original IP. With advances in network infrastructures and ever-improving devices/media, our customers demand access to our games using a variety of devices/media. At the same time, developing superior contents requires considerable capital investment, and without a variety of income sources the business would find it hard to survive. In any case, it is important that the company possesses its own IP in order to provide the contents to customers across a range of devices and media formats.
Eidos is unique among North American and European publishers in its concern for producing its own IP. Not only does Eidos posses its own IP, but it has the ability and culture to create IP.
Furthermore, Eidos was not only an extremely attractive company, it was one with which we felt we were on the same wavelength.
The more we talked with their management and developers, the more we came to feel this. They are very sincere and committed to developing and implementing innovations. Their goal is also remarkably similar to ours.