Accelerating globalization and transforming corporate culture
Strengthening our operations in the Americas while also building a more globally balanced Japan / Americas / Europe business framework
What progress have you made in your key strategy of strengthening operations through globalization?
Globalization can be thought of as having three layers. How do you make a product? How do you sell a product? Finally, what kind of Group infrastructure, including local offices in each region, should be built?
First of all, organizationally, we are proud to already have a nearly complete global structure.
With regard to how to sell, we made significant progress in Europe with our acquisition of Eidos last year. Further, in July of this year, we hired Mike Fischer with 20 years of game industry experience as the head of our U.S.-based subsidiary to significantly raise our strategy implementation capability in the Americas. As result, we not only have better Japan / U.S. and Japan / Europe connections, but we also have vastly improved coordination directly between the U.S. and Europe. In future, this could lead to collaborative title development and we certainly expect greater coordination in marketing activities as well. With well-balanced regional bases in Japan, Americas and Europe being led by SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS, we believe that we have a sound global structure in place.
With regard to the globalization of our product development, we have begun to make steady steps in this area but will likely need to continue to work for several years to further improve. Probably an issue at many companies as well, but from time to time we have found that some creators are not interested in what other "lines" in the company are doing or not interested in what is being done at competitors. In the past, we sometimes sent our creators individually or in groups to gain experience at U.S. and European developers, but now with the former Eidos studios as part of our Group, the world has suddenly gotten much smaller. A former Eidos studio including Eidos Montreal is developing a game with CG movie work being done by our Tokyo development team. We are holding regular global technology exchange meetings. Creators from Japan are being sent on development collaborations at a U.S. developer. These are just some of our very positive first steps. Going forward as well, we plan to further motivate creators in the Group with such intellectual exchange.
So, there is a lot you can learn from the former Eidos development process?
That's right. The people coming from Eidos are so incredibly thorough in their approach to each title. They are carefully looking at past titles in each series and very logically making improvements. Equally impressive is the way they clarify the concepts of how the creators will express their vision as well as how the game is to be enjoyed. I am also really pleased that creators in Tokyo are also so actively adopting these techniques.