During the publisher's earnings call two weeks ago, Square Enix senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda said that new platforms like Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight are the way forward in increasing customer engagement.
"There is a crowdfunding website called Kickstarter, which does not only serve as a method of financing for developers, but I believe should also be seen as a way to unite marketing and development together by allowing us to interact with customers while a game is in development," said Matsuda in a transcript of the earnings call conference.
"Valve's Steam Greenlight and Early Access, are also very interesting, in that they raise the frequency by which we interact with customers, increasing their engagement and reflecting customer needs. We are also looking at what initiatives are possible from this perspective. What should we present to our customers before a game is finished, how can our customers enjoy this, and how do we connect this to profitability, is something we are thinking about implementing, and which can improve our asset turnover in the process."
Matsuda said that Square Enix's current development practices leave customers in the dark too long, with all investment recovered during a relatively short launch period.
"One could go as far as to say that in today's times, making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them. We're no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed. We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in‐development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations," he added.