Square Enix already has a couple of JRPGs available on the Nintendo Switch, with Octopath Traveler set to arrive on July 13. And if all goes well, the studio plans to bring even more games to Nintendo's latest platform in the coming years.
According to a recent interview on Gameinformer, Square Enix division executive Tomoya Asano has expressed a desire to see plenty of games brought to the Nintendo Switch. As a matter of fact, they've already got a handful of games in development for the platform, with a separate team being broken off to develop exclusively for the Switch if sales continue to be solid. Here's what Asano had to say:
Square Enix has decided that it wants to focus on original titles for the Switch. If Octopath Traveler does well and this is something that appeals to fans, we want to focus on Switch. Please pick up the Switch if you want to play games like Octopath Traveler.
Since Asano says "games like Octopath Traveler," we take that to mean this new division will put an emphasis on old-school JRPGs. That tracks with their recent history, as both I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear were developed specifically to pay homage to genre classics and launched last year on the Switch. Octopath Traveler will be the third such title, and predictions seem to be that the game will do very well on Nintendo's handheld/home console hybrid.
These games are especially appealing to a company like Square Enix because they're much cheaper to fund than games like the new Tomb Raider series, the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III or the barely revealed Avengers project. But "cheaper" doesn't mean "lower in quality." Those three JRPGs mentioned above are pretty meaty tales and the two that have been released received solid reviews from critics and fans alike.
Fans of the genre aren't looking for bleeding-edge graphics or over-the-top cutscenes. In fact, a more retro look is typically appreciated in these throwbacks to RPGs of yesteryear, with Octopath managing to find an aesthetic that beautifully blends classic graphics with a stylish, modern appearance. It's pretty unique, and we imagine that's the direction Square Enix would like to go with future RPGs inspired by older games.
Before closing out the interview, Asano goes on to explain that the future of Square Enix games isn't wholly reliant on the success of Octopath Traveler. He clarifies that the developer already has several games in the works for the Switch, but we imagine a homerun from Octopath will lead to even more games going into production for the platform.
As for what those games are, we've got our fingers crossed that fresh information will be available in the coming days. Both Nintendo and Square Enix will be doing video presentations leading into next week's E3 extravaganza, so here's hoping we'll get some additional details on at least some of those games being developed for the Switch.