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Square Enix 'not abandoning core, triple-A console and PC games'

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Square Enix has had a tough year, with disappointing sales of major core games, but the company isn't getting out of that market, said its head of studios and publishing in a blog post today.

"I can categorically say that we're not abandoning core, [AAA] console and PC games," said Phil Rogers, CEO of Square Enix in the Americas and Europe, on the company blog. "We're working hard at improving how we develop our games and how we release them."

Rogers was previously the CEO of Square Enix Europe; he assumed the duties of Mike Fischer, former president and CEO of Square Enix America, when Fischer left the company in May.

According to Rogers, Square Enix as a whole is exploring new platforms and business models in an ever-changing game industry, and the company hopes to do a better job in the future of explaining its philosophy on those experiments, which Rogers believes are necessary for Square Enix to survive and continue to be able to make AAA games.

"We're working hard at improving how we develop our games"

In addition, said Rogers, Square Enix recently made changes to its organizational structure to facilitate the production of those big-budget titles.

"We've recently re-orientated our studio leadership to focus production expertise at the top, to allow us to ship the best quality games possible, faster and with better cost control," said Rogers. "We've taken away administrative duties from studio heads, so they get closer to the games, gameplay and gamers with fewer distractions."

Those changes appear to be aimed at addressing problems highlighted by Eidos Montreal founder Stephane D'Astous, who resigned from his position as general manager last month, in an interview with Polygon upon his departure. D'Astous said he had been trying for months to get Square Enix to change its management strategy, but the company's top-down structure didn't blend with his vision, which was one of the reasons he left. "Communication is very lacking," he explained, adding that he "had difficulty understanding all of the different elements of [Rogers'] plan" at the time.

"We've made these changes to all of our studios in the Americas and Europe and we believe this will improve not only the quality of our games, but also improve the time between releases," Rogers said today. "I've spent the past few months building a senior team in the Americas and Europe to support our new and evolving strategy."

a Tomb Raider sequel is "well into development"

Rogers also confirmed that Square Enix is "well into development" on a next-generation sequel to Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider. Gail Simone, writer of the Tomb Raider comic, revealed the sequel last month.

Square Enix's upcoming slate of releases includes the next-generation titles Final Fantasy 15, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Thief; the next installment of the mobile game Deus Ex: The Fall; and online Windows PC games such as Heroes and Generals.