In the era of modern gaming, often what’s old is new again. Publishers that have been around for decades like to port older games to modern platforms, and Square Enix is certainly no exception. Over the past few years, the company has been porting a number of its classic RPGs to smartphones and current-generation consoles, but it wants to go even further.
Square Enix isn’t sure how it will leverage its classic catalog yet, but it knows it wants to. Of course, these days, we’re seeing massive publishers roll out subscription services that host their vast libraries of classic titles. Electronic Arts does it, and just a few days ago, Ubisoft announced plans to follow suit.
Launching a subscription service is something Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda is considering. Sitting down for an interview with Game Informer during E3 2019, Matsuda says that Square Enix has heard the demand for classic games, and has even gone so far as creating a dedicated team for porting games from the company’s early days to modern platforms.
“As far as our major titles go, most of those, we still have variations out that you can play now,” Matsuda said. “The more classic titles that you might have played on NES, we are still working hard to make it so you can play those. We actually have launched a dedicated project internally to port those, so we are working to make them available on a variety of platforms.”
Matsuda also added that Square Enix is weighing the option of creating a dedicated streaming or subscription service featuring its catalog, as it’s seen other publishers heading in that direction. What kind of form such a service would take is unknown, but Matsuda indicated that it’s something Square Enix is looking into.
One complication Square Enix has run into in porting its very early titles is the fact that it’s lost the code for some of those games. Matsuda didn’t confirm which games have gone missing, but said that sometimes, that missing code is the reason why we haven’t seen ports of specific titles. So, even if there is a future where Square Enix launches its own subscription service, we may not see every game the company ever released on it.