Could Square Enix and Eidos create IP together? Could they work with each others' IP? Here, Square Enix CEO and president Yoichi Wada and Eidos CEO Phil Rogers discuss with Gamasutra the intertwined creative future of the two companies.
Japanese third-party giant Square Enix has completed its takeover of embattled UK publisher Eidos. Now, the two must move forward in building a meaningful relationship between the two companies.
At last week's E3 trade show in Los Angeles, Gamasutra got the chance to sit down with the executives and discuss these plans in depth -- and here, we present an extract of that interview, in which the two execs describe a roadmap moving forward for potential IP collaboration for the companies.
The question jumped off from a discussion of the Foundation 9 studio Double Helix's latest game, announced at E3 -- Front Mission: Evolved, in which the California-based studio creates the latest entry in a series originally pioneered at Square's Tokyo offices in the pre-Enix merger Super Nintendo era.
Something that interests me very much right now is seeing Front Mission: Evolved announced at E3, because it's being developed by Double Helix in North America. Before I jump to conclusions, is there a possibility that one of the Eidos development teams could work with what was originally Square Enix IP, or vice versa?
Yoichi Wada: I think that's possible. But what's more important is that the two companies, for example, are going to be creating a new IP together.
What's going to be important is to be able to get a mutual understanding of each of the quarters so that we will be able [to create it], and what is going to be born from this new unity.
But I believe that there is also going to be the mutual exchange of the IPs between the two parties as well. That can happen in areas outside of the game as well; for example, Square Enix not only has IP for games, but there's also IP for animation or manga, as well. So those IPs might be leveraged, for example, by Eidos -- in order to turn them into a game.
Or it can be vice versa as well: the game IP that the Eidos team has might be transferred over to the Square Enix team to turn it into a comic book, for example, or animation, or figures as well. And so those are some of the areas that this question concerns, as well.
Do you have any reaction to the idea of potentially collaborating in that way? Or any of these ways?
Phil Rogers: I think the short term opportunities and ideas that we're already thinking about... Certainly, we look at the broad exploitation and management of IP expertise at Square Enix, so the potential to further IPs in that direction is quite clear.
So, figurines, or comics... We have tried this in the past, and had some success, and had some challenges as well, but we should keep working on that direction. I think I'd be disappointed having the same discussion in five or 10 years' time, and we haven't seen that IP exchange. I see that within Eidos today.
And it's an interesting trend, too: three years ago, a certain studio may never have thought about working on someone else's IP, or actually having the confidence to say, "I wonder what this studio within the same group could do with this IP." We're trying to create a very strong studio structure now within Eidos, and have a lot of good exchange and great competition, and I think with that trust we'll see that information on IP exchange. So, you know, I hope we do. I hope we do.
The full interview with Wada and Rogers will run on Gamasutra in the near future.