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Console games set to die, says Square Enix

Final Fantasy house preparing for shift to server-based games, says boss

Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada says his company is prepared for the death of physical, disc-based console games, which he predicts will have happened within ten years.

Speaking to MCV, Wada said format holders like Sony and Microsoft are already prepared for the death of traditional console games - and games publishers must catch up too.

"In ten years' time a lot of what we call 'console games' won't exist," he said.

Wada warned that "all the distributors and sales firms will suffer a big negative impact" from a new era in which games switch from discs to server-based offerings, game streaming and digital distribution.

"Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers' strategy shifted," he said.
"In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn't even needed anymore.

"With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played - that's exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous."

Wada explained that Square Enix is preparing for this change by boosting production of social and browser games in Japan, and also closely watching next year's Final Fantasy XIV beta.

"Social and browser games are going to grow dramatically - especially in areas like Asia which does not have as big a console market," he said.