Square Enix CEO comments on Deus Ex’s future, Tomb Raider sales and more in new interview

Yosuke Matsuda, CEO of Square Enix, recently discussed the rumors surrounding Deus Ex’s demise, the company’s unrealistic Tomb Raider sales expectations and more in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

Previous reports suggested that Square Enix had put the Deus Ex franchise on an indefinite hiatus following disappointing sales of Mankind Divided. Matsuda refuted these claims by stating that they are already internally discussing what the next installment in the franchise will be.

“We have never said anything about discontinuing that title but for some reason that’s the rumour out on the market. What I can say is Eidos Montreal has always developed Deus Ex, and the issue is we do not have limitless resources. We have several big titles that we work with and that’s partly a factor in what our line-up looks like. Of course, it would be ideal if we could work on all of them all of the time, but the fact of the matter is some titles have to wait their turn. The reason there isn’t a Deus Ex right now is just a product of our development line-up because there are other titles we are working on.

“We are already internally discussing and exploring what we want do with the next installment of it.”

Matsuda went on to say that Deus Ex is a “very important franchise” for the publisher.

When discussing another franchise that Square Enix publishes, Tomb Raider, Matsuda admitted that the targets they set for themselves were extremely high.

“The fiscal year prior to the one where I became president [in 2013] was one where overall our earning numbers were not very good. It was immediately before the end of that fiscal year, in March, that Tomb Raider came out so we had very high expectations for that. Looking back on that now, I think the target we set for ourselves was extremely high.

“I say this with the benefit of hindsight now, but at the time our numbers leading up to the release of Tomb Raider had been very poor and I think our people were probably banking on that and wondering how much it was going to help our final earnings. In the end, it didn’t quite sell as much as we had anticipated.”

The Tomb Raider reboot from 2013 has gone on to sell over 11 million copies, while Rise of the Tomb Raider has sold nearly 7 million units to this date. This is impressive considering it was a full year after its initial launch on Xbox One before it even released on PlayStation 4. Matsuda said that Tomb Raider is another very important franchise to the company as well.

Aside from these pillar franchises, Matsuda noted that Square Enix still has a mobile presence in Eastern and Western markets, as well as a team in Montreal focused on augmented reality.