Square Enix is "exploring" a subscription service for its games

Final Fantasy 8

Square Enix is interested in establishing a game streaming service similar to EA Access or Xbox Game Pass. In a recent interview with Game Informer, president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said the studio's begun the process of porting some of its older games to modern platforms, and that "we would like to see that on a subscription or streaming service, so we're exploring the possibility of creating a dedicated channel for ourselves." 

Matsuda clarified this plan in an interview with Games Industry. "We do already provide games for Microsoft's Game Pass," he said. "But at the end of the day, the direction that we're thinking about is having a channel of our own … But at the same time that would require significant preparations and investment. We'd also have to consider whether or not it will work well solely including our own catalogue titles. At present, as I say, we are offering our games on multiple subscription services, including Microsoft's. But eventually I do think that we need to get to the point where we have enough insight that we can build our own service." 

As Matsuda pointed out - and as Square Enix has repeatedly acknowledged in the past - one of the barriers to creating such a service is obtaining the source code for old games. "Sometimes customers ask, 'Why haven't you released that [game] yet?'" Matsuda told Game Informer. "And the truth of the matter is it's because we don't know where it has gone."

After being skipped for years, a Final Fantasy 8 remaster was recently announced alongside plenty of other E3 2019 games. If that code can be dug up and repurposed, maybe there's still hope for some other Square classics. 

Speaking of unlikely JRPG re-releases: Trials of Mana is finally coming to the West and it's getting an HD remake. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.