In a move that is expected given the current climate of the mobile gaming market, Square Enix Montreal, the studio behind critically acclaimed titles like Hitman Go and Lara Croft Go, is now focused on free-to-play smartphone and tablet games.
“One of the challenges we have today is the premium mobile market is diminishing,” said Naud in the interview. He also discussed the fact that the outright cost of the Go series is a barrier for mobile users.
Square Enix Montreal was founded back in 2011 as a traditional video game studio, but shifted to a focus on mobile game development a few years later. The studio adopted the strategy of taking Square Enix’s biggest franchises and building board game-like mobile titles focused on those specific properties.
The studio’s three most well-known titles, Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go and the most recent release, Deus Ex Go, all received critical acclaim are viewed by many as examples of what mobile gaming is capable of when games are developed from the ground up for the platform. The Montreal-based studio is also behind another mobile title called Hitman: Sniper.
Naud goes on to say during the interview that Square Enix Montreal will continue making mobile games, but that upcoming titles will feature in-app purchases and adopt a “freemium approach.”