The CEO of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, has spoken out about the future of Deus Ex. At the start of this year, Eurogamer reported that we shouldn't expect a new Deus Ex game anytime soon - and they're right, though we should get one eventually. It simply isn't Deus Ex's turn yet, with the studio first focusing on other projects such as the next Tomb Raider and an Avengers game.
Matsuda explained all this in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, where he also talked about Final Fantasy's anime spin off, the studio's approach to the Eastern and Western markets, as well as augmented and virtual reality.
Mankind Divided might not have gleaned the same acclaim as Human Revolution, and while I imagine the studio might have prioritised the franchise if its sales had been better, that doesn't mean they're abandoning it. According to Matsuda:
"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."
He adds that they are "already internally discussing and exploring what we want do with the next instalment" of Deus Ex, which might not qualify as 'development' but hey, it's something. According to Eurogamer, the studio is currently working on 3 games. Two of those are supposedly Marvel Comics games, involving multiple teams that are collaborating with Marvel Studios on both an Avengers and a Guardians of the Galaxy game. Eidos Montreal's other major project is believed to be the next Tomb Raider game, which we know about thanks to someone leaving a "Shadows of the Tomb Raider" PowerPoint presentation open on the Montreal subway.
Later in the interview, Matsuda mentions the success of the short anime series that Square Enix released just before Final Fantasy XV, along with a prequel movie. Similar projects were once planned for Deus Ex, but didn't happen. When asked about future plans for transmedia projects, Matsuda said that they'd look at it on "a case-by-case basis."
"There are some instances where that will fit very well and others where it won't... so I want to make that decision on an individual basis going forward. At the end of the day, we are rooted in the games industry. Having solid games is at the basis of everything we do, and that's not going to change."
Matsuda also mentioned that the Montreal team - which made both new Deus Ex games - is particularly focused on developing augmented reality projects, commenting that "the mobile AR market is going to prove to be attractive going forwards". That might not be great news for us folk who like our games on PC-powered screens, though I have to admit I am a little intrigued about what they have in the pipe.
Matsuda was less enthusiastic about virtual reality, at least in the short term, highlighting how much more expensive VR is for both developers and consumers.
"Our policy is that if there is some kind of fun element that we can generate with VR, that it has to be VR in order for it to be fun, then of course we would like to provide that. But we don't have the intention of doing VR for the sake of it."
Sounds sensible, though that Final Fantasy VR fishing game looks a bit naff - so take that statement with a pinch of virtual salt.
You can read the whole interview for yourself over at GamesIndustry.biz.