As detailed in the latest episode of The Jimquisition, two years ago a source told “garme jurnalizt” Jim Sterling that Square Enix executives believed that consoles were dying, and that breaking games into pieces and selling off incomplete experiences was a way to make money.
The executives cited audience growth stagnation and declining sales of last-gen games as reasons for shifting to episodic models.
“Publishers were convinced that consoles were done,” says Sterling.
“Free-to-play games, mobile games and the PC were considered the future. Nobody wanted to invest in new IP, and Square Enix especially wanted to make its old IP online-only experiences, expecting microtransactions, and piecemeal episodic content to be the only way to go.”
Now, Sterling’s source is claiming that Hitman was going to be online only, and that Just Cause 3 was to be an online-only multiplayer-only PC exclusive until the success of The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 (alongside healthy sales of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4) changed the minds of executives.
He also claims that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been split into a trilogy, but concedes that the “info I have is a little outdated”.
“The last bit of info I had is not that it'll be episodic, but that its initial vision was scaled down so Square Enix could have a trilogy of games in the same vein as Mass Effect,” he writes in the video’s comments.