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Okada explained how Square Enix had followed a preset plan to enhance its own brands on the mobile platform in an effort to push the mobile games industry forward.

Okada said that publishers, developers, manufacturers and carriers need to work together to "educate customers in order to reduce the entry barrier" associated with the mobile platform. He said that a mental block exists that is driving away potential consumers from mobile gaming.

He said that the industry has to change the public's perception of the mobile platform, arguing that too many people see mobile phones primarily as communication devices, and not entertainment and gaming devices. He said companies need to "develop more killer apps and 'it' games on which customers are willing to spend money."

Using his own company as an example, Okada talked about how the 2004 mobile releases of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy (followed by sequels in 2005) had gone some way to achieve these goals. The games were released on Panasonic handsets with an NTT DoCoMo subscription.

47 percent of the handsets' owners played either or both Square Enix games. 40 percent said they bought the Panasonic handset because of the games provided on the phone.

"We worked in close collaboration with Panasonic and DoCoMo to bring strong IP to mobile that helped the sale of handsets and increased subscriptions." He also said that games had to in some way fulfill extra criteria for advancing mobile gaming in order to create widespread recognition of mobile as a games platform.

The Square Enix games also provided consumers with compelling reasons to upgrade to higher-end machines. In addition, the games spawned a gaming community which Okada signaled is very important.

Okada also stated that games need to utilize features that are unique to mobiles, including the camera and networking functions. For example, the firm's Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII for mobile features gameplay elements utilizing both of these functions.


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