Since 2005, Square-Enix has had a YouTube channel. Since last month, they've actually been putting videos on it. Just today, they put up a new trailer of Star Ocean 4.
You may remember something I said the other day about how I am often paid to do push-ups in the middle of boardroom tables during serious business meetings so that the executives present can be motivated by my existence. In addition to not being a lie, that story was also the cold, hard truth. One such day while I was doing ferocious explosive clapping push-ups on a boardroom table, my iPod battery died and I overheard the old men talking, in grave tones:
"YouTube — it's dangerous. We have had men assess it, and they cannot discern any objective way to make money out of it."
Still, companies like Square-Enix jumped in and registered YouTube accounts, as you can see by the registration date on Square-Enix's channel home page. Notice how they have a logo which has the word "Channel" written in the famous font in which "Square-Enix" is always written. Notice how the letters are reflected in a nonexistent shiny black floor. Notice the lens flare on the right. They pulled out all the stops; they put PhotoShop through its paces here.
I tried to save the "Square-Enix Channel" banner for use in this post; oddly, right-click saving was disabled. I used my elite hacker skills to obtain the image you see on this page.
Let's backtrack a bit. How did I become aware of the Square-Enix Channel today? It was through a routine reading of Famitsu Dot Com. Right there, on the front page, was the following headline:
"Latest Star Ocean 4 Trailer Released on YouTube".
Investigating the story leads to a neat little puzzle. The story says: You can view this new trailer only here, on YouTube, or by downloading it from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The quality of the YouTube version of the trailer, for starters, is atrocious. There's a reason for this, probably. I will bet you five dollars Square-Enix has a whole thirty-slide PowerPoint presentation explaining why the quality absolutely must suck.
Square-Enix is the company who puts more "NO PHOTO" signs in their Tokyo Game Show booth than every other game publisher combined. They are the company who forces convention attendees to line up for an hour at the very beginning of an event just to receive tickets to a "Mega Theater" where they show . . . the same trailers they've been showing for a year, maybe plus three seconds of new pre-rendered footage.
Now they're finally getting with YouTube. This is a big step for them! A huge step, even.
So here's the funny part: on the video page, you will notice that comments and ratings are disabled. There you have it, folks — incontrovertible proof that Square-Enix Does Not Care What You Think (unless what you're thinking is that Dissidia Final Fantasy or any other Square-Enix title is worth buying (new, not used)).