Square Enix is further affirming its desire to focus more on the Western market by starting a new development studio in Los Angeles, California. The new studio is currently working on an action game based around an original IP. Whether this game is an action-RPG or not is still unknown. The studio's development team began forming just a few months ago and has only three members, though there are plans to build it up to around thirty.
John Yamamoto, Square Enix's US president, says that the new development group is starting small by focusing on games which will retail through digital distribution. That means all three consoles' online services - the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and WiiWare - could find themselves being graced by the team's upcoming games. Using middleware may become part of the team's strategy, as Square Enix successfully created The Last Remnant with Epic's Unreal Engine 3, and Yamamoto points out how advanced middleware is in America compared to Japan. Yamamoto further states that exclusivity agreements for games are basically a thing of the past in this generation, and that it is important to consider the global market instead of just one region and just one console.
While RPG development may still be up in the air for the new Los Angeles studio, Square Enix is a company built on RPGs, so it would be unlikely that the new studio wouldn't contribute towards RPG development as the team expands. RPGamer will have news on any games of interest to RPGamers which may come out of this new studio in the future.