News Article

Square Enix CEO Resigns Ahead of Financial Losses

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Major restructuring is planned

With the financial year closing in the coming week, Square Enix has stated that it anticipates an "extraordinary loss" as it puts into effect major restructuring of the company. With disappointing sales of console titles and the costs of making sweeping organisational changes, the company anticipates reporting a loss of around 10 billion Yen (roughly $106/£70 million) when the year ends on 31st March.

With such chastening results on the immediate horizon, it's been confirmed that CEO Yoichi Wada is resigning from his position, to be replaced by current representative director Yosuke Matsuda; he's the second major executive to step down in recent times alongside EA's John Riccitello.

So how does this affect Nintendo? Rather like the EA news, it'll be interesting to see how new management tackles support for Nintendo's systems. In recent times Square Enix has published titles such as Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance on 3DS, while a major release on Wii — and soon Wii U — in Japan has been Dragon Quest X. During that same period the company has been taking its iconic Final Fantasy franchise onto smartphone platforms, in various guises, while Theatrhythm has also been released on iOS.

As a major third-party in Japan, particularly, Nintendo will in all likelihood be watching the restructuring of Square Enix closely, and hoping that the business won't be taking steps away from its systems.

[via polygon.com]

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User Comments (58)

Bucho

#1

Bucho said:

Maybe now they'll announce Bravely Default: Flying Fairy for north america...

DarkCoolEdge

#2

DarkCoolEdge said:

Seeing how badly FFXIII-2 has sold plus XIIIVersus plus A realm reborn...
And I think that XIII-3 is gonna sell even less. And they know it.

Deathgaze

#3

Deathgaze said:

I've loved Square since the SNES days but my god have they done almost nothing right recently.The last good thing they did was develop The World Ends With You and the remake of FF4, but they barely promoted it and gave FF4DS such a short print run. Before that there was FF12 which people seem to either hate or love it. (I personally love it) And before that was FF10.

I'm glad this happened. Maybe now they can get their flagship franchise, Final Fantasy back to it's former SNES and PS1 glory status. Stop focusing on phones and ports. Don't announce things so early. Localize games people want to PAL regions and North America (Type-0, Bravely Default for example). Online FFs - At least don't make them part of the main series if they have to exist. And a whole ton of others.

Geonjaha

#4

Geonjaha said:

Nooo. Dragon Quest - hold in there. >.<
Also please give us a new Dragon Quest game here in the west (You've got four ready!) - we're dying (well, those of us who actually appreciate good gaming franchises >:3).

XCWarrior

#5

XCWarrior said:

Square Enix needs to get their act together. Get the heck out of mobile. There isn't a market there. If you don't want to sell your games for $1 a piece, which they don't.

Nintendo gamers like Japanese devs more than the 360/PS3 owners do. We don't need guns in all our games. Start working more with Nintendo. That's where you're best user base is.

Romeo

#6

Romeo said:

i don't get it...
they've got such amazing franchises (like Capcom for example) and they refuse to do anything meaningful with them...

Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts
and Tomb Raider (2013) Publisher

seriously.. get your act together
stop repeating stupid mistake, ignore all the dumb ideas in your head and do something great with these franchises
develop quality games and we will buy them.
sigh

belmont

#7

belmont said:

Square did a good job in trolling their fans in this year. There was no localization of Type-0 or Bravely Default, until recently there was no word of FF10HD and the best of all was the announcement that a FF game will be announced for PS4 at some point.

DePapier

#8

DePapier said:

And one more head rolling... This industry truly is in bad shape.

(Yet in the meantime, some company has made sure it can stay afloat cashing in 10 billion with their profitable last-gen console and selling their new one at a one-game profit.) I'm serious: this industry need to observe and learn from the way Nintendo does business.

Deathgaze

#9

Deathgaze said:

@DePapier I think Sony is a better example. High price but quality higher end systems. Not to mention they use standard media storage, not silly Wii U discs. They also have Japanese and American developed games. While Nintendo is 99% Japanese made games.

Bankai

#11

Bankai said:

@AgentAPE that link means next to nothing. Sony's been rebounding quite well so far this year, if you analyse all the data and don't pretend the sale of property means much to a technology vendor.

x-mas_mii

#12

x-mas_mii said:

@Deathgaze i agree, but standard disks lead to piracy problems faster and nintendo has innovated, look at psmove and ps4's controller and some of ps4's features.

ThreadShadow

#13

ThreadShadow said:

Uh...Yoichi Wada can't resign...he's the creator of Dragon Quest! What, do they want what happened to FF after Sakaguchi left to happen to Dragon Quest too?

NLfaSK

#14

NLfaSK said:

@Geonjaha
Come on, don't despair. ;)
After all, Dragon Quest is always equal to itself. Played one, played them all. Maybe the ninth and the tenth version brought something new. For the rest, "more of the same"-games and remakes.

Denkou

#16

Denkou said:

Can't really say I'm surprised. Squeenix's recent performance has been atrocious. Not localizing their good games and supporting nothing but the iphone (which has almost no market for a game that costs more than $10)... Also, I'm still incredibly bitter about the whole "twewy solo remix" ordeal. I hold one heckuva grudge, and squeenix has done little to nothing to redeem themselves recently. Tomb Raider 2013 is pretty good, but that's also a seperate branch, so I don't consider it a part of the "main" square enix.

Geonjaha

#17

Geonjaha said:

@NLfaSK - Yes, Dragon Quest games have remained very traditional JRPG's - but they always get them right, and new mechanics (albeit not core ones) and stories are introduced every time, enough to make me enjoy playing each one. Also my interest lies more in the Monster spinoffs anyway, which have actually changed considerably over time - especially when compared to the main competitor of that genre cough Pokémon cough.

Yulo303

#18

Yulo303 said:

Really hope that square will work with Nintendo to make Super Mario RPG 2, or at least allow Geno to be in the next smash bros. game=)

NLfaSK

#19

NLfaSK said:

@Geonjaha I could say the same about Pokémon. At each new generation, mechanisms change (some more, some less, some not at all). The mere fact of adding new moves / skills / monsters, changes the game mechanics.
However, I don't think we can make comparisons between Dragon Quest and Pokémon: too different.
Finally, Troll-time: Pokémon release date: October.
Any Dragon Quest release date: cough cough
PS: Now that I think about it: DQ and Pokémon competitors? Since when? Those who consider them so?

ritsuka666

#21

ritsuka666 said:

Finally....now return for Square soft ,please????

Anyway, we finally gonna have no more crap 'westernizing' games at SE now?

Bliquid

#22

Bliquid said:

@ XC warrior: you clearly are misinformed on so many levels.
But i'll comment only regarding mobile market: there is A LOT of money going around 99 cent/freemium apps.
An example: EPIC games, creators of Gears of War brand but mostly known for the Unreal Engine, just the most used engine in this generation, said that the most revenue they had last years came from the Infinity Blade brand on iOS, apps that cost roughly 3 dollars.
Think about it, do you have a slight idea of HOW MANY ppl own or have access to a smart device?
Talk about installed base...

@ Sony_70: that was one of the best LMFAO posts i saw this year. Bravo, sir.

shingi_70

#23

shingi_70 said:

@ritsuka666

What is excatly westernized at square enix other than edios? I mean none of heir games play like WRPGS and mostof the combat and interface plays like it build off of final fantasy 12.

MAN1AC

#24

MAN1AC said:

I never wish a firing on anyone but he deserved to be canned. Hopefully they will be able to get their act together this gen because the last one was an absolute mess.

Rapido

#25

Rapido said:

Square Enix, Just Do what SquareSoft And Enix do Best before the Merge. I remember everytime each releases a new game/rpg, everyone knows it'll be great and it really does comes out great.

TwilightV

#26

TwilightV said:

First EA, now Square-Enix. Who's next?

Anyway, here's to hoping they realize that there's a market for more than side games and the occasional bone on Nintendo platforms.

FullbringIchigo

#28

FullbringIchigo said:

maybe now we will get more games released over here in the UK like Bravely Default and Type 0

plus maybe a bit more focus on great games not sparkly graphics

Geonjaha

#30

Geonjaha said:

@NLfaSK - Pointing out the fact that a new Pokémon game is coming out while a new Dragon Quest game isn't is not trolling.

Anyway I was talking about the Dragon Quest: Monsters games (not the main series) which are, like Pokémon, based on breeding and raising creatures to fight. If you've played any of its games you'll realise how much it's willing to change while the Pokémon franchise remains almost completely the same. Of course many people still like that about Pokémon, but I lost interest in playing the same game after the fourth generation.

Dpullam

#31

Dpullam said:

It's unfortunate that Square Enix has been struggling to make a profit lately. They have published some of my most beloved games over the years.

NLfaSK

#33

NLfaSK said:

@Geonjaha Let's be clear: I was NOT criticizing you or DQ or DQ fans. I apologize if you understood that. About Pokémon, I played all of them from Red / Blue, and I still enjoy it. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Geonjaha

#34

Geonjaha said:

@NLfaSK - I know you weren't, I was just responding to the points you made. You're right that whether or not someone enjoys Pokémon is down to taste, but its pretty easy to be objective as to saying which of the two franchises is changing more over time, which is what I was doing.

dragon_rider

#35

dragon_rider said:

Gee, maybe if they made games that didn't suck, they wouldn't be in this mess.

Square's games were better during the playstation/Snes era.

Haxonberik

#36

Haxonberik said:

If this was the guy responsible of Square Enix wasting its time on cell phones, well good. I really dont think a new head can really push Nintendo's home consoles farther away from them, as they have given the Wii a very bad treatment.

Dreamcaster-X

#37

Dreamcaster-X said:

Square Enix tried to be the next EA & is now seeing the perils of what happens when you try to become a huge super developer. Don't get me wrong, I loved the new Tomb Raider, Sleeping, Dogs, & Deus Ex but those aren't your traditional "Square" games. Nothing wrong with broadening your catalog but they weren't in the best financial shape when acquiring Eidos & Crystal Dynamics either. That might pay off in the long run but right now it's hurting them.
Secondly they have to stop announcing games that never see the light of day. STOP all the tech demos!!! Spend more time on the gameplay instead of sinking millions into more and more CG. We GET IT!! You can do CGI very well but now focus more on actual gameplay & stop trying to westernize all your old favorites. FF XIII was a semi disaster for them sales wise. You can spin it however you want but it didn't meet expectations after years & years in development. They were bringing FF's out about every 2 years on the PS1 and this gen we got 1 actual FF game. I'm sorry I don't count the sequels. That's just sad. We should have had at least 1 more stand alone FF this generation. They gotta cut their development times down and I know they're saying they're going to for the next gen but it really HAS to happen.

MetalKingShield

#39

MetalKingShield said:

I just hope they go back to basics - making good Japanese RPGs that can be played offline (even if there's an online mode). Restore Final Fantasy to more like what it was, and make a Dragon Quest better than VIII.

sadsack777

#41

sadsack777 said:

to get them back on top they need to bring some old games back from the dead and give them a new way of life more rpg and platform needed

Gen0neD

#42

Gen0neD said:

Hey Nintendo, time to jump in and localize Bravely Default. Even an eshop release would suffice. It'll sell and sell well.

sadsack777

#43

sadsack777 said:

nintendo its time for u to bring the wii u back on top we need to stay on top like we all ways been come on get ur act together

GuSilverFlame

#44

GuSilverFlame said:

that's financial loss for you! either you do your best to avoid or the world of business will smash your head and wipe the floor with you pretty similar to those spiky ceiling traps in video games

Emaan

#47

Emaan said:

Surprising news, yet somehow unsurprising at the same time. Square Enix has been going through some tough times. However, they have the prowess to keep getting along just fine. Best of luck to the CEO, but I can't help but feel this was for the best. I think it's imperative that the company restructures both itself and its priorities at this point.

Yanchamaru

#48

Yanchamaru said:

Not releasing Dragon Quest X for the Wii in the west was a huge mistake. They also have a ton of great games that need to be on the Virtual Console

Neram

#50

Neram said:

There's not much to say other than times are changing. Simply put, the quality of Square Enix's games isn't as high as it used to be, therefore they are doing worse financially. I see this is as a typical case of 'not the same people involved' in making Final Fantasy, or other iconic Square games that were once top-notch. Such is the case with Capcom and Mega Man, or Sega and Sonic.

ToxieDogg

#51

ToxieDogg said:

Meh. I've been really disappointed in recent times with the last couple of main console Final Fantasy releases being bland, linear and uninspired. I've become a lot more interested in Atlus's output, to be honest, what with Etrian Odyssey IV and games like the upcoming Time & Eternity on PS3 to look forward to :)

TheAdza

#52

TheAdza said:

Tomb Raider sold well over 4 million copies in its first month and they are expecting more? That's a success in my book. If they can't make money from that, something is very wrong with their business strategy.

Here's a tip Square Enix. Stop turning your main rpg franchises into online games. Return FF to proper turn based gameplay. Stop trying to make it so realistic. And give the people what they want. A remake of FFVII.

brucelebnd

#53

brucelebnd said:

Square really over played its hand.

1. they thought FF fanboys would pay outrageous prices for recycled products. really who wants to pay $10-30 for square enix games on iOS when a lot of games are 99cents. their feeble excuse is the games last 30+ hours and are worth it but I'd rather pay $3 and get Kemco's Symphony of Eternity. they don't understand the iOS market.

2. once again they over price games on the wii. think about FF4 after years. once you downloaded everything it is $32 My life as King total price is arpund $30. Life as a Darklord is around $22 with everything. I think that's price gouging hardcore and only the most hardcore of the fanboys will pay for it.

maybe Square Enix should stop over pricing themselves and realize that the product isn't unique or must have anymore. a lot of other devs make great games for a fraction of the cost

stop trying to bleed people dry and make great games that people will buy

scrubbyscum999

#54

scrubbyscum999 said:

Good, maybe SE will get it's act together. They have been really weak in the past few years. How about they get creative, something, ANYTHING better than what they've been doing. Start getting serious about making good games again instead of screwing around like you've been doing SE.

Gamer83

#55

Gamer83 said:

SE's best games this gen have come from the Eidos acquistion. Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Hitman: Absolution are all fantastic games. Sleeping Dogs is as well. It's a shame their main franchises aren't near as good as they used to be though and even with this restructuring it will probably be a while before it's even considered close to one of the top JRPG developers again.

ThreadShadow

#56

ThreadShadow said:

Regarding my previous post. I was sorely mistaken. Yoichi Wada did not create Dragon Quest. I was thinking of Yuji Horii. Yuji Horii created Dragon Quest and for some reason I thought he was ceo of SE.

AlexSora89

#58

AlexSora89 said:

If this means Kingdom Hearts 1,5 HD Remix for Wii U and more exports for S-E titles, then good riddance.

Yeah, a bit harsh, but hey, there's tons of stuff gamers want and they're denied.

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