CEO: Square Enix Has Become "Weaker Than Expected"

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CEO: Square Enix Has Become "Weaker Than Expected"

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Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada explains why the company lost so much money last year and how it hopes to recover in the future.

Square Enix recently published a revised financial forecast where the company projected a loss of around 12 billion ($148 million) for the financial year ending on March 31, 2011. Not good. CEO Yoichi Wada explains that the company's methods had unexpectedly become weak, and may take a year or two to bring back up to speed.

Speaking at an investor's briefing (via Andriasang), Wada admitted: "Our game development has become weaker than expected. Revamping it will take one or two years."

4.5 billion of the losses were partially related to the development of Final Fantasy XIV, which received such a poor response that Square Enix still still isn't charging a monthly fee for it more than 6 months after release, and the cancellation of multiple titles. Wada revealed that Square Enix suffered from poor internal communication between project leads and subordinates, in addition to a work environment where employees weren't able to properly divide tasks amongst each other.

To bring the company back into profitability, Wada laid out a plan that includes the development of 5 brand new IPs. These IPs would join established franchises such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, and Hitman. Two would come from Square Enix's Tokyo branch, one from Eidos Montreal, one from IO Interactive, and one from Square Enix's Wimbledon studio. Wada also hopes to expand Square Enix's presence in social networking and mobile markets, taking advantage of external developers with more experience in those realms, as opposed to current staff that's used to working on packaged products.

Development on the new brands could take 3 to 5 years, Wada predicts. Square Enix does have a strong lineup of titles announced for the near future, which include Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Hitman: Absolution, the Tomb Raider reboot, Dragon Quest X, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and more. Perhaps these titles, combined with its brand new IPs, can help Square Enix make a recovery in the future.

Source: Andriasang

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Square Enix needs to actually focus on making quality rather than quantity. These days if I see a Square Enix game that isn't Final Fantasy I avoid it because so many of their games are low quality.

Here's what you do. Put a Kingdom Hearts 3 secret movie at the end of every game you put out. Your games are sold. This is a fact.

I can tell you right now. Final Fantasy XIII-2. Cancel that.

You know, I realize the portable gaming systems are likely profitable, but if they later released these titles for download on PSN and XBL, I would think they'd do well with that. I don't have a DS, but I might play a Dragon Quest game.

Also, Kingdom Hearts died as a franchise for me when it took a purchase of three different systems to follow that convoluted ass story.

I think Square could use an infusion of new ideas, so the new IPs sound promising.

Square does really need a revamp...

Except for Deus Ex, that's looking really good and I hope this in no way negatively affects that game.

I'd like to see them get better, but only under the ideal that they improve their games, FF13 was fun but a massive letdown, I'd rather go dig out my PS1 and replay FF7 again and again and again...

Extra: I get that they might never remake FF7... but at the very least release it on XBLA, that is a ton of cash right there at minimal effort.

blue heartless:
Here's what you do. Put a Kingdom Hearts 3 secret movie at the end of every game you put out. Your games are sold. This is a fact.

To maybe a few extra people, but then the video gets on YouTube and people who only care about KH3 and not the other game just watch it for free.

If they really want money, they should just, you know, cut the bullshit and give people KH3.

Kingdom Hearts 3 would bring a lot more cash than bringing out endless side-games which are slowly killing off the fanbase.
Don't make new IPs, make Kingdom Hearts 3 and make it good.

I will be buying Deus Ex, and most likely the other FF XIII games, hope you are able to pull it together Square Enix.

the last game that interested me from their japanese end was Nier. I'm a big fan of the hitman and Deus Ex franchises but they were all before the merger so we'll see what they do with them now...

I have a sneaking suspicion that Square screaming for a shooter is what made Kane and Lynch 2 such a poor game...

Sounds a bit like the Capcom 5 plan. Well, except for Killer 7 I don't know much about the other games that came from that plan. Maybe only saying this because there are five brand new IPs in both plans. I don't know if thats enough to make a comparison. Well, I hope they are good games in any case.

No Chrono? Still? I am disappoint.

Want to make millions of dollars Square?

Protip: Final Fantasy 6, 7 and a new Chrono.

That is all.

I really have lost interest, and that's coming from someone who enjoys the Final Fantasy series. I forgave FFXIII for its little problems, and quirks like you forgive a child that's trying it's best but has smeared paint up the walls while drawing you a picture.

To be honest, the only game I really want them to make is a sequel to The World Ends With You. If I saw that I'd be excited, but otherwise...

Step One: No. More. Final Fantasy MMO's. A ton of cash (and disappointment) saved right there.
Step Two: Listen to your fans on Final Fantasy games, don't just make changes in one go (ala FF13) gradually phase them in slowly.
Step Three: For me, base Hitman on the previous games, not the terrible movie
Step Four: Release Final Fantasy Versus 13!
Step Five: Kingdom Hearts 3
Step Six: Don't mess up Tomb Raider
Step Seven: Profit?

I really don't think that re-releasing old titles is a good plan like everyone is saying release some new IPs like their doing then new famous franchises will spring up hopefully which random people will want remade.

EDIT: By the way so no one mistakes what I am saying they can re-release old games just remaking them seems pointless

Perhaps they'll get round to a FF7 remake? Surely that would make a nice amount of money from longtime fans and people who have never played the fabled 'best' FF game (like me).

King_Serpent:
I really don't think that re-releasing old titles is a good plan like everyone is saying release some new IPs like their doing then new famous franchises will spring up hopefully which random people will want remade.

EDIT: By the way so no one mistakes what I am saying they can re-release old games just remaking them seems pointless

I can understand your position but I wasn't speaking of some simple re-release. A complete redo of FF7 that was like that teaser trailer a few years ago would rake in some serious dough. The same could be said of a modern FF6.

As for Chrono, a new one, please.

King_Serpent:
Sounds a bit like the Capcom 5 plan. Well, except for Killer 7 I don't know much about the other games that came from that plan. Maybe only saying this because there are five brand new IPs in both plans. I don't know if thats enough to make a comparison. Well, I hope they are good games in any case.

Killer7 came out, PN-03 came out (and was quickly forgotten), Viewtiful Joe came out, one from the five was cancelled and I think the fifth game was Resi Evil 0, which also came out.

Hell remaking FF7 would probably bring in a lot of dosh (also please don't start ranting about other FF's to be remade). I'm hoping Dungeon Siege and Deus Ex will be good. But having some new IP's would definitely help. Also, yeah don't bother with 13-2, hell I stopped playing FF series after 9, though I did try out 10 and have a fervent wish for dissidia on ps3 so I can brutally slaughter Tidus.

ha the dumb bastards dont want to do it but it look like their share holders might literally FORCE them to make kingdom hearts 3 to make up for this loss.

Is it too much to ask for Square to try to come with new ideas instead of releasing from established franchises? The last Square game I actually liked was The World Ends With You.

joebear15:
ha the dumb bastards dont want to do it but it look like their share holders might literally FORCE them to make kingdom hearts 3 to make up for this loss.

its not that they dont want to make KH3.. its that the KH team is working on versus 13 currently. And going about it very slowly.

Maybe working on their flagship franchise, making it good again and taking a back to basics approach might help.

They should also try doing some new things. Ya know take some ideas from our friend daniel get some indie work in there maybe we can create some really interesting indie rpgs.

I don't even know what I want from Square anymore, to be honest. Compelling new content, instead of constant remakes, I guess, but when I try to define the difference between compelling new content and crap, I honestly stumble into a wall. What would a fresh, GOOD Final Fantasy look like? Or just any RPG? They don't want to (or just can't) take time on story or environment anymore, it seems. Personally, I think that's a huge issue for their genres. I really feel like if we can't get passed the "everything must be max resolution/max detail" stage, studios like Square can't appeal to their audience.

Being a story and exploration gamer, I wish we could get past this. I DEFINITELY enjoy me some pretty games. Pretty is definitely pretty, but if time spent on Pretty takes away from Fun or even Interesting, count me out.

I miss the PS2 generation. Or even just give me PS1 graphics with enough anti-aliasing that the world isn't built of triangles. Whatever it takes to get story and exploration back in with my combat and customization. I'm tired of games that feel like half their soul is missing.

Me thinks their is too much focus on quantity here over quality. Really, was anyone begging for a sequel to FF XIII? I didn't even like the game. This could go the dangerous route FF X-2 went.

It's going to take a lot of effort on the part of Square to make fans care agains. Releasing sequels people actually want. While releasing old games isn't a good long term strategy it could boost some early capital. People have been begging you for FFVII. You are really going to ignore that sweet cash smell?

I think the Squeenix devs need to be more honest with themselves about the quality of the games they make, If you went to work and new what you were doing sucked and could be better, and you get paid all the same to make it better... then just make it better.

I think All new games that have fresh ideas, should have a very early public test build of the game with a large multiple choice questionnaire on the end something akin to the lost planet 1 demo where people voted what they liked and didn't. I think they voted in a melee attack for the player character.

However when making an Ip, just make a test demo build, don't worry about the story, let your consumers kick the tires a bit before hand, take in their take on it and better tool you're game. I mean just because games are now art, they aren't like films or books, you have to listen to your buyers, because they are playing it.

Devs have free reign on the plot and characters, and mechanics, but if you let us tell you they movement feels bad, and the camera sucks at the get go, then you have months ahead of you to nip those problems in the bud.

Say if there was a test build of ff 13 Im sure people would have been like," the combat system is weak sauce, and they leveling is bland"

Well, it's not every day that you hear a CEO come out and say "We've been making sucky games. We need our games to suck less. Bear with us while we do that."

It's... refreshing.

I hope they find a way to put their money where their mouth is.

We have been told that it is technically impossible to remake FF7. I don't know what the deal is with that though, but if they spent all the development time and resources that they did on those not-so-good mmo games on actually remaking FF7, they will make a ton of cash baby!

I have been dreaming and obsessing of a FF7 remake since the launch of the PS2......

Just one thing. If they make FF7, they should make it a PS3 exclusive so that the development of the game won't be hindered by cross-platform woes.

How Sqaure can make a good game again:

1. Get your house in order. Final Fantasy 13 and 14 makes in pretty evident that the different departments have poor communications amongst each other. This ends up in a convoluted crap pile of a game.

2. Go remake Final Fantasy VI and VII current gen to remember what good JRPG's were like.

3. Quit messing with the formula. Oh, tweak it. Find ways to make it more engaging, but don't scrap it. How do you think Nintendo still makes money hand over fist with characters that are over 20 years old on a crap system? Because they improve on them. They don't give Mario a rifle and try to make a half ass shooter out of it.

4. Fire your story writers. Get ones that can make sort of sense, and not babble on like some elder god cultist.

5. You are not allowed to use apostrophes in names of anything, unless it's simply to show possession (like Death's Knell, or Fisherman's Coast, ect.) No more Xi'tah, Vi'rah, Yure'mah'mah, or what have you. Never. Ever. Again. Hopefully that would be partially fixed by
#4.

6. If your graphic designers say they can't do something (like make a city in current gen) tell them you're sure there are plenty of promising young graphic designers that would LOOOOVE to give it a shot.

7. Anti social emo characters can make interesting side characters (Auron, Vincent, ect.) You want to figure out what makes them tick. They do not make interesting MAIN characters. Why? That would be because THEY ARE ANTI SOCIAL and have to usually be goaded into advancing the plot, usually by an annoyingly positive female character, that for some reason, despite that guy being more or less a absolute dick to her, insists on being his love interest.

8. Quit having main character love interests that, for some reason, despite the main character being more or less a dick to them, insist on being the main character's love interest.

9. Use 1-shot new IP's for experimenting with game mechanics and such. If they end up being a hit, you can integrate it in future versions of your stable IPs. If it ends up sucking royally, you don't tarnish your stable IP's name with it.

10. A RPG should be a vast world, seemingly teeming with life. Not sterile corridor after corridor of pretty lights and graphics.

Put the FF10 combat mechanics back into your games Squeenix, and what would you get?...
PROFIT.

There must be a reason for not remaking FF7. I like the idea of new IPs, The World Ends With You was the last most awesome jrpg I played.

Tip#1
Fire Wada, Fire Nomorua.....Rehire Sakaguchi....

Umm heres an idea. make some more kingdom hearts...and re-release ff7. Ummm there ya go. I mean i didn't go to marketing college or nuthin but just give the ppl what they want. Oh and if you have time some parasite eve would be appreciated.

I guess the lesson learned here is when you start to prioritize profit over customer's ideas, suggestions and feedback, you become weaker.

Revamp what most people here have said and throw in some Mana series reboots. Seriously, any Mana game would probably be epic if done right.

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