Former Eidos Montreal Boss Quits Over "Lack of Courage" at Square Enix

Former Eidos Montreal Boss Quits Over "Lack of Courage" at Square Enix

Stephane DAstous

Stephane D'Astous, the former general manager of Deus Ex: Human Revolution studio Eidos Montreal, says "irreconcilable" differences with Square Enix have forced him to leave the company.

Stephane D'Astous had a good run at the head of Eidos Montreal during the making of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but two years later the bloom appears to be off the rose. D'Astous announced today that he has resigned from his newly-accepted position within parent company Square Enix, citing conflicts with upper management as the cause.

"Since last year's financial short-coming performance of Square Enix Europe, we (HQ London and GM Eidos-Montreal) have had growing and divergent opinions on what needed to be done to correct the situation," he said. "The lack of leadership, lack of courage and the lack of communication were so evident, that I wasn't able to conduct my job correctly. I realized that our differences were irreconcilable, and that the best decision was unfortunately to part ways."

D'Astous' resignation is a surprise, as it comes just a month after he took on a new role at Square Enix working directly with newly-appointed head of studios Darrell Gallagher, "focusing on cross-studio operations."

Source: Develop

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Wow... this is the last thing Squenix needs right now. Eidos have been the one studio they could really count on to keep the money rolling in. Losing their former director like this can only mean bad things...

Andy Chalk:

D'Astous' resignation is a surprise, as it comes just a month after he took on a new role at Square Enix working directly with newly-appointed head of studios Darrell Gallagher, "focusing on cross-studio operations."

Perhaps something in this new role prompted the resignation?

Wow, a month is enough time to be considered "irreconcilable" ... they must be 2+ very stubborn men/women 'cos otherwise there would be give and take but it sounds like they wouldn't even talk to each other till the other caved on there position.

Higher ups would be saying "you will make this" and this guy saying "nope, I don't want to".

Come on a month to go from "thanks for the job" all the way to "Fuck it, I'm leaving".

Hopefully, Square-Enix will recognize that they need this guy and they'll bring him back and let him do his job.

Adam Jensen:
Hopefully, Square-Enix will recognize that they need this guy and they'll bring him back and let him do his job.

...dude, it's Square Enix. I want to like them, I really do, but these are the guys that insisted on making a miniseries out of FFXIII and turning Dissidia into a rhythm game. I don't think he'll be coming back.

Andy Chalk:
D'Astous' resignation is a surprise, as it comes just a month after he took on a new role at Square Enix working directly with newly-appointed head of studios Darrell Gallagher, "focusing on cross-studio operations."

So his job was "Cross studio relations" and he was unable to relate with cross-studio executives. This is either a major slight on his abilities, or further proof that Square's upper management is so far up their own asses that they refused to fix the crap they hired him to fix. Based on everything we've heard about Square in the last year, I'm going with the latter.

"Our studio is bleeding money due to bad practices, lets hire a guy to tell us we're doing the right thing. What's that? The guy that we hired to be our Yes-Man is actually trying to do his job? Hahahahaha, no. Let's ignore him." -SquareEnix

Really? You are just going to let the guy running the only subsidiary you own that is actually making you money go? Well guess SE is really intent on self destruction after all.

Though on the other hand how awesome is it when you can just up an quit a probably several 0 dollar paycheck? The man must either have several other offers or a gigantic sack of money stashed under his mattress.

Allow me some speculation but it may have gone something like:

D'Astous: Alright, so we need to get the budgets under control everywhere. We sold all the copies but didn't make money
Squeenix: It's all the western markets' fault. Nothing to do with unmitigated disasters from the Final Fantasy front
D'Astous: They love our games, if we keep it up but just be smart about-
Squeenix: Let me just stop you right there, the western markets didn't buy 100 million copies of Tomb Raider so you didn't make the forecast. Also FFXIV is awesome
D'Astous: Moving on, the mobile division seems to have picked up a reputation for being 'evil incarnate' with terrible games
Squeenix: Let's put SecuROM on our FFVII release!
D'Astous: ...

Zachary Amaranth:
Perhaps something in this new role prompted the resignation?

At a guess, after the triple 'failures' of Human Revolution, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution Squenix Japan are setting ever more impossible targets for the next round of games as a prelude to or smoke screen for killing everything that isn't Final Fantasy.

Or it's a defensive reaction from Japan at the total humiliation of 'Europe' (since Montreal apparently counts as France) producing three hits whilst Japan drops bomb after bomb.

'European arm of famous Japanese business gets stonewalled into oblivion because of success' is not a new line. It's also the logical conclusion of Squenix's completely illogical financial forecasting. Can't blame D'Astous for jumping at the first opportunity.

irreconcilable differences= they were cheating on him with Dr. Paul Kruszewski.

man SE is in a clusterfuck right now. Ever since Sakaguchi left over a decade ago it's been miss after miss and resignation after resignation. They just don't have ANY talent right now.

MCerberus:
Allow me some speculation but it may have gone something like:

D'Astous: Alright, so we need to get the budgets under control everywhere. We sold all the copies but didn't make money
Squeenix: It's all the western markets' fault. Nothing to do with unmitigated disasters from the Final Fantasy front
D'Astous: They love our games, if we keep it up but just be smart about-
Squeenix: Let me just stop you right there, the western markets didn't buy 100 million copies of Tomb Raider so you didn't make the forecast. Also FFXIV is awesome
D'Astous: Moving on, the mobile division seems to have picked up a reputation for being 'evil incarnate' with terrible games
Squeenix: Let's put SecuROM on our FFVII release!
D'Astous: ...

Sounds like Squeenix's line of thinking less D'Astous and more D'sastrous.

Wow. They had an interview with this guy in Edge- in his role as head of Eidos Montreal- just this month. That's quite the turn-around... And bodes ill.

One of the things he had said in the interview was that the upper management had done a pretty good job of keeping their hands off of Eidos Montreal and allowing them to do what they did best... Perhaps moving into his new position he saw something that made him feel that was about to change...?

In any case, it sounded like he had a real and positive role in making E-M a positive place for creative people to work. I think his departure is a bad sign for Square-Enix.

I think it's sad that reading this all I could think about was that if Squeenix went bankrupt and had to sell off everything we might get some really good games out of it.

Doesn't look like words were minced much there. Wow. Perhaps he didn't want that new role so much in the first place? This could easily have been death by a thousand cuts.

fix-the-spade:
At a guess, after the triple 'failures' of Human Revolution, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution Squenix Japan are setting ever more impossible targets for the next round of games as a prelude to or smoke screen for killing everything that isn't Final Fantasy.

That's a great tactic. Set targets so high they can't reasonably be met, then force future targets to be higher to make up for that previous failure.

Whew sounds like lots of power struggles are going on and he got out while the getting was good. This would explain all the odd behavior from SquareEnix along with mixed messages to the public.

I hope they survive this restructuring but with the economies we have right now and so many fat cats used to AAA frameworks will it be a fire sale or a corporate implosion rebirth type thing?

Too bad. You can't deny that his direction worked very well on the last DX:HR. And since that was a successful game, you would think they would look at games that were successful versus games that were not successful and want to keep the people responsible for the successful bits around. I have lost a lot of respect for Square Enix over the last few years. They are simply making mistake after mistake and they amplify those mistakes with each project, then they wonder why games are losing money.

Maybe this is the begining of the end. Maybe SE will go under and then Mistwalker can buy the Final Fantasy licence.

A guy can dream right?

Whatever made him quit likely started before the restructuring ever took place. The entire industry has been in the middle of a shake up ever since crowd funded games took off and the new console generation was announced. Hopefully all the pieces will fall into place over the next two years, both figuratively and literally with old time publishers going out of business.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Wow... this is the last thing Squenix needs right now. Eidos have been the one studio they could really count on to keep the money rolling in. Losing their former director like this can only mean bad things...

Adam Jensen:
Hopefully, Square-Enix will recognize that they need this guy and they'll bring him back and let him do his job.

MCerberus:
Allow me some speculation but it may have gone something like:

D'Astous: Alright, so we need to get the budgets under control everywhere. We sold all the copies but didn't make money
Squeenix: It's all the western markets' fault. Nothing to do with unmitigated disasters from the Final Fantasy front
D'Astous: They love our games, if we keep it up but just be smart about-
Squeenix: Let me just stop you right there, the western markets didn't buy 100 million copies of Tomb Raider so you didn't make the forecast. Also FFXIV is awesome
D'Astous: Moving on, the mobile division seems to have picked up a reputation for being 'evil incarnate' with terrible games
Squeenix: Let's put SecuROM on our FFVII release!
D'Astous: ...

Baresark:
Too bad. You can't deny that his direction worked very well on the last DX:HR. And since that was a successful game, you would think they would look at games that were successful versus games that were not successful and want to keep the people responsible for the successful bits around. I have lost a lot of respect for Square Enix over the last few years. They are simply making mistake after mistake and they amplify those mistakes with each project, then they wonder why games are losing money.

Gizmo1990:
Maybe this is the begining of the end. Maybe SE will go under and then Mistwalker can buy the Final Fantasy licence.

A guy can dream right?

Actually, there is a different story being sung and this came out today as well:

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/final-fantasy-reborn/0119016

"We have remade everything. We can say with confidence that this is a completely new game. The original Final Fantasy XIV was a shock to a lot of fans. It did a lot of damage and we lost a lot of our users' trust. To regain that trust we need to do something that takes time. We have to show them that we really mean it when we say we're sorry."

It humbled us a lot," says Yoshida. "At the time of the first game, there was this feeling that we could do no wrong. And there wasn't really a communication with the players, we just did what we thought was great and didn't listen to the fans.
"In the two and a half years since I joined the project, I have made it a point to listen and make a game that players want. And this stance has not just transformed Final Fantasy XIV, it has transformed the entire company.

"Square Enix now has these radio and TV shows to speak to fans. That mistake we made two and a half years ago has woken up the company."
It's not just about listening to the fans, the Final Fantasy team are now listening to each other, too.

"We do feel it is a rebirth for the Final Fantasy series," says Yoshida. "Each game in the series up until now has been made by a different team that operated independently. We've now made it a company motto that we will get together and move to the future as one entity. That's why you see Final Fantasy XIII, XIV and XV pushing forward as one.

"We still have separate teams working on these games, but the big difference here is that the leaders of these teams are working together, communicating with each other."

Callate:
Wow. They had an interview with this guy in Edge- in his role as head of Eidos Montreal- just this month. That's quite the turn-around... And bodes ill.

One of the things he had said in the interview was that the upper management had done a pretty good job of keeping their hands off of Eidos Montreal and allowing them to do what they did best... Perhaps moving into his new position he saw something that made him feel that was about to change...?

In any case, it sounded like he had a real and positive role in making E-M a positive place for creative people to work. I think his departure is a bad sign for Square-Enix.

Sadly I think your right, he probably jumped ship as he didn't want to be the scape goat for the closure or whatever dumb plan the idiots at SE are upto.
Seriously those guys are idiots, they make some great games that sell well but it's not good enough? Seriously....

Gearhead mk2:

Adam Jensen:
Hopefully, Square-Enix will recognize that they need this guy and they'll bring him back and let him do his job.

...dude, it's Square Enix. I want to like them, I really do, but these are the guys that insisted on making a miniseries out of FFXIII and turning Dissidia into a rhythm game. I don't think he'll be coming back.

You mean the rhyme game that sold over 133,245 copies and holds 78 on metacritc?

Blitzwing:

Gearhead mk2:

Adam Jensen:
Hopefully, Square-Enix will recognize that they need this guy and they'll bring him back and let him do his job.

...dude, it's Square Enix. I want to like them, I really do, but these are the guys that insisted on making a miniseries out of FFXIII and turning Dissidia into a rhythm game. I don't think he'll be coming back.

You mean the rhyme game that sold over 133,245 copies and holds 78 on metacritc?

FF13 got 83 on metacritic; if squeenix isn't above paying people off to give their hilariously bad linear hallway exploration simulators good scores they aren't above paying people off for their rhythm games either.

AuronFtw:

Blitzwing:

Gearhead mk2:
...dude, it's Square Enix. I want to like them, I really do, but these are the guys that insisted on making a miniseries out of FFXIII and turning Dissidia into a rhythm game. I don't think he'll be coming back.

You mean the rhyme game that sold over 133,245 copies and holds 78 on metacritc?

FF13 got 83 on metacritic; if squeenix isn't above paying people off to give their hilariously bad linear hallway exploration simulators good scores they aren't above paying people off for their rhythm games either.

Or people actually like them. Unless you have proof that the reviews were bought just accept that people liked a game you don't.

Blitzwing:

Gearhead mk2:

Adam Jensen:
Hopefully, Square-Enix will recognize that they need this guy and they'll bring him back and let him do his job.

...dude, it's Square Enix. I want to like them, I really do, but these are the guys that insisted on making a miniseries out of FFXIII and turning Dissidia into a rhythm game. I don't think he'll be coming back.

You mean the rhyme game that sold over 133,245 copies and holds 78 on metacritc?

These were the guys that took a fresh, original, incredibly fun miniseries with decent writing and good combat that could be expanded upon in any number of prequels or ported to consoles to add even more stuff to it's already huge amount of content... and turned it into A PLOTLESS RYTHM GAME. I love Dissidia, 012 is one of my fav games, and they're not making them anymore because they thought it would be better as a DDR clone! I just don't get it! Besides, reviews and figures don't matter. Critics aren't perfect or could be bought off, and people seem to throw money at bad games whenever they see them nowadays. If freaking FFXIII got a near-perfect score, I honestly think Square's greasing a few palms.

Gearhead mk2:

Blitzwing:

Gearhead mk2:
...dude, it's Square Enix. I want to like them, I really do, but these are the guys that insisted on making a miniseries out of FFXIII and turning Dissidia into a rhythm game. I don't think he'll be coming back.

You mean the rhyme game that sold over 133,245 copies and holds 78 on metacritc?

These were the guys that took a fresh, original, incredibly fun miniseries with decent writing and good combat that could be expanded upon in any number of prequels or ported to consoles to add even more stuff to it's already huge amount of content... and turned it into A PLOTLESS RYTHM GAME. I love Dissidia, 012 is one of my fav games, and they're not making them anymore because they thought it would be better as a DDR clone! I just don't get it! Besides, reviews and figures don't matter. Critics aren't perfect or could be bought off, and people seem to throw money at bad games whenever they see them nowadays. If freaking FFXIII got a near-perfect score, I honestly think Square's greasing a few palms.

Prove it. I'm tired people claiming that only reason a game they didn't like got good reviews is because they were bribed. And people don't through money at bad games they through it games they liked. If allot of people bought it then guess what? That means allot of people LIKED IT.

Blitzwing:
Prove it. I'm tired people claiming that only reason a game they didn't like got good reviews is because they were bribed. And people don't through money at bad games they through it games they liked. If allot of people bought it then guess what? That means allot of people LIKED IT.

Just because people paid for something doesn't mean they liked it. Colonial Marines made money, but that was all preorder hype, and when people sat down and played it they realised it was OK at best and Mindjack level bad at worst. Besides, I don't hate on everything I don't like that gets good reviews. I'm not a big fan of Bioshock and I think it's heavily over-rated, but I understand why the series scored such shining reviews. But FFXIII... I legitimately don't understand why anyone liked any part of it.

All that, and this game was getting near perfect scores? Perfect scores? I saw one mag that gave it 120 out of 100, and Famitsu fans voted it GOTY! How? Why was it getting all that praise when it's so fundamentally broken in so many different aspects?! The only good thing the game had going for it was it's soundtrack, and you know what? They took that and improved it, along with Lightning's character arc. What in you ask? DISSIDIA! The game they're not making any more because they want to make more crap like FFXIII!

 

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