Luminous Productions merged into Square Enix closed shut down Final Fantasy XV Forspoken

Square Enix and its wholly owned subsidiary Luminous Productions have both announced that Luminous Productions will be merged into Square Enix on May 1, 2023. Luminous Productions was the developer of Forspoken, and until the date of the merger, Luminous will continue working on a performance patch for Forspoken, as well as its previously announced In Tanta We Trust DLC. Luminous had been established as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2018, but prior to that it, Luminous staff largely comprised just another development team within Square Enix, having developed and released Final Fantasy XV in 2016.

As for why Luminous Productions is being merged into Square Enix, the latter stated the reorganization will help it to create higher-quality AAA games. One of the specifically stated reasons is that Luminous has “not only with AAA title development capabilities but also technical expertise in areas such as game engine development.”

That sounds quite nice, but what is more likely is that Forspoken simply didn’t meet whatever sales expectations Square Enix had for the game. Square Enix is notorious for saying critically well-received games in its portfolio didn’t meet its sales expectations, such as Outriders and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but Forspoken is a game where both critical and casual reception was mixed. Frankly, it wouldn’t be that surprising if Forspoken genuinely sold an underwhelming number of copies by many metrics.

Of course, a merger is always better than mass layoffs. Hopefully Luminous Productions being merged back into Square Enix will only result in better games.

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