Square Enix: Future Uncertain
Square Enix, formerly known as SquareSoft, and the new owner of Eidos,. is the team of RPG giants that created, among other things, Final Fantasy, Legend of Mana (a.k.a. Secret of Evermore), Kingdom Hearts, and the lesser-known titles that are not known to some people, but still two of my favorite games by them: The Bouncer and Bushido Blade 2. Known for their Final Fantasy games, among others, but every person has their favorites by this company.
They merged with Enix, and things seemed like smooth sailing, for a while. Fiscal 2009 was a record year for SE:, as of April 22, 2009, they bought Eidos, owners of Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Hitman, and Legacy of Kain franchises, and business seemed to keep going in SE’s favor as they kept moving along with Kingdom Hearts portable games for the PSP and DS,. And Final Fantasy XIII’s games, and the MMO Final Fantasy XIV,. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Tomb Raider reboot and the newly announced Hitman: Absolution and Final Fantasy XIII-2. What happened to the legendary company? We will start with Final Fantasy XIII, which was not a horrible game, just more so an avearage game, with nothing making it really stand out.
As much as I did not like the game play, It still told a good story with some great character designs
While a great selling game, it was not so much of a great game in the factor of reviews, mostly due to how long it takes to get to the ‘Open World’ part and the combat that tried to bring in the western gamers, and this is what companies like SE and Capcom need to understand: we play their games because they are not western. Not everyone over here likes a western flair to their games.
Now, Final Fantasy XIII was not completely horrible, but overall, it just felt rushed.
This game started shunning the eastern games; oddly enough, their homeland of Japan was not the target for a game franchise that has thrived and, debatably, kept Square in the game this long.
This lack of respect for its home turf is not the only crippling flaw in FFXIII’s development, though. One major factor in how a game turns out is the play testing. Yeah, this is designed to make sure the game is fun,. but here is what SE had to say about it.
“So focus testing sessions were held in Western markets. And they achieved…well, nothing. Unfortunately, we were already quite far along in development, and knew it would be too late to implement most of the feedback from the player test sessions.”
I’m sorry… WHAT? Why would you bother holding a play test, if you know it is too late to apply any feedback you are going to get? I cannot fathom why they did this;, you want to play test a little right when you get it running, so you can see if people like the game! Play testing is why they make a cohesive Alpha code! Let’s read on and find out why they held it in the western market, which shows where the focus was.
“Even so, we still signed up for the opportunity, as this would be our only chance before the game’s release to see how Western players would respond to all that we had been working on.”
Well, let’s face it.. Normally, this is how it goes:. you either like Final Fantasy, or you don’t. That is just how it is, and most people who like FF have been playing it for a long time, so why completely disregard a fan base to try and ‘expand’? Why are Jjapanese companies trying to westernize their games? (Also looking at Capcom with that comment.)
And this might have been the largest disappointment in 2010.
Yeah, Final Fantasy XIV, who didn’t expect to see this. Sitting with a 5.0/10 from reviewers on Metacritic, and a 3.4/10 from players, this game completely bombed., I have not played the game, as I tend to not play MMO’s; however, I know the crisis that struck when the game came out. SE is however trying to fix it, with the help from it’s fans on top of the three major patches they have announced for the game.
Since launching in November, it has been reported to have sold roughly 650,000 units.
FFXI was not a bad game, but how did they mess this one up? Now, once again, I have not played the game, so I quote a few problems from sources.
1UP says: “There is a game with considerable depth and potential here, but it needs another six to nine months before it’s ready for primetime,” further stating that “it’s impossible to recommend to anyone in its current state.”
So, it could be a great game, but they have to fix it before it can be. Does that mean that SE rushed it out the door to hopefully change the profit forecast for their fiscal year, and instead, it backfired? Or did they rush it because they knew their other big hitting titles would not make it in time?
Speaking of which, SE bought Eidos, and so they acquired a game with a big name in. Deus Ex.
I have never played this game… But he looks awesome. Might be the glasses…
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was delayed from February till at least, according to GameSstop, the release date is 8/23/2011, and with this game now out of the picture for this fiscal year, SE decided to drop it further.
We know that Square Enix has lost $150 million… which that is no small number… at all…
With is SE losing touch with their fan base, or was this just one major mishap for the company? With the next fiscal year looking a good bit stronger, what with the games like, Deus Ex, a hopefully fixed Final Fantasy XIV for the PS3, and the slight hope for Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Type 0, as well as Tomb Raider and Hitman’s return, we can hope that SE will right what went wrong this year for them.
The handheld market has been good for SE, with strong franchises such as Kingdom Hearts and Dragon Quest still doing a reign of terror in Japan, while Dissidia Final Fantasy has finding a crowd as well.SE’s game in handhelds has stayed true to their Japanese roots,. sSo why has the home console market changed for them so much? And I think we can look to Yoichi Wada, the current president and representative director of Square Enix, for this;, he, like Keiji Inafune (co-creator of Mega Man, illustrator on Street Fighter, and former Global Head of Production for Capcom), wants to westernize the market, even though, all the Japanese companies that are trying to do this are failing.
Noctis (Final Fantasy Versus XIII) And the new Lightning (Final Fantasy Xiii-2)
SE needs to understand that people like their games because they are Japanese. And Japan will buy games, if it is interested in them. Monster Hunter Portable 3’rd sold a staggering 3.3 million total copies in the first seventeen days of release, which that proves that the Japanese market is not dead. They just don’t care as much for the games that are westernized.
Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV have now left a bad stain on the name of FF, and SE now needs to prove to the fans that these were a simple mistakes. And I’d assume they are going to use Versus XIII to do that,. which puts a lot of pressure on the game, and its director, concept/character designer Tetsuya Nomura,. as the fan base of FF are now looking at his game to be shown off, hopefully as to redeem the franchise.
It is bad that SE has turned to the western market so much that they’ve left almost their entire fanbase behind almost. I think they will recover from this whole event, but it is going to take some re-evaluation on the CEO’s part in this game, while we can only hope that the other games coming down the pipeline are better than the past ones.
So, what do you think? Is SE really going to fall? Have they become to focused on the western market? I for one think so.