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Huge Square Enix losses were a sign I should move on - Yoichi Wada
Huge Square Enix losses were a sign I should move on - Yoichi Wada
April 9, 2013 | By Mike Rose

April 9, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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    10 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"The huge loss was like a voice from the heavens telling me it's time to move on."
- former Square Enix president Yoichi Wada explains why he is stepping down from his management role at the Japanese publisher.

The company is estimating an "extraordinary loss" of 13.0 billion yen ($137.9 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, due in part to weak console game sales.

As part of a Square Enix briefing session, Wada said, "Chairman of the Board Wada cannot allow President Wada to continue after plunging the company into a huge loss."

"I, personally, would have liked to wait and hand over the firm when it is at its best," he added, noting that after giving it much thought, "I have judged that it would be best to support the company in other ways as I hand over my roles and responsibilities. For this reason, I have decided to step down."

Wada has passed the presidential role on to Yosuke Matsuda, who said that he intended "to perform a fundamental and zero-base review of all businesses, operations, and assets across the group."

"In the light of extreme changes in the industry, we must dig in deep on what really works and what doesn't, invest a good amount of resources in areas we decide to strengthen, and thoroughly constrain the areas that we don't see working for us," he added.

The company plans to reveal these plans as part of its full fiscal year results next month.

As for Wada, he will no longer be a staff member of Square Enix Holdings, but instead will look for other ways to support the company, "including exploiting new businesses, and to yield sound results and performances."


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Comments


Mike Griffin
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"...we must dig in deep on what really works and what doesn't, invest a good amount of resources in areas we decide to strengthen."

Provide Eidos Montreal with any resources it needs.
That's quite possibly your top Western studio (and best bet) at the moment.

Mike Griffin
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Well, Tomb Raider was another Crystal Dynamics effort.
Only the game's multiplayer element got 'farmed out' to Eidos Montreal, not the main game or campaign.
That being said, Crystal Dynamics produced one of the better titles in this troubled year for Square Enix.

Eric McVinney
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Re-evalute the FF series, thoroughly. That's their bread and butter, but they let it get stale and moldy with the time wasted on crap-tastic character development, plot holes, and poorly executed features/game mechanics (i.e. FF13).

Invest in Steam sales and more tablet titles, as well. There's a ton of potential outside the console market with the IPs that they have.

Eric McVinney
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Meh... To each their own when it comes to the FF series. Not that I disagree 100% with you, but it was 75% issues with the game mechanics and 25% with the characters when it comes to FF13, to me.

John Maurer
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I agree with you Eric, the Final Fantasy IP does need an full audit. Fans of the series (and even chrono trigger) have been crying for simple things like a re-release with a face lift. No need for voice actors (dialogue boxes work perfectly fine IMO) or anything else over the top, just deliver the same game, sequence-by-sequence, give it a face-lift, and BOOM, big sales.

It might also be interesting to see what a western developer could do with an IP like that. Not that I have anything against JRPG's, but I believe that a more western implementation might be better recieved by the masses.

Eric McVinney
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Bioware would have a field day with an FF title. God, make it so. Without EA intruding, of course. We don't need to ruin anything good ;)

Justin LeGrande
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seemed like the main problem with FFXIII's design was that the main person who spearheaded the project's movie-like qualities, Tetsuya Nomura, (who also directed Advent Children), as well as those who rallied around him, preferred to draw the series design architecture away from "seek out unknown/mysterious places with scripted sets of events" into "push the plot through a tunnel, with a shell that gives the illusion of spacial depth".

Speaking of whom, FF Versus XIII never did see the light of day... it's probably going to become FFXV at this rate. Tetsuya Nomura is not just the creative director, but also the overall director, of that game. So we may see FF going through some narrow tunnels in the future, as well...

At least the FFXIV 2.0 Beta is coming along infinitely better than the FFXIV 1.0 Beta ever did... It might also behoove them to bring FF Type-0 onto the PS Vita, since the Vita is so desperate outside of Japan...

Justin LeGrande
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Yoichi Wada came to Square right before the Enix merger, during the days of Square's golden age; so he was one of the people who gave the go-ahead for the merger. Square-Enix has since garnered a reputation among consumers for driving both their Square and Enix properties into the ground, but still doing good work with Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

It seems like he was able to flow with the company culture at the time for a few years, but eventually, he had to deal with managing a veritable Smörgåsbord of properties; so he may have just eventually been overwhelmed by the increasing pressure in the AAA market.

I would have preferred Square and Enix to keep their "boutique" status for their choice of supported titles, but I don't know the business metrics behind their decisions...

Bruno Xavier
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Squeenix should stop milking Final Fantasy for a while. The thing is, fans are tired of so many FF games everywhere. And new characters/worlds for every new FF seems not a very good idea these days...

Make a new Chrono Trigger and continue the Chrono-Cross franchise that never left PS1; Publish on PS3, PS4, XBoxes and Steam... I bet that would drive in good profit and many happy fans. (IF done right)

Jeremy English
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I'm still waiting for the Mischief Makers remake.


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