The company had sold off some of its prominent developers, including Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, a few months prior; and along with that, it also lost some big franchises, including Tomb Raider.
On top of that, the colossal failure of Babylon’s Fall has taken the game offline after less than a year; and Luminous Productions will now be folded into Square Enix after the failure of its forgettable action game Forspoken.
So now what? Apparently, company president and representative director Yosuke Matsuda is on his way out.
The company noted in a statement that Matsuda will leave his position in June, set to be replaced by current company director Takashi Kiryu.
While Matsuda has had years of experience in the industry with his work with Square and, before that, Taito, there had been a lot of talk surrounding the company’s failures – landing squarely on his shoulders.
After the massive failure of Marvel’s Avengers and the muted performance of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Square made some moves to try and land on the profitable side of things. This included selling off the aforementioned game studios to Embracer Group, along with controversially investing in the blockchain/NFT market. Matsuda insisted this was the right move, despite a majority of his gaming audience telling him that they didn’t want to be involved with it.
Perhaps the last straw came with Forspoken, which came out quietly earlier this year and faced all sorts of criticism, namely for its character’s attitude and lack of solid development. That, coupled with the other mentioned failures, may have been too much for Square Enix to bare.
“Under the rapid change of business environment surrounding the entertainment industry, the proposed change is intended to reshape the management team with the goal of adopting ever- evolving technological innovations and maximizing on the creativity of [Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd.]’s group in order to deliver even greater entertainment to its customers around the world,” the company noted.
It's unknown if Matsuda will be sticking around. However, given his choices over the years and his insistence that the NFT/blockchain market would be of tremendous value (despite dipping
prices with its stock and a lack of general interest from the gaming audience), we’re wondering if the company would’ve been better off if he departed sooner.
Regardless, Square Enix will now try to move forward with its new management – and hopefully success with its forthcoming Final Fantasy XVI, which will arrive sometime this year.
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