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Square Enix merger a "complete failure" says former Square boss

Square Enix merger a "complete failure" says former Square boss

Wed 07 Nov 2012 4:02pm GMT / 11:02am EST / 8:02am PST
BusinessPublishing

Hisashi Suzuki took to Twitter to trash the company for having "no vision"

Square Enix recently posted losses and lowered forecasts across the board. Sleeping Dogs shipped 1.5 million units, but it wasn't enough to bolster the publisher's bottom line, and former management seems to have lost faith in the company's ability. Former Square Co. boss Hisashi Suzuki commented on Twitter that the merger of Square Enix back in 2003 has been a "complete failure."

He added in his own disappointment with the current management, saying, "There's no vision for the future."

Suzuki pointed out that the total value of Square Enix as a publicly traded company has still not been able to exceed the value of the publisher before the merger. He noted the high development costs which have been dragging Square Enix down, but hopefully the publisher will get some relief in that area soon, as it recently signed a long-term deal with Epic to use Unreal Engine 3 and 4.

Suzuki was president of Square from 2000 to 2002, and he was intimately familiar with the merged company, having served as director at Square Enix from 2003 to 2005. He is now a director at Sega.

[Thanks Kotaku]

15 Comments

Hugo Dubs

164 24 0.1
Long term contract with Unreal Engine 4
A new internal engine
A new studio in Montreal working on Next gens (hitman)

I don't know but it seems they have some projects in mind...

Posted:A year ago

#1
I thought the purchase of Eidos the cunning(est) move ever....

Posted:A year ago

#2

Hugo Dubs

164 24 0.1
Thanks, I forgot this one.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Heh - maybe HE wanted more Final Fantasy games and other JRPGs without any "western" games coming out and "confusing" fans who still only think of Japanese games when they think Square Enix. They do exist and are amusing to talk to because some of them haven't even played any of the western or European developed games they dislike so much.

Whatever. Anyway, adopting a single game engine does not a successful studio make. Midway tried this with Unreal 3 as well and, well.... (Ka-boom!). That and Unreal 3 hasn't made many truly great JRPGs - just ones that had moments of greatness (Lost Odyssey being the best and non-Square Enix example of this).

Posted:A year ago

#4

James Brightman
Editor in Chief

193 176 0.9
@ Greg, right I wasn't suggesting in the story that UE would solve their problems, but it could lower dev costs slightly.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
@James - yup, I got that. The game dev cost will indeed be cheaper, but given that Square's past UE3 games haven't been so amazing, I hope to heck they get over the graphics being such a huge key to success thing and just make games people want to play that work because they have stories and gameplay that are better that the visuals.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Nathan Aston
Studying BSc (Hons) Computing and Games Development

1 0 0.0
Honestly - as a gamer - I've been saying this for years, there's been a steady decline in the quality of what people want from them (everything they did before acquiring Eidos, because that's Eidos stuff, not Square stuff).

As for the developer side of me, I'm just not a fan of the "one size fits all" approach to game development, UE(3) being one of the biggest culprits of devs taking this route - Just compare any cross-platform AAA title that's come out in the past 3 or so years running on UE3. The most fitting analogy would probably be a company bringing out a 'box' that you put your platform of choice in. Of course, the box fits the 360 perfectly and has no issues whatsoever - but the PS3 has it stretched and just about ready to break and a (traditional desktop) PC wouldn't even come close to fitting. And you could put your wii in it I guess, but whether the company actually supports the wii is a whole different question.

What I'm trying to say is that companies need to stop relying on these next gen engines and their ability to "one click create" a binary for every platform, and instead they need to actually work on making them work with the same (relative) degree of both reliability, performance and just downright being appropriate for the platform.

Sorry, rant over.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nathan Aston on 7th November 2012 6:47pm

Posted:A year ago

#7

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
@Nathan - that's not a rant, as it makes sense.

Of course, with many console AAA games costing so much to make from scratch, the decision sort of works because SQ-EX has the teams that can make the engines work for what they need them to do. The usual problems here are games that have a sameness to them in terms of being incredibly flashy but bland and empty thanks to a lack of interactivity with objects and most NPCs. But hey, perhaps we'll both be surprised at what's coming. I sure as hell hope so...

Posted:A year ago

#8

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
I am willing to hold out in belief that Square Enix can turn this around.

With Dragon Quest X to arrive soon to the west as well as Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns also coming soon, I just have only a little faith in this company.

But then, they have been dissapointing to their faithful in recent years by not releasing Final Fantasy Verses XIII and Kingdom Hearts 3. They still don't say anything and only tease us when they want to make us believe those projects are still being made.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

969 1,162 1.2
@ James Word on the grapevine is the UE4, while very powerful, is also VERY expensive, and represents a major cost increase from UE3. I'd be interested to see a more specific breakdown of the costs, but form what I have heard from some friends in the industry. licensing UE4 is not necessarily a money-saver at all.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
I don't think it necessarily is.

If they didn't merge then the company could have crashed and burned (hence the original reason for the union). There is no denying that they could have done a lot better in the past decade and missed a million and one opportunities.

They could be one of the most successful video game companies of all time at this stage had things been different, but I don't think the merger itself is to blame, but a matter of management, direction and old practices over time.

The Tec Guy ~AC

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 8th November 2012 5:32pm

Posted:A year ago

#11
has anyone seen bravely default or philharmonica or other slew of Squeenix titles coming out of JP, I'm not sure what they are doing but they are burning a hot zinger on the money in terms of digital titles. New IP that is not Final fantasy (or elements of FF/tactics/dragon quest) but at least its really fun!

Posted:A year ago

#12

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,024 0.7
I do wonder how much of what the company has wasted is down to Square trying to relive old times in strategically stupid ways. For instance, cashing in on the Final Fantasy name with the re-released FFVII PC - something that is technically worse than the 15 year old PC version (since that can be modded), and which isn't available anywhere except the Square-Enix store. Okay, not many dev costs associated with it, but good God - Square definitely comes across as a company that is hamstrung by their reliance on certain IP.

At least Eidos is trying, with Deus Ex: HR and Thief 4.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 8th November 2012 7:06am

Posted:A year ago

#13

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

717 500 0.7
Eidos is their window to the western marked with western products, like Capcom did with the people behind Dead rising 2, for example.

As for the products they bring from Japan. Each time I read about "Final Fantasy XiIII-3" I can't help but think that you don't actually have to release a game just because you can...

Posted:A year ago

#14

Murray Lorden
Game Designer & Developer

199 71 0.4
For this guy to suggest Eidos is letting the whole team down doesn't seem entirely fair. The entire industry has been somewhat in decline hasn't it? Although I can imagine the two companies have very different cultures, coming from different parts of the world. I was surprised when I heard about the purchase of Eidos.

Eidos are still publishing some of the best PC games out there, I think they're doing pretty respectably.

Still keen for Thief 4. Hope it doesn't get f&*$'d over along the way.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Murray Lorden on 8th November 2012 11:37am

Posted:A year ago

#15

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