lightning-returns.jpg

Square Enix has been making news again – this time for posting a loss of 5.7 billion yen in its most recent financial statement, having posted a profit of 5 billion yen for the same period last year – the loss now being blamed on intense competition in the Japanese video game market and the fact that for some inexplicable reason foreigners refuse to buy its fine titles.

Despite the discouraging loss, April-December sales were up 7% to 102 billion yen, in no small part thanks to moderate sales from the likes of Hong Kong-based GTA clone Sleeping Dogs (1.5 million) and newly streamlined Hitman: Absolution.

However, their sales were not enough to cover development and marketing expenses, resulting in an operating loss of 4.8 billion yen, down from a profit of 11.2 billion on the same period a year earlier.

Commenting on the 42% drop in profits, CFO Yousuke Matsuda says “the hurdle to achieving our projections is very high.”

Despite all this, the company’s share price actually rose quite handily – though admittedly from its lowest point ever:

square-enix-1.gif
square-enix-2.gif

Japanese gamers are as supportive of ever of this national champion:

“Keep trying with those social games! w”

“What happened to all the social games they were supposed to be so great at?”

“Glad I didn’t buy Sleeping Dogs after all.”

“Don’t worry, there is always FF14!”

“I like the manga they publish so I hope they don’t go bankrupt.”

“Blame it on Sony for messing up on the hardware side.”

“They still have an ace up their sleeve in the form of a FF7 remake.”

“Square Enix is the very picture of hell now – remake, social, remake, social…”

“What do they expect after treating their creators as disposable contract employees?”

“Looks like all they have left is tricking children into buying items in their social games.”

“This is why everyone is telling them to remake FF7.”

“FF7 has too many towns to be remade!”

“When are they going to remake this damn game already…”

“The popularity of both FF and DQ is waning… it really seems this company is in denial over that.”

“When their backs are against the wall, they’ll still be able to remake Romancing SaGa 2!”

“Remakes are a total waste of time and money.”

“Have they even made a post-2000 hit? They just rely on their old titles, and don’t even seem interested in trying to make new games.”

“They dumped their core creators, I can’t understand that. You can’t expect to outsource your core team like that.”

“What do you expect, Wada is just some financier who doesn’t understand a company’s knowledge comes from its people, not the company itself. Now they just drive out their veterans as being too old. Management ruined their social venture, and their publishing arm has no future now FMA has finished. All they have left now is DQ – expect them to remake it into the ground.”

“They constantly fawned over the overseas market whilst neglecting their Japanese core market – and this is the result!”

“Bamco makes for quite a contrast. Square are just industry losers now.”

“Bamco is still actually making games, after all. They do make social games, but they are still making proper games as well. Same with Capcom.”

“Expect them to end up being taken over by Bandai at some point.”

“Square Enix Bandai Namco…”

“Would the Japanese game industry have died already without social gaming to keep it afloat?”

“More like, they would have never fallen this far without social gaming.”

“I cannot comprehend why this company, with all the dreadful content and gameplay mistakes it rolled into FF13, is insisting on sticking to it all the way to a third game now.”

“Simple, they invested so much into it they have to keep trying to reuse it all so they can recover their investment.”

“I hope they crash and burn along with Gree!”

“If they can just keep this up for a few years they may finally be able to get rid of Wada…”


    Post Comment »
    227 Comments
    Sort by: Date | Score
    Comment by Anonymous
    09:11 07/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.9)

    gimme back Xenogears

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:28 07/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Go back top the fucking roots already and stop with the fucking changes o please what the supposed westerner gamers want in their fucking games.

    SO stop westernizing beloved rpgs and go back to the roots, that has always been the appeal of jrpgs to begin with.

    They will continue to fail as long as they insist in introducing western elements in jrps.

    You are losing a consolidated western fanbase that loves jrps for a reason in exchange of risking appealing to western gamers that have never actually liked jrpgs to begin with.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    12:01 07/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Back to their roots...

    You know, they may be able to spring back if they looked at small RPG niche companies like NIS and took some notes: Lots of cheapish reusable sprites rather than immaculately crafted 3D models. Lots of game mechanics and good writing. They could probably slash development costs so much with that, they could even include a range of different endings. They wouldn't have to turn it into a funny over the top fanservice fest like NIS loves, but if they could stop being so obsessed with perfect hyperdetailed scenes, they could actually make a world with some depth to it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:07 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tactics used by smaller companies don't include strong multimillion dollar ad campaigns, here's the thing if you market a videogame right as and thrown so much God damn money added that everyone knows its name, you can make your money back at the very least.

    Scaling back the development size from what was Final Fantasy XIII $70 million, scaling that retarded amount of money back to may be 5 million, and don't get me wrong that women sacrifice gameplay that would you sacrifice the graphics, the things that really do not matter in a game besides make it look pretty. If they scale back the graphics on the game to the extent that they're just using sprites they could probably turn a profit even on a failure like Final Fantasy XIII.

    No design in the game with Westerners in mind isn't a bad idea, but that really entails is just not having such obscure cultural references that anyone who doesn't already know them would never figure them out. Think of it like pop culture references in anime, for the most part Westerners are not understand any pop-culture reference to celebrities in Japan, the kind of think of it like scaling it back so it's not so much culture shock where you have to read a fucking codex just to figure out what the hell that means. Sure you might not get the rabid fans who want to immerse themselves in complete Japanese culture but you also make yourself more accessible to the mass audiences.

    With Square Enix really needs to do is two things.
    Number one, just because something is complicated doesn't mean people can it be interested in it, take Final Fantasy XIII as an example. They explained dick during the actual game, forcing you to read the ship tons of data and trees just to figure out what the hell something meant. And this is nothing you can actually figure out given the context of its use. That was probably the most alienating factor of the game and why I didn't make it past seven hours.
    Number two, they need to figure out how to make games and other genres, take a look at an action game from America and an action game from Japan. More often than not the controls in the Japanese game are very poor while the controls in the American game are fairly generic. I'm not talking about rare exceptions like bayonetta and Devil May cry. A lot of the times any time there is any form of action game it feels clunky they need to fix that.

    How going back to basics for them would be the plot of Final Fantasy I. Take that plot and make the game around it. Make the game more about the journeys in the destination, given the game side quests give towns feeling, make it feel like these books people are alive and not just there to see one or two lines of dialogue and that's it.

    Square really need to cut its losses with what it did was 13, and more than that they need to fucking stopper with the social games that fail all they do is besmirch their name whenever that's left of it anyway.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:15 11/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    NIS doesn't reuse sprites. They are redrawn every-damn-game. It just happens to be cheaper than 3D modeling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:53 11/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon
    07:15 11/02/2013

    "NIS doesn't reuse sprites. They are redrawn every-damn-game. It just happens to be cheaper than 3D modeling."

    WHAT? NO!

    it's the other way around. using 3D models is cheaper compared to making good sprites.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    11:04 09/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    @SpideyPHL: The thing is, while they're at very different scales, they both find themselves surprised by their results:

    NIS: "Why is Neptunia doing so well? Ok - I guess we'll make some more then!"

    S-E: "Oh my god... Why isn't Final Fantasy selling? What can we do to stay afloat???"

    Whether you're making a game to sell 10 units or 10,000,000, you want to hit, or even exceed your target. When that starts failing, going further in the direction that got you there is not a good idea, especially in an industry where a lot of big studios are completely destroyed by one flop.

    Avatar of SpideyPHL
    Comment by SpideyPHL
    18:02 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    And Nippon Ichi is a well known Fortune 500 company of course. Or was it the other thing, a company barely anyone outside of some small niche (and a positively tiny one outside of Japan) has heard of.

    What works for one company won't work for another, and certainly a big company like SE can't take the tactics of a dinky thing like NIS as a way to turn itself around. The same applies to just going "back to roots"--those games we loved so much were made 10-15 years ago, the market has changed significantly since then and games that have tried to imitate that formula have been selling less and less because there's less demand.

    I think what SE needs to do is focus more on making a few quality, big games with some more original IPs, and for real consoles rather than portables or mobile. Rather than try to recapture past magic, they need to adapt to today's market, because it is leaving behind those too caught in the past.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:47 07/02/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Yeah the success of Ni No Kuni and it's very positive reception should be a wake-up call for all JPRG developers. EVERYONE just wants wells crafted, classic style JRPGs. Nobody wants these semi-realistic, real-time battle systems with QTE bullshit in their JRPGs.

    And we don't need these super detailed, CoD styled corridor maps that you force everyone to take because 90% of your budget went into modeling the world so there's no fucking way you are going to let any player possibly skip part of it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:43 07/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Speaking of JRPG there is also Demon Soul and Dark Soul success.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:04 09/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The Souls games are WRPGs with Japanese devs... Next thing you're going to tell me Dragon's Dogma is a JRPG...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:52 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Indeed.

    Classic style jrpgs is what we need!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:57 10/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except that the souls series ARE jrpgs. Or j-arp gas at any rate

    Comment by Anonymous

    Not defending CoD here, but you have to be an idiot to compare a literally linear JRPG like XIII to a map based shooter... js.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:30 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Also dragon quest x fucking online?? Make an online in you insist BUT a numbered title should be OFFLINE AS ALWAYS.

    That goes for any rpg.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:16 11/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yea like Bethesda had the decency to make an "Elder Scrolls Online" not "Elder Scrolls 6 Online". I think we can all agree that that should be a standard for any game in general.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:22 10/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    To the idiot who didn't make it past 7 hrs ...dude 7hrs in all you're doing is walking forwards and pressing A, do you possess a sound adult mind?

    PS. ff13 was horrific gutter-trash that I wasted 50hrs of my summer-holidays on 2 years ago - I will forever hold this 50 hr grudge against square and will urinate on the cover of every subsequent ff13 title - I mean fuck..we know you want to reuse your character models but seriously..FUCK YOU

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:13 09/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    you know who to blame for the westernization of JRPG, westerners. I am just going to say, I blame the international market on the losses of SQ-Enix.

    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    14:05 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Honestly, they need to go back to the era where "Final Fantasy" is their Sink or Swim project

    Avatar of yuriphoria
    Comment by yuriphoria
    01:13 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    What I miss is that someday the FF franchise will die and it will be an odd number like FFIXX or so. The last FF game should be title. The Final Fantasy.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I don't see how the franchise's been "westernize". DMC sure. Resident Evil, yeah. But FF does not look like any Western RPG I've ever played. Just because their games are about endless corridors, doesn't mean they are being westernize, it just means their shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:08 09/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Right, because Skyrim and Mass Effect is full of corridors...
    datz Western gameplay in a nutshell.

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    14:27 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    That my friend is western-like gameplay, corridors, lots of HD movies, action packed scenes, no dificulty, BAM explotion,
    Stallone says something, credits, possible sequel teaser, finishing with a hip hop track.

    FF13, 13-2, Just cause 2, Hitman, Sleeping dogs, etc.

    Where the fuck is Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana or Xenosaga quality?
    Oh yeah, CoD sells better, let's make avery freaking game "realistic"
    They Ruined DoA!!!

    Comment by Anonymous

    Yeah, right... Stop "westernizing" the RPG's?
    Fine...

    From now on ALL JRPGs that dare feature any of the follwing shan't be developed/played:
    1. Anything that features people wearing ANYTHING but Yukata and Kimonos shan't be used. Al other clothing styles are WESTERN so they are forbidden.
    2. Absolutely NO Weaponry, Items, Armor, Stories or references to stories or History, etc. thar are WESTERN in origin or derived from.
    3. Absolutely, positively No usage of WESTERN words of ANY KIND IN ANY WAY, spoken, written, or printed. If it can't be said in Japanese then it shan't be included.
    4. NO ONLINE PLAY. The technologies for that were created by filthy WESTERNERS so you WILL NOT USE IT.

    Abide by these rules or be called a hypocrite.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:23 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    You...
    1. Idiot.
    2. Moron.
    3. Cretin.
    4. ...well, yes.

    Avatar of Rya
    Comment by Rya
    16:54 07/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Why is there always someone who takes things to the extreme and dismiss all criticism like you do? I bet there is someone like that at Squeenix too. And all the other Yes Man there just nod and do their usual routine of giving us more shitty games. This lack of common sense will be their downfall.

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    14:30 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If that was a joke you should end it like this;

    I looove FFXIII/endsarcasm <----see sarcasm joke.

    Now if what you say is your truthful answer, you sir are an intolerant idiot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:33 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Should have I added "" to my comment? It appears not to have been clear enough to some.

    It was meant to showcase just how hollow, baseless and useless the "westernizing" comment was, since RPGs are a western born idea that dates back to 1780.

    What is really needed is not fancy graphics nor a complex battle engine... But a good story to identify yourself with so you enjoy partaking in it development, linear or not.

    Examples?
    Chrono Trigger. Basic menu-driven battle engine. Nice (for its time) graphics and basic visual effects. But packing a whole lotta story, multiple paths and party configurations, a "secret" character, killer (still) music and a cast anyone can relate to.
    Chrono cross tried too hard to envelop those ideas into 3D and fell short even though it had many times more characters and endings.

    Final fantasy 7. Had comedy, tragedy (Aerith... Sniff) a basic fighting system but a complex magic/materia system, etc.

    If Square/Enix wants our attention back, then lets ask them to re-do Chrono Trigger from the ground up and give it Darksiders' or Tales of Symphony's combat system just to keep with current trends (while making your buddies control Robo, Marle, etc over the net). THAT would sell like crazy.

    Comment by Anonymous

    The above...

    1. Same to you.
    2. Still you.
    3. Ditto.
    4. Can't distinguish irony from regular writing.

    Avatar of Tere
    Comment by Tere
    19:10 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'd like to see a completed Xenogears instead of that mess of a second disk that they released.

    Square needs to get back to balancing their games between story, gameplay, and exploration.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:40 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The second disc isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It does take a backseat on... well... playing the game to give you a large exposition. It let you see further inside some of the characters you've spent a lot of time with.

    I wouldn't ask for a remake of Xenogears. It is not perfect the way it is now, but I think a remake might hurt the game more than help it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:11 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, it is bad. It is very bad. It's a gaping wound in the game with a thin bandage on top.

    They even show fucking SCREENSHOTS OF GAMEPLAY LEVELS that were supposed to be there! HOW is that excusable by any stretch of the imagination?

    After paying full price for a game...

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:47 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Didn't they run out of money and time to finish the game? If that's what really happened, it wasn't their fault.

    Avatar of Tere
    Comment by Tere
    16:59 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    As Anon 23:11 said, "Yes, it is bad." It's very bad. I know, I just tried to replay the game just last year.

    I loved Xenogears, but that last disk was atrocious. They talk about "many desperate and difficult battles", but you never experience them. They tell you about them.

    The battles against the Elements are mentioned, but you only get one more fight against them. Thy tell you about how they only wanted to be reunited with Ramsus, but you never really experience those scenes.

    They talk about how Elly changes, but it's not something the play gets to witness; it's just dropped into your lap during a long monologue by Fei and Elly.

    What game-play exists is simply a series of Anima dungeons, one after the other. No over-world exploration or travel at all. Hell, you don't even get access to the rest of the world until after Shevat falls; which signals the final phase of the game.

    As for character development... There wasn't any. At least not "on-camera". Xenogears commits the cardinal story-telling sin of "telling rather than showing". You get access to some bonus areas, but unless you have a guide, you won't even know about them because the game doesn't reveal they are there.

    The game's second disk was never finished (due to budget problems from I understand). What was released was more of a summery of what was planned, and that's a damn shame.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:09 09/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nintendo owns the team that made Xenogears now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:57 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    YES.

    Actually my dream would be to see the original PSX game restored as it was supposed to be... released on PSX disk, playable on the actual console.

    Never gonna happen in a million years because that would be too cool a thing for any corporation to do. But oh well. :( I'll take a remake, if that's what it takes for them to finish the game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:22 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    xenogear, chrono cross, ff viii,ff vii.ff ix, etc . ah . . . psx era was the best!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:30 11/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    FUcking wrong! Snes era IS the best:

    Chrono Trigger
    FFIV,V and VI
    Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3
    Terranigma
    Front Mission
    Super Mario RPG

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:45 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It was better when Square and Enix were seperate companies

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:56 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah, Enix as well made good games back then.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:00 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    True words!

    Star Ocean nad Valkyrie profile would still be alive and kicking!

    And no fucking shitty DQ x online!

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:20 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd say Super Nintendo era... FF VI, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Secret of Mana, Tales of Phantasia, Megami Tensei, Ys, Mario RPG, Illusion of Gaia...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:23 10/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Damn Straight.

    FF VI = Beat all,end all of the entire series.
    FF VII = Gold standard of the time.
    FF IX = Glorious after the shit that was FF8.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:13 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think old school RPG fans might be better off going in this direction for their modern RPG fixes...

    http://vimeo.com/58145874

    at least, better than FFXIII

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:30 11/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They need to continue Chrono series

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:46 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    They'll be fine once Tomb Raider comes out

    Avatar of Nekomancer
    Comment by Nekomancer
    11:17 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now it's up to Monolith Soft, not SE.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:45 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Xenogears IP is a Square Soft property.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:26 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Those talents are now at Monolith Soft.

    Let SE keep their IP. An IP is useless without the talent behind them. Look at what happened to Resident Evil 6 and DMC.

    Comment by Anonymous

    i want The Bouncers RPG !!!

    Avatar of Naoe
    Comment by Naoe
    14:01 07/02/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    “FF7 has too many towns to be remade!”

    Best comment Ever.

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    14:32 08/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fuck them in their linear ass.

    Avatar of ronerydude
    Comment by ronerydude
    15:47 07/02/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Undisputed. :)








    Post Comment »

Popular

Recent News

Recent Galleries

Recent Comments