The lights are on
Square Enix president and CEO Yoichi Wada has stepped down in the wake of a disappointing fiscal year forecast, lower-than expected sales of some of its big hits, and a changing industry environment. A major restructuring is now underway.
Wada's departure still has to be ratified via a shareholder's meeting in June and a subsequent board of director's meeting according to Joystiq, but with a forecast for the current fiscal year ending on March 31 of a 13 billion yen loss (approximately $138 million) – a turnaround from the originally expected 3.5 billion yen profit – the die is cast.
The company's revised forecast is being blamed on the lower-than-expected sales of Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs in the west, and the subsequent company reorganization that is currently taking place is being put on the books this fiscal year, according to Gamasutra.
How "weak" were the sales of those games? By the end of March, Square Enix estimates that in North America and Europe, Tomb Raider will have sold 3.4 million units, Sleeping Dogs 1.75 million, and Hitman: Absolution 3.6 million. None of those figures includes downloadable sales. Tomb Raider, by the way, has been on shelves less than a month.
No word on exactly what Square Enix was expecting these games to sell.
[via Gamasutra and Joystiq]
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Yea seriously,tomb raider was tha ***.lol i wonder what was expected.jus like square to blame north america for sales not meeting goal.lol
They burnt up the money with games in development hell. The Operation cost there must be phenomenal without output from the Square side. Think about it this way, without Eidos what games has square put out in the past 3 years. All systems included please....
Those are pretty massive sales numbers considering the gearing up of a new generation and massive influx of quality games at the time. Somewhere SE has gotten really cocky with their attitude.
If they want to turn things around;
1. Make quality Final Fantasy games with intriguing and coherent stories, and keep the XIII & XIII-2 battle systems.
2. Complete games that are in development, 5+ years for a game is far to long to have it sitting.
3. Stop sitting on massive franchises and not bringing franchises stateside. (Kingdom Hearts, console Dragon Quests).
Someone needs to step up and say it's time to get back to sensible quality development, especially in the writing departments. Three games can't sustain a large company with so many mistakes in the last year or so.
I wonder how this bodes for Dragon Quest X?
My more pertinent points are scattered about the rest of the comments.
Blame the sales and marketing team. Get those games out to the public eye more. It's certainly not due to the quality of the games. Tomb Raider was one of the best games I've played this generation. Sleeping Dogs is one of the most underrated games of all time. Brilliant game that does almost everything flawlessly. Hitman wasn't great, but was still a good, solid game. Sleeping Dogs and Hitman just suffered from a massively congested gaming season.
Sleeping Dogs was a great game in my opinion. Its a shame more people didn't play it. But with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 coming out and Final Fantasy X/X-2 you'd think there projected sales numbers would increase. And isn't Kingdom Hearts 3 still supposed to be coming out? So I wouldn't fire the guy just yet. But then again, in Japan its customary for a failing business leader to just step down so this guy is out of a job either way. Shame really, I hope Square Enix can bounce back and soon.
It's called "GREED" people, corporate greed. Plain and simple.
Wow, 3.4 million on Tomb Raider, and that's LOW?!
I see this a lot. Seems that every Japanese base gaming company seem to have lost connection with the West. They seem to just be scared to make mistakes and really marketing in the west just sucks. They don't try to tell people "Hey we are here too!" over games that are already in the West and made in the West. They get drowned out majorly.
Hitman is a clear point. Good game. Though done in by a Eastern Publishing Company for a game made in the Western Market. Really I bet you all of the marketing happened in the East and the West didn't get hardly any Marketing.
Also Square Enix is not the only company losing touch with the West. Sega is another clear and very freaking clear shining turd of a company that has completely lost it. Also no marketing team what so ever at all. They have published some great games and yet no one ever heard of them at all. (I think I am ripping Sega a bit too much...I've ranted on this before but it is true.)
Well this could end up being good for the company as it seems a lot of the bone-headed decisions that Square Enix has been making lately seem to be blamed on Wada. Hopefully with this restructuring they can get back on the right track. I just hope that this won't be what finally puts the company under though. I for one would definitely miss Square Enix.
That's really unfortunate because while Hitman sucked, the other two were amazing. I really wonder how much they were expecting to sel because 3.6 million in three weeks is damn good for the first game in a series in years.
Either the gaming industry needs better market analysts, or they need to listen more to the ones they've got, because it seems that a lot of companies have the belief that if you give a game a big budget, the game will be a huge success.
Sad to see him leave. Hopefully Square Enix can start doing better soon...
Tomb Raider is one of the best games I've ever played. If this effects future installments of the series negatively then I'm going to flip out.
I thought Tomb Raider was really successful.