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]
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Who's laying this blame? Because those aren't low sales numbers. Surely there's another reason.
This is honestly one thing I think is truly damaging the game industry right now and I'm even working on an article on it for a friends gaming site (shameless self promotion, links forthcoming for the interested, @Matthew Kato, would love to link to this if that's ok with you). Publishers and developers regularly bemoan dwindling profits and blame everything from a suffering economy to used game sales. I say these are contributing factors sure, but lets also look at expectations. Triple A publishers have come to have what are in my humble opinion, unrealistic expectations. When three of your fiscal years biggest titles selling a minimum of 1.74 million copies NOT including downloadable purchases is a disappointment, I can only ask WHAT were you expecting to sell? Tomb Raider is exactly 22 days old and it's closing in on 3.5 million? How is that bad?!! In any other time in gaming's past, those would be bonafide blockbuster numbers all around. Sure it's awesome to do record breaking numbers, but to "expect" COD numbers is asinine as a business model and I'd rather game budgets start to shrink instead of losing talented studios and employees.
Wada should have taken his hat a long time ago.
Sadly, it looks like the industry is headed for another crash. Perhaps with the new systems coming out and developers using engines like Unreal 4, maybe they'll save •some• development costs, as these new toolsets supposedly streamlines development. It's absolutely absurd that a company isn't making a decent profit with sales numbers like those...
How could any of those be disappointing? Did they expect them all to sell 10 million or more? Holy crap!
That just seems like madness, how can those be disappointing sales figures? Tomb Raiders' first month and 3.4 million units sold... how is that bad?
ok why is disappointing the sales of tomb raider, hitman and watch dogs they saled pretty good and tomb raider the best game i dont know but when they realease kingdom hearts HD the sales have to go up