The lights are on
[Update] Joystiq has received word from sources at Square Enix that requested anonymity regarding the depth of job cuts. According to the report, layoffs affect marketing, public relations, accounting, IT, events, and more. President and CEO of Square Enix's US operations Mike Fischer will also be departing the company. Those affected will not all be leaving immediately, with public relations notably staying on through E3. We've reached out to Square Enix for comment.
Following reports that key Square Enix titles fell short of internal expectations, the publisher has today announced "corporate restructuring" that leaves an unknown number of individuals out of work. Game Informer received the following comment from a company representative.
"We can confirm that Square Enix's Los Angeles office has eliminated a number of positions as part of the corporate restructuring announced last week. This is an unfortunate situation and we are offering assistance and severance packages to any employees affected by this, we want to thank them for their hard work and sincerely wish them well in the future."
Game Informer has received a briefing document in Japanese, which carries more detail than its English counterpart. Our internal translation indicates that Square Enix's targets for Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, and Tomb Raider (which set franchise sales records) were markedly higher than the actual, already impressive figures. Here are the comparisons:
Sleeping DogsActual: 1.75 million unitsExpected: 2 - 2.5 million units
Hitman: AbsolutionActual: 3.6 million unitsExpected: 4.5 - 5 million units
Tomb RaiderActual: 3.4 million unitsExpected: 5 - 6 million units
All three of these were critically acclaimed and enjoyed by fans, carrying impressive sales numbers (without accounting for exceedingly high anticipated figures). It's hard not to draw a line between the departure of president and CEO Yoichi Wada due to the publisher's poor financial performance and missed sales targets and these layoffs. We are hopeful that the employees that have been impacted by this restructuring find new employment soon.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.