The lights are on
Earlier this week, we reported on Square Enix's corporate restructuring, which led to layoffs in the publisher's Los Angeles office. This news came shortly after company president Yoichi Wada stepped down in the wake of significant financial losses (to the tune of 13 billion yen). Wada, who had been CEO of Square until his appointment as president of the newly merged Square Enix, has served the company for over a decade. At a recent financial briefing, his successor, Yosuke Matsuda, detailed his plans to get the company back on track.
The incoming president stated he will "fundamentally review" the operations of the publisher in order to determine "what works and what doesn't." Hopefully, this audit will see more credit given to the company's western operations, who have recently been on the receiving end of some bad news from corporate leadership. Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, and, most recently, Tomb Raider, have all sold well by most accounts. However, leadership at the publisher has openly stated that those games have missed what turns out to be exceedingly ambitious and unreasonable sales targets. This is especially surprising in the case of Crystal Dynamics' Lara Croft reboot, which has set franchise sales records.
By contrast, the publisher's Japanese studios have been struggling of late. Most notable is the disastrous launch of Final Fantasy XIV, which was terminated and brought back to the drawing board. The major overhaul to the title, A Realm Reborn, is only now entering the beta phase. As Matsuda reviews his company's struggles, we are hopeful that more attention will be paid to the solid work coming out of North America, while the Japanese studios are brought back to their former glory.