Author Topic: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns  (Read 1250 times)

Lennis

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Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« on: April 10, 2013, 05:51:50 am »
Apparently, the critical success of three of Square-Enix's latest titles (Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs) were not enough to reverse the downward trend of the company.  Following the news of an expected 10 billion yen loss, Square-Enix's long-time president Yoichi Wada is calling it quits.  He is expected to be replaced by vice-president Yosuke Matsuda.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/square-enix-president-yoichi-wada-resigns-amid-extraordinary-loss-6405925

Although Wada's departure will probably be celebrated by many Compendiumites, the fact that even successful titles cannot right the sinking ship is very disheartening.  It's been said that since S/E specializes mainly in single-player IPs, it can no longer effectively compete against AAA titles with a strong multiplayer component.  http://www.gamespot.com/news/tomb-raider-needs-to-sell-at-least-5m-to-be-a-success-says-analyst-6406034  This fact will no doubt be on the mind of the incoming Matsuda, who has promised a "comprehensive review" of the company.

"I'd like to fundamentally review what works and what doesn't work for our company," said Matsuda, "then cast all of our resources towards extending what makes us successful and thoroughly squeezing out what doesn't."

It's difficult to know what the company will look like when the restructuring is complete, except that it will be very different.  It may be that what gets "squeezed out" is the idea of a big-budget single-player experience.  That would effectively end Final Fantasy as we know it, to say nothing about a Chrono sequel or remake.  A contributing factor to the decision will be the very disappointing sales figures from North America (not including digital sales, which have not been compiled) this fiscal year.

So what does everyone think about Square-Enix's future post-Wada?

skylark

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 01:22:46 pm »
As long as Motomu Toriyama gets fired, I'm happy.

Personally, I think Wada made one too many bad calls for things to be where they used to.

Lennis

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 04:59:37 am »
As long as Motomu Toriyama gets fired, I'm happy.

I would deal with everyone in management before even considering a change on the creative side of things.  Most of S/E's woes stem from poor management decisions.

tushantin

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 01:57:43 pm »
On an irrelevant note: I wonder how the working conditions at Square Enix may be after Matsuda has inherited the throne...

X4220

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 03:43:53 pm »
If company isn't pleased with multimilion sales of Eidos' games, I really doubt SE will invest time and money for game like Chrono after all these years.
I'm talking about game on home consoles, portable consoles are different story (or should be). I'm probably biased but I don't see any meaningfull reasons why SE wouldn't release some sort of Chrono Cross remake for portables.
Overall, I'm pleased with SE failures, and Wada's departure, but I'm pessimistic that change will bring any positive news for Chrono series.

Lennis

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 02:07:50 am »
On an irrelevant note: I wonder how the working conditions at Square Enix may be after Matsuda has inherited the throne...

I'm not sure how that could be "irrelevant".  Employee morale can have a direct impact on productivity.  I suspect that the developers downstairs aren't decrying the sudden change, as they were the ones unfairly blamed for Final Fantasy XIV's failure under Wada.  Now they know that the executives upstairs are not immune from the consequences of failure.  This sudden shake-up may be just what the studio needed to get the creative juices flowing again.  With any luck, we'll get some real news about Versus XIII before the year is out.

Quote
If company isn't pleased with multimilion sales of Eidos' games, I really doubt SE will invest time and money for game like Chrono after all these years.

Probably true, but I'm not willing to give up all hope.  Chrono is still a well-respected IP despite gathering dust for the past decade.  As the owner of the IP, it is in Square-Enix's interest to see it generate revenue for the company.  If they are unwilling to do something with Chrono themselves, then maybe they'll pass the torch onto another developer in exchange for a cut of the profits or an influx of much-needed cash.  Anything is possible during a restructuring.

X4220

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 09:29:21 am »
Quote
If they are unwilling to do something with Chrono themselves, then maybe they'll pass the torch onto another developer in exchange for a cut of the profits or an influx of much-needed cash.
That would be probably best scenario, but chances for something like that are very slim.
First, will SE really do that?Doubtful, only if company is in really bad financial situation, and selling IPs or some other kind of deal will bring quick money.
Secondly, most Japanese developers are moved away from their old JRPG series (Suikoden, Breath of Fire, etc).I cannot believe that Capcom/Sega/Namco/Konami/whatever will suddenly jump in trying to acquire Chrono IP.
Sony...I'm Playstation supporter, but Sony simply isn't interested for JRPGs.Sony invested so much effort in expanding PS exclusive library of titles and they didn't do anything in JRPG genre.By default, most JRPGs will come to PS, so why would Sony bother with Chrono?Plus, developing massive game like Chrono is probably imposibble for Sony Japan (weakest link in SCEWWS).
Nintendo...Well, they have Monolith Soft.Monolith+Kato+Mitsuda+Tanaka+Yuuki is ''Helll Yeahhh'' :D, it would be simply perfect.
But, with all money from DS and Wii....nothing.IMHO, Nintendo made a mistake for not trying to find/buy allready famous RPG franchise for Monolith.

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 10:31:38 am »
On an irrelevant note: I wonder how the working conditions at Square Enix may be after Matsuda has inherited the throne...

I'm not sure how that could be "irrelevant".  Employee morale can have a direct impact on productivity.  I suspect that the developers downstairs aren't decrying the sudden change, as they were the ones unfairly blamed for Final Fantasy XIV's failure under Wada.  Now they know that the executives upstairs are not immune from the consequences of failure.  This sudden shake-up may be just what the studio needed to get the creative juices flowing again.  With any luck, we'll get some real news about Versus XIII before the year is out.

As I kid I dreamed a dream of working with Square Enix (or Warner Brothers), simply because my "heroes" did (Yasunori Mitsuda, Toriyama, etc.) and I wanted to create similar works like Chrono Trigger. Then I learnt what an ass SE was making of themselves, and that dream was crushed.

Of course, this recent news was what prompted my question. I began to wonder if after Wada's resignation I may find a place in a "good studio" that can accept my skills. But what's a studio without Kato, Mitsuda, Toriyama and Nomura?

Lennis

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 04:09:01 am »
Quote
If they are unwilling to do something with Chrono themselves, then maybe they'll pass the torch onto another developer in exchange for a cut of the profits or an influx of much-needed cash.
That would be probably best scenario, but chances for something like that are very slim.
First, will SE really do that?Doubtful, only if company is in really bad financial situation, and selling IPs or some other kind of deal will bring quick money.
Secondly, most Japanese developers are moved away from their old JRPG series (Suikoden, Breath of Fire, etc).I cannot believe that Capcom/Sega/Namco/Konami/whatever will suddenly jump in trying to acquire Chrono IP.
Sony...I'm Playstation supporter, but Sony simply isn't interested for JRPGs.Sony invested so much effort in expanding PS exclusive library of titles and they didn't do anything in JRPG genre.By default, most JRPGs will come to PS, so why would Sony bother with Chrono?Plus, developing massive game like Chrono is probably imposibble for Sony Japan (weakest link in SCEWWS).
Nintendo...Well, they have Monolith Soft.Monolith+Kato+Mitsuda+Tanaka+Yuuki is ''Helll Yeahhh'' :D, it would be simply perfect.
But, with all money from DS and Wii....nothing.IMHO, Nintendo made a mistake for not trying to find/buy allready famous RPG franchise for Monolith.


Square-Enix is in a bad financial situation.  They lost $150 million in fiscal year 2011 and about $100 million FY 2012.  These are huge numbers for a video game publisher/developer, and Square-Enix has only survived thus far on account of their size.  Now their size has become a liability, and it is likely that they will have to shrink in order to remain competitive.  In addition to their losses in revenue, they have lost considerable prestige in the market.  In 2012, metacritic listed Square-Enix as #5 in their list of 21 best video-game developers, lagging behind the big four of Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts.  In 2013, the big four juggled positions at the top while Square-Enix plummeted to #14, the biggest drop on the list.  To put that decline in perspective, the now defunct THQ fell a bit less precipitously - dropping from #8 to #16 in the same time-frame.  (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_publisher)  While this list is subjective, it is nonetheless a notable barometer of critical and consumer sentiment toward the industry.  So not only has Square-Enix lost a lot of money already, they have lost a lot of future revenue in the form of market share.  The only practical way for them to combat this is to roll the dice on a killer app that could restore their tarnished reputation.  A Final Fantasy VII remake would be that app, but as Square-Enix themselves have said repeatedly, developing that remake would be outrageously expensive and time-consuming.  They would need a huge influx of cash to cover the risk.  Selling IPs and other assets is the only way I can think of for them to get this money, and since they have to shrink anyway to cover their earlier losses...

I doubt that another Japanese developer would want the Chrono franchise, for the reasons you mentioned.  From their perspective, if Square-Enix feels inclined to let Chrono go, why should they want it?  It is much more likely that a western developer would be willing to take on that risk (and more importantly pay more for the IP).  And interested parties wouldn't necessarily be limited to video game developers.  Movie studios are always on the lookout for IPs that they can exploit.  In fact, that is probably the best hope for Chrono at this point.  No video-game based movie has yet been a major success (aside from the fictional Wreck-it-Ralph), but studios also know that they have not yet attempted something epic in scope.  The right studio could do wonders with the right game.  Imagine what Dreamworks could do with Chrono?

Sony not interested in JRPGs?  What have you been smoking?  The PS3 has had numerous releases of JRPGs, albeit in limited volume.  Atalier and Disgaia come to mind.  It's Microsoft that isn't interested in the genre.  They haven't had a notable JRPG since Tales of Vesperia.

Nintendo?  Meh.  I mean, Nintendo certainly knows how to make a great game, but I just can't get excited about any system they would put it on.  The Wii-U has little to recommend it, and putting a new Chrono on a mere handheld system would be a complete waste of the franchise's potential.  It's also worth noting that Square-Enix's relationship with Nintendo isn't exactly a warm one.  Remember what happened in the 90's when the Nintendo/Sony partnership crumbled and Nintendo opted for the cartridge-based Nintendo 64?  Squaresoft bolted and made Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation instead.  Nintendo never recovered from that defection.

milkjamjuice

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 09:23:13 am »
On an irrelevant note: I wonder how the working conditions at Square Enix may be after Matsuda has inherited the throne...

Probably won't change much.  They're a Japanese company and they're going to do things the "Japanese Way," until they go bankrupt or worse.  Come into the office early because you've got work to do you didn't get done at home last night, if you even DID make it home, work until lunch, work through lunch because everyone else is working through lunch, work until closing hours, notice no one is going home and you don't wanna be the first one to go home because you'll be seen as lazy, and when the last train leaves the metro area at midnight you MIGHT go home.  If someone else does.

Rinse and repeat until the weekend and you've technically got two days, or a day and half off but you don't want to be seen as lazy so you stop in to the office and work another day to try and stay ahead of the workload.

Since the Tohoku earthquake the government started screaming about power shortages so since then companies have started making their workers work "shorter" days and come in more often (as not to create problems with the power grid), but as you can see above, these "short" days become full shifts since everyone is too scared to go home and be seen as a problem.

Overtime isn't paid.

Oh, and there are labor laws...  But they aren't enforced.  And again, no one is brave enough to challenge their company for their labor practices in a court of law since the court process here is so beleaguered.

Working for a Japanese company myself (in Tokyo) and having 80% clients who work at other Japanese companies this is my educated guess.

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2013, 02:58:02 pm »
Unpaid overtime isn't just a Japanese phenomenon; at least in game development, it's a huge problem in the States as well.

Lennis

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Re: Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada resigns
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 02:47:43 am »
In the latest chapter of the Square-Enix drama, recently ousted CEO Yoichi Wada has now been appointed Chairman of the Board.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-06-26-yoichi-wada-now-square-enix-chairman

Clearly, Wada is being rewarded for his many years of bringing prestige and profitability to the company...   :picardno