Square Enix targets new multiplatform strategy, makes layoffs after Final Fantasy underperforms

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Square Enix has announced a major shakeup dubbed ‘Square Enix Reboots and Awakens’ that will see them embrace full multi-platform game development, after PlayStation 5 exclusives Final Fantasy 16, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and Foamstars all failed to meet internal expectations. Additionally, they are making layoffs affecting US and European staff, including the Square Enix Collective indie label – per VGC.

‘Square Enix Reboots and Awakens’ will see the company take on a new three-year strategy to support all major platforms from Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox and PC. This will likely play out for the start of the next home console generation, and is in stark contrast to the past decade where Square Enix has shifted ever-more in the direction of PlayStation exclusivity with PC several months later, and occasionally throwing a bone to Xbox – such as almost begrudgingly bringing Final Fantasy 14 to Xbox in March.

Going all-in on multiplatform means they will “build an environment where more customers can enjoy our titles in regards to major franchises and AAA titles, including catalogue titles”.

Elsewhere, Square Enix states they will shift significantly from “quantity to quality”, with the publisher also confirming that they have cancelled a number of projects that they feel wouldn’t hit these new marks.

This new direction is being spurred on by Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Final Fantasy 16 and Foamstars all falling short of internal expectations – all three of them launching as PlayStation 5 exclusives – as reported by Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki on Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu call to analysts. Not critically bad, but not as profitable as had been expected, with it set to take longer to hit financial targets.

Add all of this up – with $141 million written off for project cancellations – and profits have dropped 70% year-on-year.

Takashi Kiryu has also held an internal meeting with staff to outline a number of layoffs to hit the American and European arms of the company, which will take place over the next month. While percentage or headcount wasn’t shared, staff were informed that Western publishing, IT and the Square Enix Collective indie publishing label will all be affected. Staff will be informed this week with consultation and notice periods being given in accordance with local laws.

via Video Games Chronicle

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1 Comment

  1. Taking so long to release anything on PC is such as dumb move. By the time it’s released (at full price too) the hype will have died so few people will be willing to spend so much on an old game. Despite being a fan of Final Fantasy I didn’t even realise that 16 had even been released!

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