Things aren't exactly smooth over at Square Enix these days. From the outside looking in, at times it's seemed as though the publisher is shockingly mismanaged -- especially on the Japanese side of things -- and now the company's reported a $33 million loss in its latest financial briefing.
According to Games Industry, this huge loss has been attributed to Luminous Productions, an in-house studio that was established earlier this year, headed by Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata. Originally, the development team was set to work on other projects, like videos and movies, alongside big budget games, but now, Square Enix appears to have refocused the studio. From this point on, Luminous Productions will concentrate on "large-scale, high-quality AAA game titles, which best leverage [Luminous'] strengths." This chopping and changing has cost the publisher 3.73 billion yen, roughly $33 million.
The knee-jerk reaction is that this is yet another classic Square Enix cock-up -- yet another case of poor management. Indeed, we dread to think how much money the company has haemorrhaged over the last decade or so, especially when you take into consideration the troubled development of titles like Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Square Enix has got to be the most bafflingly mismanaged big publisher in gaming today. This report is crazy, makes you wonder what it axed at Luminous Studios to lose that much money and just take the loss.
Maybe it’s a sign that someone needs a good old firing?
that's a lot of money but then again they was setting up a new studio but yeah @ShogunRok something seriously went T**s up there but my guess was a movie, those cost a serious amount of money
i hope this doesn't affect them too much though because can you imagine the feeding frenzy that would happen if Square came up for sale, especially between Sony and Microsoft
They should have just invested in Pachinko machines like any sane Japanese publisher would.
Was Luminous making the Avengers game or is that a different studio thought it was a bit strange didn't hear a thing about it at E3
Does this mean Nomura can't start work on Final Fantasy VII Remake now?
@get2sammyb They should have kept it like it was and updated the engine free money.
I've been telling people for years now Square Enix is one of the absolute worse triple A companies I've ever seen. This company has literally gone out of their way to ignore fans, ruin IPs FFX-2, monetize the living hell out games that shouldn't have been monetized the way they've been (FFXV multiple season passes, Mankind divided augment your pre order), ignoring request for a Secret of Mana collection to be localized, and the list is so damn long that I would need weeks to describe on each one briefly.
Square Enix is not the great company that created great games like Parasite Eve or FFVI and VII, this company is now run by garbage accountants and terrible story tellers who are just absolutely full of themselves every time time they release games like FF13 and XV.
Btw Square Enix ruined two of my favorite IPs, Enix's Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean, especially Valkyrie Profile, they didn't even try to put any effort into that last one.
I smell Final Fintasy: Spirits Within 2.
@themcnoisy I wouldn't be surprised if they wasted that money trying to build a newer luminous engine version just for one future project, that's what Square Enix is good for ever since they begun to believe visuals are more important than gameplay.
Fun fact to prove this, look at every single SE game released over the past few years and ask yourself this, if the visuals of said games were not as good as they are would those same games be considered fun or even good games.
Everyone I asked to do this always came up with the answer no.
SE lack of a big release in 2018, like FFXV in 2016 and DQXI in 2017 (in Japan), is probably the reason for this financial results. It seems that Octophat Traveller and Shadow of Tomb Raider did not meet sales expectations.
Thank God for Marvel's license.
@malbhet I loved FF15 and the remake of FF10. In fact FF15 was my goty whenever it released.
That said I haven't played Valkyrie profile or Star Ocean. I have thought for a while how squeenix can get away with wasting so much money. For example the real-time Nvidia demo witch chapter 0 - with no game ever announced.
I might watch The Spirits Within tonight to celebrate.
As much as I enjoy Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, I often wonder how they can make games so good when they're so disorganized.
Run by childish men.
I used to love the Final Fantasy games but I think they've been far surpassed by many other RPGs.
I blame the Evil Trinity: Obama, EU and Soros.
@themcnoisy Square Enix is known to waste millions creating a new engine only to use said engine for one game before wasting more money on a newer more expensive engine. With SE game engines are like TP, one use then it's done, god I truly hate SE now, this used to be my favorite company growing up.
@malbhet couldn't agree more. i haven't truly enjoyed a s-e game (internally developed) since... final fantasy xii?
final fantasy xiii had a fun battle system but the storytelling left a lot to be desired... although it was better than the travesty that is final fantasy xv. can't say i am overly excited about kingdom hearts 3, but i am somewhat curious. funny enough, i started playing world of final fantasy recently and it is already better than final fantasy xv in my books lol... nothing they have put out over the past 15-20 years (other than dragon quest 8 and 11) can measure up to the likes of chrono cross, vagrant story, parasite eve and of course all the final fantasy games up to xii. this company is a complete mess and i don't have any faith in them to put out good games anymore. the hope is lost.
@Porco I couldn't have put it any better.
@Porco What angers me the most is SE now has control of two of my childhood favorite IPs, Valkyrie Profile and Legacy of Kain, Legacy of Kain hurts the most tbh.
@Neolit Compared to past FF games FF XV is the absolute second worst FF game out of the franchise, the only good thing about FFXV is it's visuals. The Story is terrible, the characters are just absolutely boring, the villains are horrendous from a design and story perspective, and given what's known about the source material they literally stripped all of its redeeming gameplay features from it since it was first revealed as FF13 Versus, like having more than 4 characters in your team and being able to play as any of them at any time of your choosing.
FF13 and XV is what happens when the devs who built up the FF brand leaves the company to go make better rpgs like the Last Story and Lost Odyssey, both by Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi who is the grandfather of the FF series and is the sole reason that franchise is as popular as it is.
Everything about FF Versus XIII was a collection vertical slices, concepts and ideas. Only after the rebranding to FFXV, that the game begins to take form.
@malbhet you forgot to add something to your comment
IN MY OPINION because that's what that is, your opinion NOT fact
FFXV is one of the highest rated and fastest selling games in the series so as far as Square are concerned it was a huge success
@PS_Nation Make squeenix great again. MSGA
£33m is a massive loss but its less than the average AAA game costs to develop. I wouldn't be surprised if Scalebound cost MS £33m when it was cancelled. As we see from game releases, that could be recuperated by a big release - like KH3 - although that will probably need to sell very well just to make back its own development costs and we know FFxv was a 'very' expensive game that took 10yrs or so to make. That was still profitable though. With Crystal Dynamix working on an Avengers game and the popularity of Marvel, this little setback could be nothing but a footnote...
Oh boy - I seriouly see a rocky future for these guys.
Terrible management. SE with all its well known and loved IPs should be doing much better than it has.
Nothing they can't fix with a new Royal edition to double sales😝
Now honestly as long as they keep making great games I don't care about this little mismanagement problem is not like Konami levels
IO Interactive are now probably glad Square Enix cut ties with them the way the company is going right now, would of hated to see one of my most loved gaming franchise, Hitman, affected by them, if it was ever possible? I’m not that informed about the whole SE situation or if other IPs could be affected by them as a publisher.
Well this is surprising from a company that took 10 years to make FFXV, God knows how long to make KH3, Restared FFVII remake after 3 years and still has no clear goal what to do with it.
Is anyone actually in charge there?
@FullbringIchigo in what world is final fantasy xv one of the highest rated? lol in reality, it is the lowest rated mainline final fantasy title so no idea what you are talking about.
let me guess, you are a final fantasy noob and have no history with the other entries? at the least, don't make up false information.
@Neolit FFXV has so many flaws but is still one of my favourite games of this generation and it's one of the very few games I've played which made me care about the main characters. I still haven't got over that ending 😥
@Porco you seriously want to pull the noob card on me
i have played and i own EVERY damn FF game ever released in the UK and have been playing the series since VII was released in 1997 (that was the first FF released in the UK), i sir am NOT a FF noob so don't you DARE pretend you know a damn thing about me just because you disagree with a post i said, that is the sign of someone who believes they know more than everyone else so get you head out of you backside
oh and by the way RATED and RANKED are 2 different things, FFXV got lots of high scores in reviews from a wide variety of reviewers and gaming sites, loads of 8/10's, 9/10's and even some 10/10's hell even this site gave it a 8/10
just because you was unhappy with the game doesn't mean everyone else was and that your opinion is the only one that matters, so maybe YOU should get your facts straight before you make yourself look even more of an troll
take a deep breath and calm down. also, you are still completely wrong with your "rated" and "ranked" nonsense. it is the worst rated mainline final fantasy game critically (and among the fans and average user scores as well most likely). this is not a grey area or subjective debate. it is a fact and you are in denial.
Honestly I don't really care about what goes on at Square Enix anymore.
Just get Kingdom Hearts 3 out. January 29th, 2019. I've got the date circled and I'm crossing out the days.
Well, I guess there's going to be a bunch more items in the Mog Station for FF14 players to cover for it. Seems like a license to print money anyway.
@Porco there are over 60 Final Fantasy games that have been released now if your looking at just the main games, which will also include the sequels such as Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, X-2 and the XIII sequels then that makes a bit of a difference even then it's still in the top 10 but you can't say it's one of the worse of the franchise when there are games out there like Four Heroes of Light, All the bravest or Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
now i understand the game has issues and lets be honest EVERY FF game does even some of the so called best have problems, FFVII's terrible translation or FFX's horrible and unfair side quests for example (dodge 200 lightning strikes WTF!) and yeah Square mismanaged the game terribly but it's not as bad as many make it out to be
it's OK to be disappointed in a game but people should still remain objective about it, Square know they made mistakes, they even admitted it and it's why they even asked us what we want them to do with the game moving forward and while i have had loads of fun playing XV, even if you haven't you have to give them something for at least trying to fix the issues, they could have just left it like many other big publishers tend do
oh and sorry for getting angry, i'm not in the best of places right now personally, it's not an excuse but it's all i have
@Porco Everyone has their own favourites out of the series. I think FF15 is absolutely outstanding in spots but overall lacks cohesion. A lot of the issues have been ironed out post release - but I haven't played it in its post patch state so my opinion is based on vanilla FF15. The characters are decent. The setup is fun. The battle system is great. The heritage of the series is present throughout. The graphics are superb apart from the shadows. The art direction is class. The variety of enemies and size.
Goes completely weird once you leave the Venice type place (can't remember the place name)
The side missions are basic fetch quests.
Everyone falls out and it doesn't make any sense.
The Summon system is rubbish (although they are amazing once activated)
Crashing when flying.
That's my experience as a Final Fantasy veteran whom has played JRPGs since Shining Force on the megadrive and I can vouch for both @FullbringIchigo and @neolit as gaming veterans too.
Robert, if you read the whole article you'd find that their overall profits were halved, down to ¥8.64 billion ($76.4 million), but still a profit.
This is another classic Push Square mess up.
Wow. Thats a shocking report. The company needs someone to take control at the top and steady the ship again. I miss squaresoft. They were among the best of the best in the psone era.
Since the spirits within and the merger with enix though things seem to have been very difficult for them (after a great start on ps2). It is well documented that square Enix never really got to grips with the last gen and now we have a company who seem to be really struggling with the basics of project management.
They will make that money back as soon as kh comes out, but i fear it will be just a plaster if they do not sort out the more fundamental problems they have.
Oh and its very likely that this is why we are getting more ff15 dlc. They can use the existing engine, and can reuse many assets to make it cheaply.
Its quite telling that kh is built in unreal mind. There must be issues with luminous
@Rob_230 didn't they drop Luminous years ago though? isn't that why they moved to unreal in the first place
Probably axed a movie for that kind of money, but I am not an expert...Let me have the next Tabata game. This time not built on Nomura's failures...
This loss only reduces the companies profits by slightly over 30%. Square as a whole is still extremely profitable.
Square-Enix is just a front for Shinra Corp.
can we get a big budget star ocean and valkyrie profile game square. hell i think final fantasy and kingdom hearts are the only games they make that not only gets all the time they need but all the money they need while their other games only get 2 to 3 years max with a fraction of the budget
@Chunky_Droid Not talking about total profits though are we? It's just a single loss, as the article states, and as the Games Industry article states.
Classic Push Square comment.
Yeah, making profits isn't exactly haemorraging money, just would have been nice if you reported on the whole story, not just the bit that gets all the commenters worked up for extra clicks.
@ShogunRok “This report is crazy, makes you wonder what it axed at Luminous Studios to lose that much money and just take the loss.”
I heard it was a Chocobo Racing remaster.
@Chunky_Droid You say that as if suddenly losing $33 million, seemingly because of terrible project management, isn't such a big deal.
It might not be in the long run — probably won't be for a company as big as Square Enix — but it doesn't change the fact that the publisher's just let a vast some of money slip down the drain and the best reason it can give is "we've changed how one of our in-house studios functions".
I think it's difficult to put a positive spin on that.
@Areus That's because Star Ocean and the others aren't directly developed by them.
Square-Enix is just the publisher for those games.
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