In news that's certain to shock absolutely no one, Forspoken — along with the glut of 'smaller' games that Square Enix released last year — did not meet the publisher's sales expectations. The company's stance on the matter is revealed in its latest business briefing (as reported by RPG Site), with current president Yosuke Matsuda delivering the disappointing news.
Matsuda says that "many of the new small and mid-sized titles we launched this [fiscal] year did not perform as well as we had expected". It's assumed that he's referring to the likes of The DioField Chronicle, Valkyrie Elysium, Star Ocean: The Divine Force, and maybe even Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion. The highly rated Tactics Ogre: Reborn might be on the list as well.
Meanwhile, Forspoken is called out by name in the report — but we all could have predicted that. The open world action RPG clearly had a big budget, but it was met with lukewarm reviews and, for the most part, player apathy when it launched back in January.
"Reviews of 'Forspoken', which we released on January 24, 2023, have been challenging," writes Matsuda. "Its sales have been lackluster, and while the performance of new titles with February and March release dates will be the ultimate determinant, we see considerable downside risk to our FY2023/3 earnings," he continues. Ouch.