These Revised Financial Forecasts Aren’t Good For Square Enix

By Spencer . December 16, 2010 . 3:05am

imageSquare Enix posted a major change to their fiscal year plan. While the publisher still expects to be profitable, they slashed their net income forecast by over 90%.

 

Square Enix expected to bank 12 billion yen ($142 million) between April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011. An announced revision projects net income of 1 billion yen ($11.9 million), a 91.7% drop from the original forecast.

 

Extending the free trial period for Final Fantasy XIV players plus delays of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the PlayStation 3 version of Final Fantasy XIV were key factors for the revision. Square Enix also cited "weak sales" of console games during this fiscal year. Console titles published this year include Nier, Kane & Lynch 2, and Front Mission Evolved also Activision games like Singularity, Blur, and Call of Duty: Black Ops.

 

Sales took a hit of 18.8%, Square Enix expects to 130 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in sales, down from 160 billion ($1.9 billion).



  • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

    I hope 3rd Birthday does well…….but it probably won’t. :/

    • neocatzon

      don’t say that.., give them another chance

      • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

        I want it to succeed but Parasite Eve wasn’t that popular to begin with.

    • ChaosPaladinFayt

      duodecim will….i think…at least i hope so lol.

      • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

        that’s why their making it. lol

      • doomspeller10

        I think they should have developed Dissidia for the PS3 as well, it would sell like hotcakes at least in Japan. The online capabilities would allow an even stronger multiplayer mode than that of the PSP versions and probably some kind of connectivity between the handheld and the console version. Maybe when they thought of seeing Kuja’s thong in HD they abandoned the idea, I mean, somebody would have to suffer modeling it first.

        • NoElixirs

          Perhaps, but the PSP isn’t always an efficient source for measurement.

        • badmoogle

          I agree.I bought Dissidia (the CE) on day 1 and even though initially i was very excited about it soon my excitement worn off.It seemed that this game lacked something and maybe that something was a good online mode,the one only a console version could offer.
          Needless to say i’m not interested in the sequel.

          • http://www.themogblog.com/ Edward Walton

            An online mode wouldn’t have saved it because your excitement would have still lowered like it did. I played the game a fair bit before I eventually stopped and that was with a strong group of people who were playing it. The game lacked depth and overall was shallow. Even with Ad-hoc Party the game is pretty boring.

          • doomspeller10

            LOL I can’t believe you got bored of Dissidia. I still play it and have clocked around 700 hrs, and I only have one friend who I can fight against, and I still have to get the grip of Kefka, ExDeath and Ultimecia (all of them are lv100 though). Most people still have a PS2 in the city I live.
            I also guess that a PS3 version wouldn’t get as pirated as the PSP version, so Squeenix would have less to whine about.

    • Locklear93

      I actually hope 3rd Birthday does poorly, but that’s mostly because I loved the original Parasite Eve, and everything I’ve seen of 3rd Birthday makes me feel like they should’ve just started a new franchise, instead of using one they dragged through the mud (PE2), to make a game with no real gameplay connection to the original. I should be clear that I don’t want 3rd Birthday to fail out of spite–I want them to realize that if they’re going to dredge up a classic, they should treat it as such, instead of just completely tossing everything about it in favor of a whole new genre.

  • http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=2704923 Buntar0

    “…Kane & Lynch 2, and Front Mission Evolved also Activision games like Singularity, Blur, and Call of Duty: Black Ops.”
    Well, I knew about these, but seing all of them in one sentence… for god’s sake Square Enix!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/SplashdownTiger STiger

    Explains why they’re porting FF4 once again.

    • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Considering how much money they made with the DS ports, I am honestly not suprised.

    • puchinri

      They’re porting FF4 again…? To what? Is it enchanced any?

      • https://twitter.com/#!/SplashdownTiger STiger

        Think along the lines of FF1 & 2 for PSP, since it’s getting ported to there. It includes The After Years even. Sigh… Square Enix has forgotten how to tell stories.

        • puchinri

          Wow, SE. I actually think that was kinda of fast too…
          And sigh indeed. I was actually thinking that earlier when I was going to write a particular comment.

          It would be different if it wasn’t just the FF series that we see a lack of (good) story in from them, but it’s not like anything they’re developing is coming with solid, well-developed story. (Well, there’s probably a title or two, but they’re not in the spotlight as far as I know.)

  • badmoogle

    This gen was one of the worst for SE imo.I think they bitted more than they could chew.

  • http://twitter.com/gabriel_may_uk Gabriel May

    Of them all, Black Ops did the best, managing a surprise #1 in the Japan software charts. Eveything else…yeah not so good ¬_¬

    Surprise there was no rioting in Japan when Front Mission Evolved was released.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

    Hey, Squeenix. Look over there. Yeah. That’s Namco. See what they’re doing now? You should do it too.

    • http://galuda.tumblr.com/ Claudio A.

      i totally agree!!

    • Apollokids

      Square-Enix believes that FF14 will be a powerhouse like FF13. I doubt it. Then again, their shareholders aren’t gamers and therefore stupid for believing that the next fiscal year will equal the previous one without a flagship title. They think that slapping the name Final Fantasy will generate another 5.75 million units in sales. Did they mislead their shareholders in order to keep the value of square-enix shares artificially high? Who knows. Anyone in their right mind would have called foul when Square-Enix boasts about expected net income with no software to drive this statement.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        FFXIV is going to be a huge flop, I believe. You’re not going to get people to pay $15 a month, especially with all the bad press that the PC version has received.

    • Guest

      What….not release games overseas?

      • Code

        Yeahhh x_x’ that seems like a terrible idea, or maybe were missing the point. I guess he’s probably getting at not wasting time and money on crappy western studios, but yeahh becoming a recluse and curling back up into Japan is pretty much the worst way to approach fixing the situation.

      • Fonic

        Heh. That was perfect.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        No, not that. lol

        The whole no longer focusing on their Western development part. Although FFXIV is just incompetence. Nothing Western about that game but it’s just looking like the Titanic at this point. Best to just scrap it and give the FFXIV name to a single player title.

        • Fonic

          I always thought it was kind of dumb to make main series installments MMOs. Which are notorious for being hit and miss. They probably should have just made FF11 and 14 a sub-series called FF Online or something.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

            It really should just be called Final Fantasy Online 2.

        • Guest

          I know it was just a dig at Namco because we all know they are not perfect either

  • karasuKumo

    LOL Shame on you Wada. FF14 was an unstable source of profit because players could leave at any given time potentially losing them money (even though it’s free now). Once players will start paying for it they might, just might slightly recover from this. That’s assuming players will come back after the magical update. Their best bet is to rely on their upcoming PSP titles.

  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Do I need to say it? Dare I say that true phrase about good games?

    It seems that Japanese game developers/publishers are doing bad at a time when Western developers and publishers of equivalent size are prospering.

    • Exkaiser

      Well, it’s not like you’ve had any new material recently, man. Might as well go ahead.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

      No, you shouldn’t say it. You wonder why people give you attitude. That phrase is the #1 reason.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XA6XUSURPM6FHULXVVJAENRG4Y Tanto

    Maybe they will learn like namco that we dont want there western stuff.

    Maybe if square made more japanese console games there outlook would be better

    • Locklear93

      This, absolutely this. There are two things I don’t ever want to see from Square. One is games meant to attract a western audience. The other is another Final Fantasy, since the franchise has been so tired for so long.

    • Feynman

      Except Black Ops is probably one of thier biggest successes this year, despite being yet another military-themed FPS. Just Cause 2 is a damn fine game, obviously western, and sold quite well. FFXIII sold well, but is considered to be a subpar game by damn near everybody, selling primarily on brand power. I consider their best title of the year to be Nier, a very, very Japanese game, yet that sold fairly poorly here in the west. You also have to take into account the games released only in Japan that may not have performed as well as expected.

      This isn’t something that can be pinned on the “OMG western games” phobia that gets so many people’s panties in a bunch. I suspect that an awful lot of their problem stems from the pile FFXIV turned out to be… they’ve gone 4 months already without any revenue from subscription fees, and there’s no end in sight. Further, many of their big name console titles, like FFXIII Versus and Agito, have been in development for fucking forever, eating money and resources while providing no financial returns.

      So in summary, some of their biggest hits this year have been western games. They cocked up their major online title so badly that it’s been hemorrhaging money for months. Their internal development process is so costly, slow, and generally just laughably out of date that their big internally produced console titles languish in development for stupid amounts of time. As much as I wish Japanese developers would focus more on Japanese games, that isn’t necessarily their problem here.

      • badmoogle

        Still you have to admit that Front Mission Evolved was a bad decision.
        Why would i ever want to play a previously successful Japanese mecha strategy game by a western dev that instantly turned it into a shooter (as if there wasn’t enough on the market)?
        Love it or hate it this is a genre where Japanese devs are naturally good about it so there was really no need to give it to a western dev with an already bad reputation…

      • http://twitter.com/Sieghardt Sieghardt

        Those western games were HUGE losers. You’re falling into the obvious trap of going “Oh look, those sold pretty well for japan!” while ignoring the fact they spent tens of millions advertising those games with a huge spam of Namie Amuro ads on tv and loads of events with frankly creeepy shows of idols in combat gear

        • Feynman

          If you seriously think that Black Ops and Just Cause 2 didn’t turn a tidy profit, you’re delusional.

          • WonderSteve

            The irony is Black Ops was not developed by Square and Just Cause 2′s development started long before Square acquired Eidos.

            Square made the correct purchasing/publishing decision, but they haven’t developed something in house that is critically acclaimed for a while on a home console.

            Their last success was probably DQIX on a handheld. FFXIII is debatable…considering it took them 5 years.

      • Fonic

        Agree with pretty much everything you said. It’s also gotta suck that they lost Rocksteady and the Arkham sequel. Acquiring Eidos seems like a pretty smart move overall though.
        Another problem is that they’ve abandoned a lot of their once key properties. Chrono and Mana being two examples.

      • PrinceHeir

        yes i think japanese developers should just stick to what they do best. i mean they’ve released one of my favorite games ever. Xeno series, MGS, Castlevania, Devil May Cry and so on.

        on a bright side they might stop catering to west and start making their own games while putting the effort to it, not to mention make it fun.

        Nier is probably one of the biggest surprises this year.

        well the only thing to to bounce back some sales is release PS1 classic games from square. seriously where’s my xenogears, parasite eve, chrono cross and trigger, vagrant story and the Saga series

  • hush404

    Welp… maybe this’ll teach them to actually try when making future titles instead of putting all their resources into pretending to be a massive publisher for the masses.

  • http://twitter.com/LordTridus Chris Eaton

    All I can say is “yay!”

    Square’s games were below par (and in the case of FF 14 ungodly terrible) all year. This is the market telling them “stop sucking”. It’s about time. They’ve been coasting along on the Square name for too long.

    Putting out one of the worst MMOs in years certainly didn’t help either.

  • cmurph666

    I remember back in the day when Square games used to be good.

    • LastFootnote

      Yeah, I remember that. Those were good days.

    • http://twitter.com/Ale598 Ale598

      Man why such pessimism? While I know they have indeed made some mistakes I can still point out games that have been good and that everyone ignores just to keep bashing on SE. Nier, DQ9, Dissidia, Birth by Sleep come to mind.

      • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

        besides Neir, another sequel, a pointless cross-over, and another spin-off of a over saturated series. ok.

        SE needs to give more besides another FF/KH or DQ.

        • http://www.youtube.com/B4ULoveShine Tim_at_where

          I find it hard to believe that #SquareEnix is NOT giving #Taito some attention; heck, it’s really possible that #Lufia would’ve been the #4 BIG RPG in Square Enix’s line up, but alas…

      • puchinri

        Only two of those titles were actually developed by them though, right? And Nier and DQ9 seem the best received of those games, and those are the two not developed by them.

    • puchinri

      I miss SquareSoft.

  • GVmanX

    I hate that NieR didn’t do so hot, but aside from that, I’m not too shocked.

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    Dont go running in circles with us square enix, we all know this happened thanks to FF14

  • godmars

    What they need to do: focus on the the PS3-only version of vsXIII. Make it something worth having.

    What will likely happen: the mid PS3 production title will go multi. Fans will throw up their hands, buy it the first week, then let it go to the bargain bin.

    • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

      yep, XIII needs some company.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Jenni

    You know, if Square Enix just took a step back, maybe just worked on a FFVII PS3 port, all their problems could probably be solved. XD (You know people would buy it, whether it ended up being good or not.)

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    In the light of recent FF’s and other Square games, somehow I feel Versus isn’t going to do much for them… It would help if it went multiplatform and released in 2011, but even then… Their reliance on FF is showing and even that is beginning to fail them.

    When I look at that list, it’s a mixed bag. Not terrible games, some actually quite good. Interestingly, besides FFXIV none of them are actually internally developed, and taken as a whole they have no coherent identity. Square, which up until recently has been made through JRPGs, suddenly shifted gears and published a bunch of seemingly random IP that, regardless of actual quality, it’s JRPG fanbase wouldn’t buy but don’t particularly stand out to the mainstream audiences.

    I don’t know about Japan, but let’s walk into an American retail store and look at some of their games. Nier. Ambigious name, looks low budget, and stars an ugly old man. Those willing to play it will find gold, otherwise, automatic prejudice from first impression. Just Cause 2. 2? Most people don’t even know there’s a 1, and will feel like they missed something. One point off. The game’s drawing points are an absolutely HUGE open world and amazing hook shot action every 2 seconds. But could you tell that from the box? Heck no. Looks like another generic action game. Two points off. Kane and Lynch 2. 2 again? Same problem. Even if you knew, the 1st one was generally hated, which doesn’t help. What’s that on the cover? Ugly old men? Again? Holding guns and under an overblown cheap digital camera filter? Not looking any more attractive, guys (Too bad, game is quite flawed but fun in with a buddy). Front Mission Evolved. Inoffensive, but… the humans look puny and inattentive, the mechas look boxy and boring… all plastered in the dulling color gray. FPS fans go back to their FPS, mecha fans don’t know what to make of it.

    Covers aren’t everything, but they speak to people who don’t invest much time in researching their games, which is a lot of gamers. At best a good number look at metacritic, and all the games I listed were panned except Just Cause 2, but that was easily overshadowed by a higer rated, highly anticipated, more distinctively themed, and Rockstar branded open world game, Red Dead Redemption.

    • WonderSteve

      I think if Square really wants me to spend money to buy their “new” action games/action RPG. They really need to spend more time and resources on it.I would expect “Uncharted 2″ like quality graphics and presentation.

      If they want to build an open world game, I expect nothing less than RDR quality.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        I too, want Square’s in-engine cutscenes to look as good as Uncharted 2 and their worlds to be as expansive as RDR, but let’s face the reality here:
        Square struggles with HD development as is, so doing something technically on par with the above titles is… just unlikely.

        Uncharted 2 is the culmination of Naughty Dog’s thoroughly time consuming optimization of their engine for the PS3′s unusually difficult hardware, being Sony’s first party showcase studio and all. That is something Square cannot afford to do.

        Read Dead Redemption is an accumulation of Rockstar’s open world expertise fined-tuned through numerous years and countless games in that genre. Square has no comparable experience.

        Sorry to put down those ideas… I really hope I am proven wrong. :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

      See, I think Versus XIII will be the ONLY success they have whatever year they eventually get around to releasing it. Making it multiplatform won’t help it at all. I don’t know a single PS3 owner (in real life, not on the interwebs) who isn’t looking forward to it. Consequently, I don’t know a single 360 owner who cares if it gets ported.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        If that’s the only success they have and they realize it, it’s hard to see that Versus will remain exclusive. FF on the 360 sold quite a number (well over a million worldwide). They’ll want to to re-pick those pockets.

        Personally, as a PS3 owner, I feel disappointed by Square, and have lowered my expectations. After promising 2 PS3 exclusives, Square invested in the release of 3 360 exclusives, left the PS3 in the dark, then retracted exclusivity of XIII. None of that would matter if I wasn’t so disappointed when I finally got to play the game: I waited 5 years… for *THIS*??? Versus might be good, but the mediocrity of XIII, the mess that is XIV, and the slow but petty news about tweaking outfits from Nomura doesn’t inspire much confidence.

        Due to excess milking on top of what I listed, FF has been damaged as a brand. Yet it has some life left, which Wada and Co. will try to squeeze for all it’s worth. If Versus fails on the PS3, it will be ported to the 360 in attempt to recover more profit. If it succeeds on the PS3, it will be ported to the 360 in hopes for similar success. Either way, multiplat will happen, but will it save Square?

  • Aiddon

    most of what they’ve made in recent years has been garbage. Heck, the section of Square titles with the highest batting average has been the tri-Ace catalog which at least have relentless gameplay going for them. The coming year also looks bleak with only Tactics Ogre looking to be a GOOD game (though I expect it to be a financial disappointment). FFXIV’s failure is costing SE a LOT of money and their lack of talented devs and writers is no longer a secret.

  • Code

    I still love Square (even if at the moment it’s tough love opo) but they kind of deserve to take a hit after this rotten year. The only redeeming Square title I played this year was Nier, although to be fair I haven’t picked up any DS/PSP titles from them this year, I figure Dragon Quest IX will be great, and BBS looks potentially good (even if at this point I’m lost in the plot opo;). But yeah I’m hoping Square learns from it’s mistakes and makes 2011 the year of it’s return >w<'

  • http://twitter.com/Xuiz enorka miho

    All I can conclude from most of the commenters here and also the report above is that… I think SE should be a sadist like Namco who just do not care a sh** about what western gamers thinks. They do whatever they think is best for themselves and the people from their home country.. Well, since they do not have the minds to excel in this field too thus making most of their game a mediocre… SE might as well just stop it..

    Also, I do not think that SE do not have talented writers, I personally think that most of their proposal were rejected due to the fact that it was a tad bit too JRPG… They take the whole globalization thing the wrong way and think that being in the middle of everything is the best way to cater for both audience, which in fact is not the case… The feeling that they gave are almost like half done and you just do not feel for the game itself.. Just like miso soup mix with some italian cuisine that failed miserably.. Because you just can’t taste anything at the end of the day…

    So,I think its really Wada’s fault or whoever that make the decision… Fire him, and maybe SE will come back with a new franchise… Although I personally do not wish FF to go… But speaking of FF, KH and DQ I think the company was haunted by these success too… It feels almost like nothing they come up is going to be as good as that franchise or feel too much like it.. Perhaps they should break up the company for some time? Sort of like taking a break?

  • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

    It’s worth pointing out that the company is still in the black – they’re anticipating a profit, meaning all outstanding expenses will be paid for. The company isn’t in *danger*-danger and hopefully nobody will lose their jobs.

    That said, damn. Complain about “western games” all you want (and admittedly FME didn’t do so well in the review circuit or with players), but even Square is chalking this one up to FFXIV’s epic failure (and most of the reduction in forecast probably comes from SE not picking up any fees from the game). XIV really is shaping up to be a Spirits Within-level blunder for the company; I hope it doesn’t cause them to actually lose money and take us into a repeat of the early part of last decade.

  • WonderSteve

    It used to be like this…

    I usually have a lot of confidence on a new franchise from Square…I will buy them even without looking at reviews first…and they usually turn out very good. Xenogears and Parasite Eve are prime examples.

    These days…I would very carefully examine the reviews of a new SE game before I buy. The last satisfying purchase decision from SE was FFXII for me. DS version of FFIV doesn’t count since that’s a port of an old game.

    They just somehow lost my confidence…They need to focus on what they are good at…and not branching out to different genre and spread their resource thin.

    They also need to step up and get comfortable with HD console development.

    • puchinri

      Agreed. The shift is sad and even a little weird.

      And I think they definitely try to stretch themselves too much. I think focusing would be a good thing for them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

      Here’s the thing. I actually enjoyed the last three Squeenix purchases I made. Final Fantasy XIII, Nier, and Star Ocean International were all actually pretty solid games. However, the stuff they’ve got from their Eidos side has all just been crap, with the exception of Arkham Asylum and now that Squeenix itself is outsourcing to Western developers to make awful abominations like Front Mission Evolved, it’s pretty obvious they’ve lost their way.

      • WonderSteve

        Well I am glad you are happy with FFXIII. I haven’t finished it. I find the game all right, but so far it doesn’t reflect the quality for a game that took 5 years to make.

        I didn’t buy Nier. I heard it is good. The fact SE stripped away the character choices in that game makes me decide not to buy it. I have nothing against the old man, I just don’t like the developers dictating decisions like these for the players.

        I never considered Star Ocean to be a “Square game.” It was made by tri-Ace. Although most of tri-Ace’s games were published by Square, to me tri-Ace is always different. I like their recent “Resonance of Fate” (published by SEGA) much more than FFXIII.

        Arkham Asylum was made by Rocksteady. No connection with Square at all from my view.

        Basically, what I am trying to say it. Square is still in the black thanks to some correct publishing decision. The golden age of their internal development team seems to have passed. They are hiding in the handheld zone and haven’t produced a really excellent game that can rival Xenogear on a HD console.

        I have a feeling my next favorite RPG will be Sakaguchi’s “Last Story.”

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Hey, my thoughts exactly, except I dove into Nier aware of the whole dual character issue. It’s hard to forget but once you get into the game it’s really not bad at all.

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    At this point, Square can die for all I care. They’ve mostly been ass this entire gen, it’s about time they took a hit. Relying on only DQ, FF, and KH can only get you so far for so long…

  • LynxAmali

    >_<

    Hope they learned that FM Evolved WAS NOT a good game. It was awful. It was almost like a sterotypical mech sim, just without the customization. Plus the whole "Invincible Bosses" and unbalanced gameplay. Remind anybody of a certain AC game? FM Evolved was "Armored Core for Dummies"

    Oh yeah. XIII was my first FF game. I liked it. Now if we can get a Xenogears sequel sometime, that's good mind you, I would be forgiving.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

    And yet, I’m sure there will be another Kane & Lynch game made in a year or two. That one will suck just as bad as the first two and sell just as poorly.

    Hell, I don’t see Tomb Raider doing that well either, in all honesty. Remember when Uncharted first came out and people were calling it “Dude Raider?” And then they actually played it and, while it wasn’t anything hugely spectacular, it was still better than any Tomb Raider since the first one. Soon, Tomb Raider was scrambling to copy Uncharted.

    Which makes me wonder…were there any actual profitable Eidos franchises left when Squeenix bought them up? I mean, they hadn’t made a Legacy of Kain game in a long time and people had stopped caring about Tomb Raider around the time of the third reboot. Hitman and Thief, I guess?

  • RupanIII

    All I can say is that maybe some financial gloom is necessary to shake them out of their complacency and malaise

  • Tokyo Guy

    Right…so let’s see here. Square puts out absolute crap and expects people to feel sorry for it when poor profits are reported? Seems to me this is EXACTLY what the company needs to give it a good kick in the pants and fire the dead-weight CEO running it.

    • Aiddon

      their CEO isn’t the only dead weight hanging around. A LOT of pruning has been far overdue for the creative teams that continuing churning out poorly designed, laughably written dross.

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