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Square Enix President Laying Down The Law

Illustration for article titled Square Enix President Laying Down The Law

Square Enix's 2007 financial statement indicates that the company is going through a rough patch. How bad are things? Apparently, there has been an internal shakedown going on. According to several company insiders, things are getting heated. Word has it that a fierce meeting was held over a month ago where the Square Enix honcho threatened to start axing employees if they didn't (and we're paraphrasing) "stop making games that only they wanted to play." Wada is supposedly worried that the company's games have become more and more insular, alienating itself from the mainstream. Granted, this is purely a rumor, but there does seem to be a huge dichotomy within the company's products. You've got very, very casual Japan-only DS titles on one hand, then largely an endless stream of Final Fantasy spin-offs and remakes. Not exactly a balanced portfolio! Sure, Dragon Quest IX and Final Fantasy XIII are going to be huge, but neither game has a firm release date. Putting all your eggs in one basket, no? That, or painting oneself in a corner.

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DISCUSSION

TheSadClown
Nightshift Nurse

Square Enix Remakes since 2003 (complete or confirmed in production):

1. Sword of Mana (GBA)

2. Final Fantasy 1 and 2: Dawn of Souls (GBA)

3. Final Fantasy 4 (GBA)

4. Final Fantasy 5 (GBA)

5. Final Fantasy 6 (GBA)

6. Final Fantasy 3 (DS)

7. Final Fantasy 4 (DS)

8. Dragon Quest 4 (DS)

9. Dragon Quest 5 (DS)

10. Dragon Quest 6 (DS)

11. Front Mission (DS)

12. Final Fantasy (PSP)

13. Final Fantasy 2 (PSP)

14. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (PSP)

15. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP)

16. Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP)

17. Star Ocean: Second Evolution (PSP)

18. Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song (PS2)

Total: 18 games

Square Enix Original Projects since 2003 (complete or confirmed in production):

1. Children of Mana (DS)

2. Dawn of Mana (PS2)

3. Dragon Quest 8 (PS2)

4. Dragon Quest 9 (DS)

5. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (DS)

6. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (DS)

7. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (Wii)

8. Drakengard (PS2)

9. Drakengard 2 (PS2)

10. Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core (PSP)

11. Final Fantasy 7: Dirge of Cerberus (PS2)

12. Final Fantasy 10-2

13. Final Fantasy 11: Chains of Promathia

14. Final Fantasy 11: Treasures of Aht Urgan (PS2)

15. Final Fantasy 11: Wings of the Goddess (PS2)

16. Final Fantasy 12 (PS2)

17. Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings (DS)

18. Final Fantasy 13 (PS3)

19. Final Fantasy 13 Versus (PS3)

20. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates (DS)

21. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (Wii)

22. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (Wii)

23. Final Fantasy: Dissidia (PSP)

24. Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales (DS)

25. Final Fantasy Fables: Chocoo Dungeon (Wii)

26. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)

27. Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (DS)

28. Front Mission 4 (PS2)

29. Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness (DS)

30. Heroes of Mana (DS)

31. Infinite Undiscovery (360)

32. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (GBA)

33. Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)

34. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP)

35. Kingdom Hearts 365/2 Days (DS)

36. The Last Remnant (PS3/360)

37. Lord of Vermillion (Arcade)

38. Musashi: Samurai Legend (PS2)

39. Project Silpheed (360)

40. Radiata Stories (PS2)

41. Sigma Harmonics (DS)

42. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2)

43. Unlimited SaGa (PS2)

44. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (PS2)

45. Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One (DS)

46. The World Ends With You (DS)

Total: 46 Games (And I've knowingly left off a few titles!)

What can we conclude from this?

1. Remakes are still dwarfed by original products.

2. 1/3 of those remakes are neither Dragon Quest nor Final Fantasy titles.

3. Square has released over 60 titles in 5 years.

Personally, I think the proof is right there in front of everyone. Square needs to prioritize and stop trying to develop a dozen projects at once...because not everything is going to be pure gold. Final Fantasy 13 and Dragon Quest 9 are arguably their biggest upcoming titles so obviously they should focus on those at the expense of most everythng else. Kingdom Hearts has been consistently well received by Western audiences, so having two games confirmed down the pipeline is nice…but it would still benefit them greatly to at least announce Kingdom Hearts 3. And finally, give the pople what they want, remake Final Fantasy 7 and revisit the Chrono series. (Honestly, Chrono is about the only old property they haven't revisted in the last 5 years…though that probably has something to do with the Blade Runner-esque web of ownership rights its tied up in.)