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New Square Enix Boss Wants To Remove "What Doesn't Work"

After long-time Square Enix president Yoichi Wada stepped down, many gamers hoped for a possible return to glory.

And perhaps it's encouraging to know that new company president Yosuke Matsuda is going to review the entire situation and weed out what "doesn't work." According to Siliconera citing a recent briefing to investors, Matsuda's analysis should begin immediately and will hopefully have an impact.

"After having succeeded the important role as the president, I plan on reviewing all Square Enix duties, business and assets on a zero-based budgeting standpoint."

After Wada held the top dog role for over a decade, Matsuda must now find a way to return Square Enix to both profit and respectability on the consumer level. The bottom line is that they need to focus on what makes them successful, and try to avoid anything that causes them to slide even more. Return to their roots, maybe...? Added Matsuda:

"I'd like to fundamentally review what works and what doesn't work for our company, then cast all of our resources towards extending what makes us successful and thoroughly squeezing out what doesn't."

Square Enix Europe CEO Phil Rogers will be promoted to company director so as to assist Matsuda in this important endeavor. Wada is still with the company but in a non-managerial role so ideally, he can't do any more damage. As for Matsuda-

Psst...hey...c'mere...want a perfect example of what doesn't work and has basically earned a 100% disapproval rating from gamers? Look at this picture. Deduce logically and go from there. Thanks.

Tags: square enix, square enix president, square enix games, gaming industry

4/3/2013 11:29:28 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

TheIllusiveMan
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 11:57:15 AM
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I think Square Enix is a little late for April Fools..

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gumbi
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 12:28:38 PM
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Hopefully this review of "what works and what doesn't work" goes back a good 15 years. If so, it should be pretty evident...

There's also the crazy idea of taking a queue from the fans and what they want. I know, it's a wild idea, but who knows? It might just work!

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Amnesiac
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 12:31:31 PM
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I know... Enix
get rid of that part and you should do fine.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 12:57:05 PM
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Sadly I'm sure this just means what doesn't work on the business side of things, but I hope it means what doesn't work on the software content side which includes making FF into a confused automatic action game, insulting plotlines, games nobody wants, DLC to get the ending, Lengthy developments peppered with little information, etc and so forth.

ALL they have to do is do what they used to do, but does anyone think that will really happen?

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telly
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 2:10:17 PM

The two aren't always mutually exclusive, thank goodness. Great games often sell well, so hopefully the strategy the new head honcho comes up with is focused on making them.

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actrambley21
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 12:57:55 PM
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They honestly need to spend some time with a one-on-one conversation with their fans. Instead of making the games that they THINK people want to play, they need to make games that people ACTUALLY want to play. At least until they can get back on track creatively and come up with innovations that will pique the interest of the gaming community.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 5:20:01 PM

It's Vash the Stampede he's comin!

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Highlander
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 1:34:43 PM
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Two things would help them greatly, both financially and in the credibility department. 1) launch a working FFXIV ARR title, that actually appeals to gamers. 2) finish and launch FFvsXIII, it's been announced and in development so long that it's become a joke. Finish it and ship it, or kill it. One or the other, dragging it out further hurts SE every single day it remains in limbo.

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BlinkBoy
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 2:06:38 PM
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They should reduce development time of 6-8 years on a games. FFXIII to 6 years and they have squeezed out 3 games of that so far just because they had so much content to be cut out.

Hopefully they will make a good return with FFXV, and please do not just rename FFversusXIII to FFXV.

My favourite Square games are all back in the 90s.
Chrono Trigger, FFT, Xenogears even Brave Fencer Musashi one the first Square games with voices. The Secret of Mana and Sword of Mana games.
The last hurrah for me on PS1 was Chrono Cross.
I also liked FFX and X-2. Since i love FFT and the job class system, I have no problem with the dress spheres.

Dragon Quest VIII is probably my favourite on PS2 from Square, but that was made by Level 5.

Square has inspired me to try and make my own games now. I am just starting to play around with Unity and bought a RPG tool kit. I am going for turn based, and no one can't stop me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 5:20:25 PM

Nor would we want to stop you Blink :)

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shadowscorpio
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:30:21 AM

Go for it blink! I'll never truly understand why not even ONE of the head honcho rpg devs won't make at least one traditional turn-based rpg this gen.

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cadpig
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:47:08 AM
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Hopefully , square won't copy skyrim and stick a final fantasy label on it.

Is it to much to hope for a photo realistic turn based JRPG?

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___________
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 8:43:51 AM
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NO WAY!
a company actually wanting to remove ideas that do not work!?
what radical thinking!!!!!!
christ, what is this world coming to!?

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Dan
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:35:46 AM
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When Sony announced the PS4, they said that they started going to developers from the start of the PS3's lifetime for that "What do the developers want in the console" campaign. So maybe Square Enix saw that as an opportunity to keep versus for the PS4.
Yeah well, I still had a little tiny hope for them, so I do try to believe that's what happened.

But anyway, with this new CEO, would that mean we can b*tch about an FFVII remake again? :D

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xenris
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:42:34 AM
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I can't believe they actually need to sit down and think about this.

Here is an idea what made square great in the first place? RPGS. So logically they should look at all the RPGs they made that sold well, or were critically acclaimed, like Chrono trigger, Vagrant Story, Chrono cross, FF 3-12, Brave fencer Musashi, Threads of Fate, Kingdom Hearts, I dunno there are more but those titles stand out to me as titles all my friends knew about before the internet was a huge thing.

So they look at those games, and just make things a bit more modern. Make a turn based JRPG but make it so you don't get into random battles every 3 steps and the fights are fast, tactical, and fun. Make it so save points aren't an issue, make it open like the older Final Fantasy games. Put in lots of fun unique side quests that ARENT just fetch quests, and finally give it an excellent unique narrative.

Xenoblade, The Last story and Ni No Kuni are the only recent JRPGs that came close to doing these things. But none of those were turn based. If they could get a good fun turn based system down that was easy to learn hard to master they would be sitting good.

Sadly I think this means, that they are going to look at the western studios they own and try too annualize key franchises like Deus Ex, Sleeping dogs and Tomb raider so they can get their profits up.

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Ultima
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 4:52:57 PM
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As WorldEndsWithMe aludes, what counts as "doesn't work" from HIS perspective may not be what WE think "doesn't work". I still worry that all this means is that Square will abandon console development entirely and just stick to portables/iOS from now on.

For those bitching about no turn-based RPGs any more, note that Square made one just last year: Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. And I hear it's pretty good! But it's for 3DS (and currently Japan only, though there are rumours it might be coming stateside; still, for PS3 owners, or even Vita owners, this doesn't help). So yeah... >:|

By the way, on this note, can we pleas stopping throwing out "remake FFVII" as some kind of solution to Square's problems? Note only is it not the solution, I don't even think it's a good idea. Maybe *after* they've gotten Final Fantasy back on track - in my opinion, that means replicating what they did in the PSX days, where they manage to get 3 good mainline Final Fantasies in a row in a reasonable amount of time, as opposed to TWO (not counting sequels, spinoffs, or MMOs variants) in the last twelve years. The reason is simple: There's NO WAY Square can do a proper remake of FFVII that would do the original justice in the eyes of either the fans or Square themselves.

This isn't to say they couldn't make a superior game - FFVII is riddled with flaws, most of which could be easily fixed. But there's no way to recapture the sheer nostalgic awe of when the game was new and floored everyone who saw it. With with FFVII on PSN, it's doubtful anyone who wants to play FFVII hasn't already.

Second, the sheer detail that went into the CG backgrounds of VII would be a nightmare to replicate in real time 3D. It could be done, but it would probably take many years and tons of resources. The only way it could be done without having huge development costs is to scale back the graphics, i.e. make it for 3DS or PSP (a remake of VII for PSP using Crisis Core-level graphics would actually have been cool 5 years ago, but I doubt anyone would be satisfied with that now). Even Vita would be very expensive to properly graphically develop for.

All of this would be fine if the game was expected to sell a suitable number of copies. But it won't: VII was something of an anomaly among FF games because it did a number of things first: First FF on a non-Nintendo system, first FF on CD, first FF with 3D graphics, etc. FFVII not only drew in the FF faithful, but expanded the audience and brought in a ton of new fans and players who got caught up in the hype. That's why it sold 10 million copies. Every FF has sold less and less since then, with XIII being the exception to the trend, actually selling more than XII, probably because it was the first FF on current consoles plus it went multi-platform. It is extremely unlikely that a FFVII remake would sell another 10 million copies. I'd be surprised if it sold 70% of that. The FF fanbase is saturated, RPGs aren't "new" like they were in VII's time, and while I'm sure Square could make a gorgeous-looking remake if given sufficient time, it's doubtful that a modern VII could "wow" with graphics like VII did in 1997.

When you consider the fact that a remake of VII would likely cost many times more to make than the original, to sell what is likely to be many fewer copies, and can never match up to the nostalgia-fueled memories of the original, it all adds up to remaking FFVII a very bad idea, both right now and for the foreseeable future. I think it makes more more sense for Square to push forward with new FF titles that don't get directly compared to the series' most successful iteration and which won't break the bank to make. Crank out 3 FFs in a reasonable amount of time (like one every two years), build back up the FF name, get your development processes under control, and THEN see about remaking VII.

Last edited by Ultima on 4/4/2013 4:55:34 PM

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