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Square Enix Warns Investors Of "Extraordinary Losses"

Not that a terrible earthquake and nuclear crisis didn't have an impact, but veteran gamers will point to other reasons for the massive downturn.

Back in February, Square Enix issued its projected net income of only 1 billion yen ($12.35 million), which was down 90% in a year-over-year comparison. But just before the publisher presents its full-year financial numbers, they've issued a depressing update: for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2011, the company now expects "extraordinary losses" of 12 billion yen ($148.33 million) on revenue of 125 billion yen ($1.53 billion). This is in stark comparison to the 9.5 billion yen ($117.4 million) in profit the company made on 192.25 billion yen ($2.37 billion) revenue the year prior.

Many of the losses are attributed to "a reassessment of unspecified previous acquisitions now worth about 8.8 billion yen ($108.78 million) less due to "a rapidly changing operating environment." Plus, the publisher expects to can a bunch of projects, although we don't have targeted titles just yet. It isn't good news for investors and long-time gamers will wistfully remember the days of Squaresoft, when it seemed most everything the company touched turned to gold. My, how times have changed.

Tags: square enix, square enix sales, square enix earnings

5/12/2011 3:13:27 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (73 posts)

CrusaderForever
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 3:49:08 PM
Reply

Hmmm, what could we do to get back in the green? Hmmm, wait, I have it, FFVII remake! DING DING DING DING! Idiots! This is what happens when you mess with a proven formula.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

FatherSun
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:01:19 PM

I wonder, considering the losses. Can they even afford to produce a proper remake? Can they afford not to?

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mog
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:04:43 PM

I'm starting to think that there is a reason as to why they won't remake final fantasy 7. I'm not too sure what it is but there MUST be a reason. I doubt Square is THAT oblivious.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:36:42 PM

the reasin is it will be the card played when the company is in huge trouble, like now

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Akuma07
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:29:53 PM

Its true, FF7 has the potential to not only sell massive numbers to the millions of FF fans around the world, but i honestly believe that it is EXACTLY what the industry needs right now, a killer RPG.

Modern western gamers have never played a game like that before, and if they did it right, they could re-ignite the RPG passion.

FF7 is Squares chance to re-introduce the RPG formula, just like it was 10 years ago. There hasn't been ANY true RPG games since FFX, its no wonder that western gamers dont care about rpgs anymore, they havnt seen or played ANY good ones.

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tayizfire
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:46:45 AM

whoa@akuma07 ...lol... am I the only one who played Demon Soul's here...we have played a great one...unless you mean turn-based rpg's ...and i think V.C. was pretty decent...

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Fane1024
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 3:36:19 AM

@Akuma07

Not to start *another* debate about the definition of "RPG", but that's complete BS.

The truth is that there haven't EVER been ANY true RPG games [sic] on computers or consoles or handhelds.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 5/13/2011 3:39:31 AM

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FatherSun
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 3:56:42 PM
Reply

They didn't see the writings on the wall and they are now seeing their profits through the floor. They just may need to produce that FFVII remake if only to survive. But be careful Square, you mess that up and you are finished. It's a shame really, they are not a bad company. They just lost their mojo.

Last edited by FatherSun on 5/12/2011 3:58:49 PM

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Oyashiro
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:01:21 PM
Reply

Quick SE! RE-re-re-re-release some more games!

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Scarecrow
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:04:53 PM
Reply

GOOD! Money talks!

Now give us real jrpgs

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Mog
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:07:21 PM
Reply

A final fantasy 7 remake will most likely be their pheonix down.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Qwarktast1c
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:14:46 PM
Reply

if not a FF7 remake then at least give us an HD update to the PS2 FFs

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:37:36 PM

whats a truck fighter?

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Oyashiro
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:53:03 PM

We don't talk about Truck Fighting... Its rule 1 and 2.
.
.
.
.
Wait... Damnit!

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Qwarktast1c
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 5:31:20 PM

Truckfighters is a swedish desert/fuzz rock band

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Akuma07
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:31:29 PM

what the hell is a desert rock band? =S

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Qwarktast1c
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 11:27:01 PM

ever hear of Kyuss? they are the pioneers of desert rock
its pretty much easier to show than tell

http://youtu.be/KcY3UF6_IaM

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BikerSaint
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 2:51:00 PM

Qwarktast1c

Just beKyuss you gave us that link, I gave you 1 thumbs up

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Excelsior1
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:38:16 PM
Reply

maybe it's just the sony fan in me speaking, but i don't think square getting in bed with ms has helped them any. i know they would strongly disagree with me, though.

they still have a lot of talent, and i did enjoy ff13 despite its flaws. i'm actually looking forward to ff13-2 a lot.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:47:14 PM

It was a nice, quick payoff, but ultimately (as I pointed out at the start of this generation) it would not be profitable in the long run.

You couldn't find a better example of a company reaping the negative results from literally "selling out"

Agree with this comment 8 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:26:55 PM

My thinking is that it's mostly due to Wada severely misjudged exactly how many commercial truck drivers he'd actually need to get all of M$ Armored trucks over to SE's "Bank of Immoral Deposits".

Last edited by BikerSaint on 5/12/2011 6:28:42 PM

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Akuma07
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:32:24 PM

You guys DO realise what this means.


FFvXIII has just been turned into a multiplatform title.....

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tayizfire
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:49:56 AM

let me be the first to say ...FF 13 was terrible plus 1...it needs and x-potion just to become and 6 on the scale of gaming...boring ass game ..simply put...10-2 was better lmaooo

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Fane1024
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 3:44:57 AM

I guess the M$ money all counted toward the budget of S-E's *previous* fiscal year.

p.s. Once again, beaten to the draw (this time by Highlander).



Last edited by Fane1024 on 5/13/2011 3:47:14 AM

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Underdog15
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 8:10:52 AM

FFXIII was a terrible FF, but it was far from a terrible game, tayizfire. Additionally, although I hated FFX-2's dialogue and music, the battle system was perfect.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:45:31 PM
Reply

I join you all in saying "I told you so," but now I'm worried. I get the feeling SE will, instead of going back to what works and makes money, try even HARDER to make faster dumber games that destroy goodness and appeal to some non-existant "Western" gamer who wants to play RPGs polluted with incompatible influences.

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Naztycuts
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 5:02:48 PM

haha entertaining post

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Highlander
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:49:47 PM
Reply

Good god, what were they trying to swallow that was such a poison pill? Or was it just that in previous years their slush fund check from MS offset their losses?

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Jawknee
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:51:45 PM

And there are people out there who believe MS was an over net good for the gaming industry.

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PorkChopGamer
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 11:53:44 PM

Hey, any time you get happy you got a platinum trophy, you just send that Thank You card right on to Redmond.

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Fane1024
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 3:48:11 AM

@High

Poison pill probably = Eidos.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 5/13/2011 3:49:53 AM

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Highlander
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:44:54 PM

That's entirely possible, they bought Eidos for round about $140-$150 million, and the purchase was finalized in April 2009, which puts it into FY10. They just reported FY11 and if Eidos turned out to be much less valuable than the purchase price indicated, this is the first year that the losses could be written down on the balance sheet. I don't think that Eidos was as valuable as their ownership of Lara Croft would have indicated. Also, taking an extraordinary loss on an acquisition is useful in two ways, the first is it provides cover for a year with poor revenue, and the second is that it provides a lot of scope for tax breaks because the asset value of the acquisition has dramatically declined allowing the extraordinary loss to be written to the books.

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A2K78
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:49:53 PM
Reply

Given the fact the japanese portion of the industry have been on a massive downturn and certain titles(The 3rd Birthday) bombed at retail it doesn't suprise me as to why SE is currently in this shape

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Akuma07
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:38:02 PM

But japanese deevelopers cant expect to succeed just because they are making their games more western.

The western market is already overcrowded with games as it is, at least 50% of the games that hit the market these days don't sell high numbers, they are simply saturating the market at a time when most people can't afford it.

Japanese developers should be making their games more unique, we need something different, im getting bored with all the games that come out these days, because they are all exactly the same. Havn't played ANYTHING of FF quality in years.

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Naztycuts
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 4:59:56 PM
Reply

I wonder how much of it is natural disaster, and how much of it is due to them alienating their fan base. FF XIII was one of the most beautiful games I'd ever seen, but they failed to make me want to finish it. You can't just call it Final Fantasy because you own the rights to the name. How hard is it to cater to your fans and make millions? Instead they want to try to get some of the COD crowd.

Newsflash to SE: The hardcore CODheads will never care about your RPG's if they didn't before FF XIII. The once faithful would have continued to line your pockets, bad business move anyone?

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main_event05
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 5:03:23 PM
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Can't make games for the stockholders.

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FxTales
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:22:55 PM
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Wonder if Final Fantasy XIII Versus will go multiplat now.

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Jawknee
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:50:53 PM

As long as Nomura doesn't let Square take it to the chopping block like they did with XIII, I couldn't care less. I just want the damn game to come out at this point.

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Akuma07
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:33:31 PM

It will. This is pretty much an unofficial announcement in my eyes.

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Claire C
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:27:41 PM
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I hope this doesn't affect FF Versus XIII or XIII-2, or the PSP FF.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:32:10 PM
Reply

If this added info below is correct, then even more bad news for $E, and gamers....

According to Kotaku....

Square Enix has cancelled multiple in-development titles, according to the company's latest financial forecast.

These games were binned as the company is "introducing a tightened selection standard regarding title lineup to strengthen the revenue base of the Company's digital entertainment segment".

The name/franchise of the cancelled titles was not disclosed.

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Jawknee
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6:43:19 PM
Reply

But, but, but, they're just trying to adapt to the environment and do their best to survive in a western market.

/

I giggle every time I hear this because of how patently ridiculous the assertion is and the fact that the people who spout this nonsense have an inability and/or simply refuse to acknowledge that this is the exact reason they are failing this generation.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 7:13:36 PM

it was a convenient excuse for people to use in discussing why it was okay to chop up FFXIII for 360.

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PorkChopGamer
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 11:39:20 PM

Heeeeeeey, I said that one time.....
Well, at least you giggled instead of guffawed. Guffaws really sting....

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marcusfrommo
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 7:38:40 PM
Reply

Ahh, let me see, a triple a game is released on both consoles, ff13, and unimpressive games there after.

Oh well.

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Codeez
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 8:07:12 PM
Reply

This is off topic, but has anyone seen the "make your own apology" article on ign? .....Ridiculous.

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karneli lll
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 9:05:39 PM
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'No more exclusives from square' thats all i heard.

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kokoro
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 9:07:53 PM
Reply

"If you want everything, you'll end up with nothing". Lulu to Tidus. Final Fantasy X

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Akuma07
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:35:10 PM

You know what is hilarious, that is the MOST RELEVANT quote I have ever seen, in regards to squares current predicament.....AND THEY ARE THE ONES WHO PUT IT IN THEIR OWN GAME!!

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shadowscorpio
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:30:05 AM

That comment alone should be mail and/or shown to everyone at Square-enix. Brilliant!

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Fane1024
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 3:54:09 AM

...and today's internet winner is...kokoro.

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Arvis
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 8:13:33 AM

*rousing applause for kokoro*

That was simply amazing, my friend. Just fantastic!

-Arvis

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AbsoluteZer0
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 9:50:09 PM
Reply

Would this have anything to do with a changing market for anime in Japan(possibly due to the tsunami?)? A large number of the anime I've seen have had a small notice about being paid for/owned/sponsored(I'm not sure, my Japanese is non-existent) by SE. Although I do recognize that SE has not made games that live up to the quality of their past(I've been playing Chrono Trigger for the first time....it's amazing), is this truely the reason for such a enormous fall in profits? Could anyone offer some perspective on this?

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AbsoluteZer0
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 9:50:10 PM
Reply

Sorry, Accidental double post.

Last edited by AbsoluteZer0 on 5/12/2011 9:50:36 PM

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Fane1024
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 3:57:05 AM

FYI if you can still edit your comment, you should also be able to delete it completely.

The button is right next to "Edit" and looks like a trash can.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 5/13/2011 3:58:10 AM

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Roach721
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 9:50:24 PM
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If they stay in Buisness, would this be a good time to buy stock with them???? What do you guys think?

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bridgera
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 10:33:44 PM

Excellet thinking roach, I assume their ticker is SQNXF. Is at $17 now, was $27 back when it IPO'd.

Give it a little bit. I'd consider waiting until the next quarter to see how their finances turn out after an announcement like this.

I'd definitely be wary of this stock from a customer's persective, that company hasn't really produced a product I wanted in quite a while. From that sense, I'd be worried about further losses and non-recovery.

That actually gives me the idea to look at investing in video game companies immediately before big game releases.

Now I want to look at activision's stock before & after COD releases, see if there was any change in stock price the following quarter.

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Roach721
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 2:50:28 AM

@bridgera

I'd like to look at some info like that do you recommend any web sites for that? Some that are not that complicated.

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bridgera
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 10:26:40 PM

Google is really good for basic information. Type in the stock ticker SQNXF, and click on "Finance".

You can scale the timeline all the way back to when they became a public traded company.

For things like how stock priced was influenced by a game release, you have to look up when the games were released, and then keep in mind that profits aren't posted until the end of the calendar quarter. (Jan 1 to Mar 31)(Apr 1 to Jun 30th... etc).

You can often see a jump in stock price when companies post their quarterly profits.

if you are really interested in investing, I'd definitely recommend you read some books by Peter Lynch. He worked for an investment firm for a long period of time and has some great intro books to investing.

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BigBoss4ever
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:09:40 AM
Reply

ok, loss loss loss, and let all this mess collapse and rot with Wada. they should restore the original true team which consist of sakaguchi, nobuo, nomura, yasunori mitsuda etc. just let Wada die with this squeenix westernization mess. rest is all good

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 5/13/2011 12:10:13 AM

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shadowscorpio
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:32:57 AM
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Everyone here has spoken precisely what was on my mind after reading this.

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PorkChopGamer
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 2:01:37 AM
Reply

This is like watching an episode of Maury Povich.

Maury: Square-Enix, in the case of Final Fantasy 13: This is NOT a JRPG!!

Square Enix runs to the back devastated and all of you are cheering, taking some weird sort of pleasure in it.

In all seriousness, I like Square alot. I sincerely hope they bounce back.

And for a little parity to end my work day, this is strictly for those who are mad that the 360 gets multiplatform RPG support. How can the PS family be the Holy Grail for RPG devs when they barely supported the one exclusive JRPG (not counting the mighty NIS games) they have? WKC 1 million over THREE games. And Gow 3 and Uncharted 2- 10 million. I'll hang up now and listen to your response over the radio.

Last edited by PorkChopGamer on 5/13/2011 2:05:28 AM

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kokoro
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 2:28:10 AM

Man you crack me up.

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Fane1024
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 4:08:48 AM

Maybe it would have sold better (though 1 million ain't bad) if it had gotten good reviews like the two games you mentioned (not to mention their predecessors).

p.s. I don't understand the phrase "over THREE games"; WKC *2* isn't even fully released yet. Moreover, GOWIII and U2 are completely distinct games; why group them in your comparison other than to exaggerate the disparity artificially?

Perhaps a comparison to some 360-exclusive JRPGs would have been better. Oh, wait, didn't they all tank?

p.p.s. Fan of Level 5; not saying the lukewarm reviews were deserved.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 5/13/2011 4:21:02 AM

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Arvis
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 8:22:16 AM

Agreed with Fane. Did I miss two WKC games??

And everything Level 5 does is really good. Admittedly, WKC is the "worst" Level 5 game I have ever played, and yet it is still amazing. Pretty much just as good as FFXIII. And when you consider the history and size of Square and Level 5 you'd realize how insane it is that Level 5 can reach the same level of quality as Square even when they're not at their best.

-Arvis

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Underdog15
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 8:28:49 AM

I dunno... why do FF's typically score between 9.1-9.4 in their reviews and FFXIII only scored an 8.4? Still good... but an entire point not up to par.

While I personally bought WKC, I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that WKC is better than GOW3 or Uncharted. jRPG's are my preference. I don't even like GOW games. Yet I'm not going to pretend they aren't as good as WKC.

You want PS3 owners to support jRPG's? Then make a high quality one deserving on AAA status. There hasn't been a AAA jRPG on consoles at all this gen, if you ask me.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 5/13/2011 8:29:11 AM

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PorkChopGamer
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 8:35:47 AM

Tip: Don't own a comic book store if you want sleep.

Fane: It's just for people who hate the idea of RPG makers putting it on both systems. I'm not saying one group of gamers is better than the other. That was the point here. To illustrate the parity.

There are 3 games WKC,WKC PSP and WKC2

The reason I put UC2 and GOW3(awesome games!) is to solidify the point. People will say 360 gamers don't buy JRPGs, they Buy Halo and Gears. I say PS3 gamers aren't supporting them any better, they are buying UC and GoW.

Look at the multiplatform games. Eternal Sonata, Res o' Fate, Star Ocean. Just not selling on both really. That's the sad part. A lot of beauty out there on the shelves.

I remember a time when the term 'epic' would be exclusively used for RPGs in game world. Now action games get the tag and for some people that's enough. Why learn a battle system and grind and level up to awesome proportions of strentgh and magic, when you can pop in GoW3 and start riding a freakin' titan up Mount Olympus minute one.

Gaming is becoming Hollywood. Great action rules the charts, while the slower, more well thought out games are on the back burner. Should Demon's Souls, Valkyria Chronicles, and Heavy Rain sold as much as GoW3? Heck yes, in my opinion. Should Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon(LOVE this one), and Alan Wake sold as much as
Gears and Halo? Dang straight, they should have!

Put aside partisan gaming, for a sec. The fact is we are seeing the genre we love(especially on this site) begin to fade. Yes, it is being replaced by games like Mass Effect(Mass Effect 2, my wife suspects something...), Fallout, Dragon Age, so the RPG lover in me has stuff to fall back on. But the JRPG is tops for me. I don't want it to go.


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Underdog15
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 10:07:35 AM

I've played Res. of Fate, Eternal Sonata, and Star Ocean TLHI. I like Star Ocean pretty well. Eternal Sonata was better than most realize, I thought. Res. of Fate left me feeling like it should be good, but it came across as super bland to me. I felt like it was supposed to be complex, but in reality, it was pretty repetitive and small in scale.

Yet, despite me liking these jRPG's, I can't say I would have ever recommended getting them at full price. (Although I did get Star Ocean on release... lol) I just remember playing jRPG's like Xenogears, Xenosaga, Dragon Quest 7 and 8, the final fantasies of yore, dotHack and Kingdom Hearts (although action rpgs), Legend of Dragoon, and i think... has anything this generation come close too ANY of these titles?!

My answer is no. I firmly believe that no one has developed a jRPG that is of AAA quality. But if you look at those titles, a majority of them are SquareSoft/Enix titles. It's not that I don't support jRPG's appropriately. I just really believe no one has made a truly made a top notch jRPG yet. Which to me says, the only ones buying are the people who love that niche of games.

I firmly believe that if anyone makes a AAA quality jRPG, it will do very well. Most of my friends have only purchased one jRPG this generation: Final Fantasy XIII. None of them were blown away by it. But they liked it ok. None of them are ever going to get the niche games like WKC or VC. I'm the only one in my circle that did. My friend Jesse did give WKC a shot, but he hated it. Make a sick Dragon Quest, FF, or Xeno-something? I guarantee most of my friends would get it.

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Highlander
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 12:58:53 PM

Undergog,

No, nothing has come close to triple A in the JRPGs this generation - so far. None have even come close to Xenosaga IMHO, never mind the classics of the PS1. However, White Knight Chronicles is very, very, very close to being triple A, and in my personal opinion merits that tag, though I am aware that many people disagree which is why it's not considered a triple A title.

However, it's close. Ar Tonelico Qoga is - from what I've seen so far - very good also, and although not a triple A title it is a very good game, at least on par with Star Ocean. Star Ocean has particular issues related to the game in terms of the near endless grind of random encounters.

But the thing is, JRPGs have - in general - always been more of a niche game. Xenosaga Episode 1 sold round about a million copies, and Episode 2 and episode 3 never eclipsed the first in sales numbers. the much larger sales of games like Final Fantasy has not always been reflected in the sales of other, very good, JRPGs.


Porkchop, White Knight Chronicles has yet to be released on PSP in the Western market and WKC2 has yet to see it's Western release either. To start talking about the franchise and claiming - as you have, that it's sold only a million or so over three games glosses over the fact that the game still has two major platform releases in two major markets. That makes your point a little dishonest because you're not really comparing like with like or telling the whole story.

I think that because of the success of Final Fantasy, we often forget that at it's heart, the JRPG is a niche product, with a distinct audience. You don't expect multi-million copy sales for every JRPG franchise. Yes, there are some that have been so successful that they have achieved mainstream success too. but in general, the JRPG remains a niche genre. As such, the sales of WKC are actually not bad at all.

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___________
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 4:21:14 AM
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hmmmmmmmmmmmm i wonder why.............
maybe now $E will finally wake up and smell the java!
hello?
earth to $E?
is anyone there!!!!!!!!!?????????????

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Nas Is Like
Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 9:22:10 AM
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How the mighty have fallen...

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BikerSaint
Saturday, May 14, 2011 @ 7:40:41 PM
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Square Enix CEO Explains What Went Wrong

Yoichi Wada expects internal development revamping to take one to two years......


http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/05/14/wada_on_losses/

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nilos95
Sunday, May 15, 2011 @ 1:54:53 AM
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It's Square-Enix's fault anyway. They should have poured more resources on Versus 13 and release it this year as well as last year NieR which was a lost chance since it had a suprisingly good story and things. Also, release more console JRPG's and they would have done better.

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