Yoichi Wada, Square Enix Japan CEO, Resigns

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

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By


Yoichi Wada

Some shocking news has recently come to light regarding the Japanese branch of Square Enix. Yoichi Wada, the CEO of the company, will be stepping down at the end of June. He will be replaced by Yosuke Matsuda, who is currently the representative director of the company.

Matsuda joined Square in 2001 as senior vice president and has steadily climbed the ranks of the company over the past dozen years. The exact date of his instatement has not been revealed as of yet.

This piece of news sure has spiced up what would have been a regular Tuesday evening. I’ll admit, I’m not entirely surprised; the company revealed that it lost quite a large sum of money last year, and just recently, they slashed their consolidated results forecast. The company is expecting less digital sales, and are expecting to lose just over $106 million USD.

What do all of you make of this? Do you think this will be good for the company, or is it too early to tell? Maybe a new boss is just what Square Enix needs to dig itself out of its current situation and win back its fans. Here’s hoping for an improvement.

Source




  • Charlotte Buckingham

    Hopefully, come June, Square Enix will start to listen to its fans and start bringing over the games we want to see. Hopefully they’ll start to get better. We won’t know till then, but I like to take this as a good sign.

    Just sitting around working on a separate article when BAM, CEO resignation… Man, this was pretty random. o.O

    • FinalkingdomXIII

      If you are talking about the Final Fantasy XIII sequels, the fans were asked by the cretors about these long before this. They said that FF13-2 would not exist until they got full fan reaction to it
      http://www.computerandvideogames.com/267878/final-fantasy-xiii-sequel-depends-on-fan-reaction/

      Lightning was also voted the number 1 Final Fantasy female in Japan (equal to that of Aerith and Yuna).
      http://www.novacrystallis.com/2013/01/japan-ranks-their-favorite-female-characters-from-the-final-fantasy-series/

      ANd Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the 5th most anticipated game in Japan in 2013 (voted by the readers).
      http://gamingeverything.com/42598/famitsus-most-wanted-games-31113/

      If you are meaning things like Versus XIII, the game is being held off because of FF14’s ARR game. The XIII sequels profits are going to fund the game.

      If you are meaning Type-0, Sony was the one that screwed them over because Sony doesn’t care about their handhelds either being hacked (PSP) or selling badly (PS Vita). Square wants to get this game over here but Sony’s being stubborn.

      However, this year, FF14,: AAR, FF10+10-2 HD and Lightning Returns are all coming to the console and I heard Versus XIII is going to become FF15 and be a PS4 exclusive.

    • They should give us Bravely Default

    • FinalkingdomXIII

      True. They sell games well on the 3DS. But like I said, Square takes precautions about making games on consoles this generation (because of FF14’s failure). This is pretty much what happened with SquareSoft and The Spirits Within.

    • smacd

      Except this time, Square is going to bring Enix down with them. Its really unfortunate, I always preferred Enix and I never understood why they didn’t let their competitor sink under their own financial failure.

    • zeezee

      Keiji Honda probably went to the same fortune teller as Wada.

      ” According to composer and former employee Nobuo Uematsu, they moved their office based on the advice of a fortune teller named Pao’s prediction.

      “[Square Enix CEO and president Yoichi] Wada took a couple of locations to a fortune teller named Pao,” said Uematsu. “Pao said the Meguro space was not going to bring any fortune to the company, and pointed to Shinjuku. That’s why he decided to move it there. I heard this directly from Wada.””

      It’s funny. laugh.

    • Mizu D

      The question is do the fans outside of Japan really want a sequel to FF13?

      With the hype and legacy behind the name, the game sold a staggering 6.2 million but received with mixes reviews. Averaging 80% but causing and outcry due to the linearity of the first 30 hours and limited exploration and removal of many staples in the series.

      Tthe sequel “shipped” 3.1 million (half of the 1st one) by the start of 2013. It correct many of FF13 mistake but didn’t fixes the bad mouth it left to many gamers.

      In term of popularity and demand, will making a 3rd game
      in the series what fans really want?
      The 2nd game literally finish on a cliff-hanger of all thing…so they want to cash in on the 3rd one…and we can see with the DLC galore on that, thankfully I choose not to get any of those.


      That without counting the fiasco of FF14. The worse rated
      main FF ever. Not only that, the decision to include MMORPG in the main series is baffling.

      They just alienated all non MMORPG fans.

      We can see the timid reaction to DQ10 in Japan.

      DQ always have huge sales. This one barely reach 1 million
      at launch.

      Then you have the FF13 Versus thing going on…and that affect
      the KH series in which we constantly see spin off and what not to extend and
      squeeze every lemon juice of the series until we will ever see KH3.

      And let not even speak of how they whoring the FF games on
      iOS, especially with their pricing and the latest cash in….

      If anything the CEO step down, the many sales of games not meeting the quota will make them THINK about what fans really want and avoid to believe what they think we need spend and spend more.

    • FinalkingdomXIII

      Well you have to remember, Final Fantasy is a japanese based game. The market is Japan and eastern countries first, Western audience second. It’s like how Mass Effect franchise caters to the western countries first and the eastern countries second.

      Actually, the original FF2 is considered the worst rated single player FF ever despite reactions to FF13 or FF12 or FF11. Despite what people say, the original FF2 never even saw the western hands until late 2000’s. WHen it did, the game got a major overhaul because it was deemed too “unplayable”. Your argument is like how people said back in the day “FF8 is the worst Final Fantasy ever” FF13 and FF8 are considered controversial games of the franchise, but not the worst. Square asked people about sequels and Japan, along with many other eastern countries responded positively. They got permission so they went with it. As for the sales, FFx-2 sold half as much as FF10 (around 3.3 million). So is it any surprise that the second direct sequel to an FF game would sell half as much too? It’s consistent because a direct sequel isn’t going to sell over the original title. It was like that with the FF7 compilations and FF12 alliance.

      As for the DLC, FF13-2’s DLC was said to be an experiment since they even cancelled the DLC on FF13 due to problems getting it on the Xbox. When asked about the DLC to LR: FF13, the creators said that “People did react negatively to the Story based DLC, saying that it did not add to the story. So there will be no story based DLC in LR. However, people reacted positively to the costumes and colosseum DLC so we decided to implement the costumes into the game to create a much more rich experience.”

      The last MMORPG that was made for Final Fantasy before FF14, AKA FF11, was the most profitable FF game ever made and one of their most profitable games ever. In fact, they just released a final expansion to FF11 this year as the “last game on the PS2”. They are hoping to get that again with AAR: FF14.

      The only game that milked KH was RE:coded. BBS was to cover the trailer that was in KH2, KH 358/2 days was a thing demanded by the fans to see what Roxas went through and KH3D is the equivalent of Chain of Memories to KH3. If Nomura doesn’t split up the final arc into two like he did with Organization XIII arc, the story of KH3 is going to be a mess.

      All the Bravest, thankfully, is just a small phone game that will fade away in time, but I do agree that it’s a pretty cheap trick.

    • zeezee

      I honestly don’t think that anyone wants “Lighting Returns”. It’s such a stupid idea to keep making sequels to a game that was regarded as one of the worst in the series. The only reason that they are doing it is to recoup all of the money that they blew into wasted and leftover resources that weren’t used in the first game. That, and Squeenix always seems to be in absolute denial over the fact that it is a failure (until now, apparently). At least Tri-Ace was able to sorta save the second game, but it should quite telling that it only sold half as well as the first.

    • FinalkingdomXIII

      If “nobody” wanted it, then how is it the 5th most anticipated game in 2013, and how come the games still sell?

      Their goal for FF13 was to sell 5 million copies by the fiscal year. The game sold 5.5 million by that time and oversold. By the end of the year, FF13 sold over 6 million copes and was their fastest selling Final Fantasy. I doubt they lost money that fiscal year because I seem to recall that in fiscal 2009, Square Enxi PROFITED.

      They have only said that FF14 was the “only game failure” of Final Fantasy dude. They admitted that development times were taking too long and had Tri-Ace help them out on organization. In fact, the creators said that “lightning is the most well known female character this generation” and that they have almost reached their original goal of 10 million copies sold when they planned for all three “Fabula Nova Crystalsis” games (originally FF13, Type-0 and Versus 13).

      FF13-2 sold half as much yes, but you can say the same thing about FF10-2. That game sold half as much as well as FF10. Does that mean FF10 was a “failure” too? While it’s true that some of the loss was due to some people not liking it, you can’t say you expect FF13-2, a direct sequel, to sell as much or even more than the original. In fact, Crisis Core FF7 sold over 2.59 million copies and that is the prequel to FF7, the game that is considered the best of the franchise.

      Did they have problems? Yes, there were a few problems they had in FF13. In fact, FF12 had a longer development time than FF13 did and FF13 started on the PS2. However, the majority of the problems came from FF14. Just like back in the Squarsoft days, The Spirits Within was where all the majority problems arose. Don’t go blaming a profitable game for something that a a financial failure is the cause of.

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      They sell because fan boys and girls keep buying them. And when you say “5th most anticipated”, you’re only talking about Japan.

      They say FF:XIV was the only failure in the series – in THEIR opinion. But they’re biased. They said that as they were fixing and re-releasing the game. They’re not going to come out and say that any of their other games suck if they want them to sell.

      Is a game a failure because it’s not what you expected, or because it wasn’t very profitable? Square Enix seem to believe the latter. Going by this logic, the vast majority of the games covered on this very site are failures.

      “In fact, the creators said that “lightning is the most well known female character this generation””
      And they’re not biased at all.

      FF:7 and Crisis Core probably sold less because there were less people with consoles when they were released.

      We know that Square Enix game sell well. The issue is, they’re not taking risks by localising the games we want. As a result, they’re pissing off more of the fan base. And that’s part of the reason they’re losing money. That, and unrealistic sales expectations. When 3.4 million copies sold is considered a failure (Tomb Raider), there’s something wrong with your company.

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      Really? Talking to people I know, all I hear is “less FF:XIII and more of the good stuff”. Some asked for Bravely Default, Type-0 and Versus XIII (which, seriously, they need to finish already). Then there were others who barely play Japanese games, but even they’re sick of seeing all this XIII crap.

      You’re citing figured from only Japan; not indicative of the whole world. Here in the West, it appears that no one likes FF:XIII. Even the couple of people I know who do like XIII agree it’s time for Square Enix to move on.

      “The XIII sequels profits are going to fund the game.”
      Versus XIII has been in development for how long now? Over seven years? That’s just ludicrous. This game should have been finished long ago.

      “If you are meaning Type-0, Sony was the one that screwed them over because Sony doesn’t care about their handhelds either being hacked (PSP) or selling badly (PS Vita). Square wants to get this game over here but Sony’s being stubborn.”

      Where did you hear this?

      As to those other games… FF:X is the only one I’m personally excited for. I’m not really sure how that final paragraph is relevant though.

  • IkeFE

    Goodness. Two companies that have gone the way of the idiot have lost their CEO’s. If this could potentially mean sanity returns to EA and SE, we can only hope the same fate befalls Capcom. 😉

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      We can hope, but I’m pretty sure the companies are ruined beyond return, besides Square lost all of it’s talent already, the only person left is Tetsuya Nomura and he’s been useless for about six years now (since Versus XIII was announced)

  • FrancisUnderwood0482

    one word comment: Good.

  • Likely a result of the losses that Final Fantasy XIV incurred. As much good as they’ve done in trying to fix the game and try to win back players, it’s going to be an albatross for them as long as it’s eating money. Hopefully they get things righted and have a better upcoming year.

  • Xx_Kares_xX

    Wow… a lot of big companies are losing their leaders lately huh? It still doesn’t mean anything, I have no faith in this company anymore… I will believe this is a good change when they PROVE it’s a good change.

  • matango

    Frankly, a whole new team of writers would be more helpful to winning back fans than a new CEO.

    • Aiddon

      no kidding, if anything they need some new talent on board and jettison the old guys. They ESPECIALLY need to drop Toriyama like a rock somehow

    • FinalkingdomXIII

      Yeah, let’s drop the guy who’s actually making money for the company and saved their asses twice from the loss of money.

      The SPirits WIthin——-> FF10-2
      FF14————-> FF13-2 and the DLC

      Even I know that would be suicide for the company

    • Aiddon

      …HE didn’t make anything, the FF name did. You can literally put ANYONE on the main series and it’ll sell, regardless of whether or not the guy in charge actually knows what he’s doing. And guess what, Toriyama has NO clue how to make a game or write a story; he’s the very definition of a talentless hack.

    • FinalkingdomXIII

      That’s not what Sagaguchi thought back in the day. Toriyama made the Midgar section of FF7, and people responded EXTREMELY positively to it. He made FF10 and that is considered the best FF game of all time by Japan’s standards. Sagaguchi even let everything that happened in FF10-2 to happen. Sagaguchi approved of what Toriyama did and left him and Kitase to take over Division 1 of Square.

      They put the guys that made Vagrant Story and FF9 to make FF12 and it was the worst selling FF game ever, even worse than FF9’s sales. NOt saying it was bad, but just saying you can’t put anyone in the writers seat and think “it’s going to sell very well”. Sometimes it’s sales do sink. There was also the incident with FF14 and that lost them money big time too. I guess not everybody is cut out to make an FF game than you think, huh?

      What I’m saying is Toriyama worked to get where he was and you can’t just say “Toriyama has NO clue how to make a game or write a story; he’s the very definition of a talentless hack.” if the fact in which both Sagauchi and Kitase saw his potential, allowed him to make these things in the first place, and has gained very positive audiences in both their home country and the many eastern countries that surround them. You are really stereotyping here.

    • zeezee

      Midgar was the worst part of FF VII, and I couldn’t wait to get out. Only then did the game actually start to get better and feel like an actual Final Fantasy game. I don’t know where you’ve pulled your data from that says that people react positively to the place. It is a boring and linear, and your goal is to get out. Its almost like Final Fantasy XIII until you get to Pulse , where the game becomes marginally less crappy than it was for the first 30 hours.

    • You sir, are in the minority on that about FFVII, I guarantee it.

    • zeezee

      Perhaps, but I grew up on Final Fantasy from the very day that the first was released on the NES (I still have the cart, mint in the box). Seven just wasn’t my cup of tea, and Midgar was one of my least favorite parts of it.

      The game really represents a turning point for the franchise. I understand that it has a massive amount of fans, but it really is the point at which Square peaked and then began its slow decline a few years later. I’m pretty certain that it was the first game in the series that wasn’t written or directed (or both) by Sakaguchi, and it really shows. Note that the franchise has become steadily less favorable as he wasn’t involved with games and even moreso after he ultimately left Square.

      Even though his games aren’t for everyone, his Mistwalker titles are indicative that you can have just about anyone program your games as long as the writing and directing are good. Just look at XIII. It’s a beautiful mess. I personally enjoyed Mistwalker’s games much more.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      You obviously know nothing about game design, storytelling or pacing… x.x Midgar was the ONLY good thing about FFVII. (okay that’s a SLIGHT exageration, but it was easily the most well constructed part of the entire game)

    • zeezee

      I really wanted to disagree with you, but since I dislike FF VII so much, I cant help but to try to empathize with what you say. Now that you mention it, it occurs to me that even after Midgar I didn’t like the game and had to force myself to finish it. 🙂

      In effect, I guess that I just hate the whole game, Midgar included.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      Now that my friend, is a very fair statement ^^. I do like the game, but it has FAR more flaws than most people seem to notice… gotta love Nostalgia goggles. For me it’s not in my top five FF games… and it may not even be in my Top ten (actually that’s a lie.. it would probably fall around number 8 on my list if I was ranking them that way…)

    • This actually makes sense. Personally, though, everyone has their talents. Perhaps Toryiama designed Midgar, which I agree, is a pretty amazing city and I didn’t want to leave it. However, when it comes to writing overall plot and characters, he definitely lacks the charm that Sakaguchi had.

    • matango

      People who over romanticize FF7 tend to hate diamonds in the rough like 9-12. 7 was ok, but if someone actually looks back on the game(without counting spinoffs, fanfics, etc.) it wasn’t that spectacular or deep, it was in it’s time , but try to compare the theme of ‘spiky haired emo saves the day’ next to a study of life and death(FF9)

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      Diamonds in the rough? There’s nothing ‘rough’ about FInal Fantasy IX or XII… both were better constructed games from the ground up than VII was. I have written analysis’ for most of the games in the series and if you actually examine them, FFVII really isn’t that good, even in the story which is so highly praised. I have done research and I’ve only met one other person who actually understood (for example) that Sephiroth isn’t the one who killed Aerith, Jenova did. The story to FFVII is a huge mess, and the main way that shows is that 90% of people that played it didn’t even truly understand it.

    • zeezee

      You make me almost want to try 9-12. I ignored the series after being so disappointed with 7. Now that I am going back and playing my backlog of PSX and PS2 games, I should give the, a shot.

    • I agree, their current writers are terrible.

  • zeezee

    Wada likes Nier, so he can’t possibly be all that bad!

    On a more serious note, Square became a sinking ship after both of them came to the company in 2000 / 2001. They’ve also tainted the previously-succesful Enix. Essentially, they were drunk on their success of the PSX era and FF VII, but that time is long gone and they’ve never been able to adapt. It just proves that no amount of brand recognition can sell crappy games.

    I nominate Sakaguchi! Oh, wait… He already was a VP and stepped down a decade ago to surf and make the best XBox 360 and Wii RPGs. Forget that “Spirits Within” was a flop, because he still makes soome of the best console RPGs on the planet, which is more than we can say for Squeenix.

    • This kind of…sums it up, I think. Ha ha. When I heard that Wada stepped down I was like… ‘Time for Sakaguchi to return with a vengeance!’
      But then I realized, that would never happen, and this company is probably doomed. It’s a shame, because they have so many great IPs.
      Sakaguchi left, I’m sure, partly because of the flop of Spirits Within, but I’m also sure that during that time the company was going through many changes, which is evident by a lot of other talent leaving as well. I just hope Sakaguchi can find the will to make another great RPG.

  • Ace

    Praise be to Yevon!