Yoichi Wada, Former Square Enix CEO, Discusses Business Model

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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Square Enix Business ModelYoichi Wada was once the CEO of Square Enix; in fact, it was only last year that he retired. He spoke at a recent presentation which was covered by 4Gamer. In it, he talked about the current Square Enix business model, including the reason they’ve been making so many mobile and social games, and so many ports.

When he first got into his position as head of the company, it was not performing particularly well. After going through several ideas, they decided that releasing games that the staff themselves were comfortable with would be better for the company.

This was the reason they started to develop more sequels and produce more remakes; they were IPs which everyone knew, and which everyone knew would sell.

There are a few more reasons we haven’t seen a new IP from Square Enix in a while. There have been delays in developing games for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. In additon, Final Fantasy XIV has had a lot of senior staff members working on it, meaning that they haven’t been able to lend their expertise to fresh ideas. Because these senior staff members were unable to work on these new projects, their development was severly delayed.

This is where the social and mobile games come in. Square Enix needs money to stay afloat, so they took the easy route of making pay-to-play mobile games and ports of classics to keep themselves alive.

This plan was formulated by Wada himself, and is supposedly the plan they are still using even as they continue to develop next-gen games.

So… There you have it, folks. This certainly explains a lot. What do you all make of it? Sound off in the comments below so we can all talk about it.

Source, via Siliconera




  • The plan itself isn’t terrible. It went wrong when they decided to outsource the mobile development, making those games and ports absolutely awful and tarnishing their brand worse than FFXIV 1.0 did.

    I still love Square-Enix, but their side games have been inexcusably lazy lately.

  • Coarse

    Sad that they’ve been brought down to this state. They only have themselves to blame, though. They exhausted their budgets making their games as pretty as they possibly could, with the gameplay tossed in as an afterthought more often than not.

  • multibottler0cket

    Or they could have, you know, not done an online game and spent all that time on a new FF game using the ATB system, because that is something people are comfortable with and would sell well.

  • Warboss Aohd

    Can We get a Last Remnant 2? with bigger armies and less Generic JRPG Protagonist?

  • Thanatos2k

    Square Enix made several massive mistakes.

    1. Sinking millions and years into developing the White engine only to produce the steaming turd that was FF13. This focus on graphics over gameplay blew up their development costs and began the downward spiral of Square, which greatly reduced the number of console RPGs they could produce.

    2. Sinking millions and years into developing FF14, a shoddy gaming in a dying market, and then continuing to pour money into it after it failed.

    3. Alienating your top talent until they left, and promoting incompetents like Toriyama to lead designer positions in their place, and then not demoting them after they failed.

    4. Refusing to localize your games. Where is Type-0 and other games you made but refuse to release?

    5. Hurling high quality franchises into the dumpster. How many franchises have gone stagnant and dead on your watch? Where is a Mana game? A Grandia game? A TWEWY sequel? Why has it taken so damn long to make Kingdom Hearts 3? Why hasn’t Tri-Ace produced anything notable in years?

    6. Releasing the absolute disgrace that was All the Bravest and your despicable focus on microtransactions and DLC in all your games.

    Your business model is rotten, and soon you will die for it.