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Square Enix (2020-present)

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Square Enix (2020-present)
Square Enix logo.svg
"It's over! Open your eyes and face reality!"
Lightning, Final Fantasy XIII
Founded: Enix
September 22, 1975
Square
September 1986
Square Enix
April 2003
Defunct: April 1, 2003
(original companies, now merged as Square Enix)
Founder(s): Enix
Yasuhiro Fukushima
Square
Masafumi Miyamoto
Headquarters: Enix
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Square
Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
Square Enix
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Key people: Yasuhiro Fukushima
(Honorary Chairman)
Yosuke Matsuda (President)
Predecessor: Enix Corporation
Square Co., Ltd.
Owner: Yasuhiro Fukushima (19.80%)
Subsidiaries:
Square Enix, Inc.
Gangan Comics
Square Enix Europe
Square Enix AI & Arts Alchemy Co., Ltd.
Square Enix Business Support, Co., Ltd.
PlayOnline
Square Enix (China) Co., Ltd.
Taito Corporation
Square Enix Mobile Studio
Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Eidos Shanghai
Hippos Lab
Tokyo RPG Factory
Luminous Productions
Square Enix Pvt. Ltd.
Square Enix Image Studio Division
Website: https://square-enix.com


"Square Enix's management philosophy is ‘To contribute to the well being of people all over the world by providing the best stories.’ When I joined the company and heard that, I was like ‘Stories, huh…’ To be honest, I'm not really the type of developer who focuses on a game's script. I always emphasize how the game feels and the action, while the story may be a little weak. I wasn’t very good with stories."
Yuji Naka
Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. (commonly known as Square Enix) is a Japanese entertainment conglomerate and video game company best known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others.

This page will focus on some of Square's questionable business practices in recent years.

Bad Qualities

  1. Like Capcom and Sega, they can be very greedy at times, as seen when they were charging money for the endings of Final Fantasy XIII-2, shoving microtransactions into Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and making pay to win games like the aforementioned Final Fantasy All the Bravest.
  2. Ever since the success of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, they started to focus more on live services, all of which ended up failing critically and commercially, such as Marvel's Avengers and Babylon's Fall.
    • After the flop of Avengers, they blamed Crystal Dynamics for the game despite the fact that it was Square Enix's fault, and will most likely blame Babylon's Fall's failure on PlatinumGames.
  3. Their quality control of games tends to be mediocre or absolutely terrible. Examples include MindJack, The Quiet Man, Final Fantasy All the Bravest, Left Alive, Marvel's Avengers, Babylon's Fall and Balan Wonderworld.
    • Balan Wonderland had destroyed the reputation of co-creator Yuji Naka, causing him to leave the company and nearly killing his career as a video game designer. This lead him to file a lawsuit against the company, saying that they don't care about Balan Wonderworld from the beginning and fired him before the game was even released, not even care of fixing the bugs. They knew that Balan won't sell well, which is why it got a pitiful marketing strategy.
    • The Chrono Cross remaster "The Radical Dreamers Edition" was mostly a barebones port and remaster, just like Super Mario 3D All Stars, but however, even worse, this remasters lacked true widescreen support (with the gradients used as letterbox instead of proper full widescreen), and run worse than the original PS1 game (likely due to lack of optimization)[1] and despite being a remaster of a PS1 game.
  4. They've had histories of financial issues and part of it was due to anti-consumer practices.
  5. Mismanagement and communication problems are a prevalent problem behind the scenes, particularly during the tenure of then-CEO Yoichi Wada, and are the reason why many of the games they produce take a long time to complete. This is why Final Fantasy Versus XIII was renamed as Final Fantasy XV, and why Kingdom Hearts 3 took so long to develop because Square Enix wanted Tetsuya Nomura to work on a variety of projects.
  6. They work on multiple projects all at once which often leads to resources being stretched thin. The reason why Kingdom Hearts has such a convoluted story was due to Tetsuya Nomura having to work on multiple projects especially Final Fantasy related.
  7. They were using SNK Playmore assets without SNK's approval and this led to a nasty lawsuit against them.
  8. Like Nintendo and Take-Two Interactive, they can be overprotective of their IPs, albeit to a lesser extent.
  9. In March of 2021, info was leaked saying that they would be investing in the NFT business, which is very harmful to the environment if they would have used Ethereum (thankfully they later used Efinity instead[2], which is using Proof-of-Stake, thus environmentally friendly, through eventually in Sep 2022, Ethereum was also moving to PoS which becomes environmentally friendly), and besides, NFTs are also known for dangerous scams, even recently from millions to billions of dollars and various NFTs arts being stolen, and confusions over how NFTs work which led to decline of NFTs and blockchain. This information was later confirmed in a New Year's letter released by the company's president at the end of 2021. The irony here is that Final Fantasy VII has themes of environmentalism.
    1. In order to invest in blockchain, the company announced to sell three North American studios: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, alongside franchises like Tomb Raider to the Embracer Group for $300 million. The company claimed that it would invest in IP's and digital entertainment, but still wants to develop story-focused NFT's.
  10. Square refused to make games for Sega's consoles for no reason at all, however, its then-rival Enix did make a few games for the Sega Saturn.
    • Originally during the development of Final Fantasy VII, placing as a Sega Saturn release would prevent a localized release along with other Square titles at that time due to Bernie Stolar's anti-2D nor RPG policy.
  11. They have abandoned a few IP's, mainly ex-Eidos properties such as Gex (the former mascot of Crystal Dynamics) and Championship Manager, though Square Enix Europe's Collective program will allow anyone to pitch an idea for Gex 4.
  12. They made the decision to quit developing non-mainstream games. However, they do manufacture them on occasion, such as one remaster of The World Ends With You. In truth, their intense concentration on AAA games has resulted in a net loss of $33 million.
  13. Square Enix is really hit or miss with re-releases of their old games some fair better like the Pixel Remaster series but others like Chrono Cross Radical Dreamers edition fail really badly.
  14. A male employee who was working on Kingdom Hearts was sexually harassed by a female coworker, and he was dismissed as a result.
  15. They often announce games too early, and even producer and director Tetsuya Nomura recognized that it was a mistake because at the time when Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 were announced, the were still in the early phases of development.
  16. Square-Enix yanked three mobile games from the Belgian market because loot boxes are banned in that country.
  17. Enix used to develop unsettling eroge games with stuff like lolicon and guro back in the 1980s. Fortunately, they stopped manufacturing them even at that time and began producing games and series that are still popular now, such as Dragon Quest and Star Ocean.
  18. They accidentally delisted Final Fantasy IX on Steam.
  19. Their PC ports can go from decent to awful, for example the they took 3 years to fix the port of Nier Automata and that only after fan backlash after they realized Xbox Gamepass Version was superior, they are also onto the Epic exclusivity deals which was seen with FF7 REMAKE, NEO TWEWY and the Kingdom Hearts Series.
    • Also their port of FF7 Remake Launched in an Atrocious state, with Stutter even in hardware like the RTX 3090.
  20. They have a tendency of spending millions of dollars on advertising instead of their core development.
  21. They were incredibly salty over the sales of Tomb Raider despite selling well they had a tantrum over it not being as popular in sales as Call of Duty.
  22. They tend to place far too much emphasis on Final Fantasy over other IPs or franchises. For example, when Drakengard 3 was published, Square Enix did minimal promotion for it, and it received just a few reviews from well-known media sources such as IGN and GameSpot. This, of course, resulted in the game selling poorly.
    • At times, they used to milk Final Fantasy XV announcing several collaborations with others games (although most of them were good), had a terrible tower-defense mobile game, and a watered-down version of FFXV itself.
  23. Nomura is inept and has no idea how to write or direct games. He also adds belts and zippers to everyone's outfits for no reason.
  24. Since the original release of Final Fantasy VII, Square Enix seldom (in other words, rarely) releases games for Nintendo systems , refusing to transfer Kingdom Hearts III to the Nintendo Switch (citing the system's inability to run Unreal Engine 4) despite the console's enormous popularity. This is especially hypocritical given that Dragon Quest XI S - Definitive Edition runs on Unreal Engine 4 and operates well on the Nintendo Switch.
  25. They're now shoving their IPs into terrible mobile games like Just Cause Mobile and Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier.
  26. They have released overpriced merchandise such as a figurine of Terra from Final Fantasy VI for over ¥1,485,000, which is almost $15,000 in US dollars. They have also released really expensive Kingdom Hearts kitchenware for the 20th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts that costs over $600 as well.
    • This led to FF creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi responding over through Twitter that he is worried about their lack of common sense.

Good Qualities

In spite of their downfall, Square Enix is still not an all-bad company, and still develops/publishes many great games that are still beloved by players. See the page about them on Awesome Games Wiki for the good qualities.

References

  1. The new Chrono Cross remaster runs worse on PS5 than the original on PS1 - Eurogamer
  2. Square Enix summons Meteor, launches its NFT project. The Verge.

    On the article: In the face of an inevitable backlash, Square has chosen to focus on its use of the Efinity Parachain, a layer 1 proof-of-stake solution that touts itself as “eco-friendly” and run by a company committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. It promises to be more power efficient than older Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain technology, and with bridges that connect different blockchains without relying on them and their energy-hungry ways to operate.

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