Square President Steps Down Because Game Publishing Is A Mess


[Image source: Game Rant]

We now live in a world where 3.4 million copies sold is somehow not a success, so Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada ends his 13-year tenure with the publisher.

There was a great discussion on the Giant Bombcast last week where the subject of John Riccitello's ouster at EA came up and I think it was Jeff Gerstmann who pointed out the kind of unreasonable sales expectations the publisher was putting on IP like "Mass Effect" and "Dead Space" (the latter failed to move the five million units the company was projecting prior to release). Five million is a huge number for a game, particularly in the midst of an overall slump in sales across the industry. The ballooning development costs (along with huge marketing budgets--did you hear how "Bioshock Infinite" is costing 2K Games something like $100 million?), are necessitating that every release be a blockbuster release.

That's crazy town.

Anyway, Square Enix released some good games last year with "Sleeping Dogs," "Hitman Absolution," and "Tomb Raider" this year, but sales weren't where they needed to be and now Wada, who helped bring Eidos into the Square Enix fold, is out. As president, he made an ambitious push to embrace Western developers (and their IP).

What this means for the ambitions of the company's future projects remains to be seen, but I'm betting we'll see another "Tomb Raider" and I think the publisher was hot enough on "Sleeping Dogs" to want to go back to that well again (who knows what will happen with "Hitman," though--maybe a successful movie reboot will keep the franchise alive).

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