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Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada Resigns

March 26th, 2013 by Tony Garsow

Housing

Square Enix President and CEO Yoichi Wada (pictured in the center above) will be resigning from Square Enix, to encourage management reform within the company.

This comes with another majorly disappointing quarterly report for Square Enix, with sales on console titles performing well below their projections. Major restructuring within the company will take place, including revisions to its overall organizational structure and business models.

Wada first joined Square back in 2000 and was promoted to CEO by December of that year, leading major restructuring efforts up to and following the merger with Enix.

He will be replaced by Yosuke Matsuda, executive director of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd

You can view the official statement here.

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  • Ehren Rivers

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I hope this restructure means a better PR/marketing plan. Square Enix’s current incarnation is, bluntly, absolutely terrible at marketing their products.

  • AnimaMagna

    Woah! I…ahem…didn’t expect that. I hope this doesn’t mean Square Enix will end up going under or something like that. I’ve never heard of Yosuke Matsuda, so I can’t judge, if I ever could, whether he will be good for the company.

  • markus

    Eh, other than Tomb Raider what else did they release this quarter? Current sales for tomb raider look pretty good, certainly not ‘well below expectations’. And DragonQuestVII sold like 1mil copies in japan alone, more than KH3D did worldwide. Honestly, what were they expecting?

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  • AntagonistGB

    My knee-jerk reaction is that any change in Square’s higher management has to be an improvement at this point.

  • Necromunkey

    Part of me thinks this is a great thing, and the other part doesn’t…

    On the one hand SE proper probably could benefit from a total restructuring. Timetables would be met, quality may go up, and profits may go up (in the case where the reshuffling is sincere and new blood refreshens stuff)

    On the other hand, Wada did seem to sincerely care about the FF franchise (looking at the revitalization of XIV, which clearly cost SE a pretty penny, as well as allowing delays to ensure a good game e.g. Versus XIII), and did not seem to look at the franchise exclusively through a fiscal lens. Not sure if the new CEO would have that level of dedication.

  • AnimaMagna

    @Necromunkey
    Yeah, I’ve got that feeling too. I don’t want Final Fantasy to simply become a bland moneymaking machine (even if XIII had its flaws, it was inspiring and a work of art). That happened to Tomb Raider when Core Design had charge of it, and that suffered very much indeed. Oh, please Matsuda-san, help get Square Enix back on its feet, and keep inspiration and art in Final Fantasy (certainly in its stories, settings and characters).

  • AgitoXIII

    The new head needs to make a promise NOT to announce titles too early within the company.

  • Marcus

    While I understand the sentiment, what, exactly, about the Final Fantasy franchise hasn’t become a bland money-making machine? For the past five years, the vast majority of Final Fantasy games released have been remakes, ports, re-ports, updates, and mobile versions of previous (and better) Final Fantasy games from the past. Prior to that, SE spent much of the mid-00s living off the glory of Final Fantasy VII; now, we have a single game that’s spawned not one, but two separate sequels? Tell me how that’s not a bland money-making machine?

    The best selling SE titles in Japan have consistently been Dragon Quest titles, and they care so little about the Enix side of the equation that they openly admitted they were not interested in localizing those games in the West, and so Nintendo had to pick up their slack to do it. Perhaps if they spent as much time in the West advertising their products (like transforming entire convenience stores into having a DQ theme), and offered as many promotions, here, as they do there, they might actually make a buck.

    Finally, I agree with almost all of you that this shakeup might do something good for the company. I’ve been a Square fan since ’89, and I would love to see it get back on its feet.

  • alexsam

    @Marcus What exactly were they supposed to remake back in the 90’s?? Final Fantasy I or II?? Most of the remakes have been well received by western audiences (FF IV + The After Years was brilliant and now even V will be released with nice new graphics and updated to it’s menu system). I don’t see anything wrong with releasing better versions of games that sold well in the past. If that’s the case, we might as well say that the X/X-2 HD project is just another “money-making” attempt. And the compilation of VII was a fantastic collection. Find one person that didn’t enjoy Crisis Core or Advent Children Complete! Those were the good days of Square-Enix. As for XIII, yes it’s not everyone’s favorite. X-2 had a lot of haters as well, we got over that didn’t we? Times change, games come and go, maybe this year at E3 we’ll see something totally different. I think this year things will start looking better for the FF franchise and (even though everyone’s gonna say it did) Wada’s “resignation” won’t have had anything to do with it.

  • hutch

    @alexsam: While it’s cool of you to keep a positive outlook, you also run the risk of overlooking major flaws for the sake of keeping things pleasant. I hate to admit it as much as anyone else, but Square has COMPLETELY wasted this gen. Even my friends in Japan warned me when they got FF13 before I did. I couldn’t believe them…until I got that linear snoozefest in my hands. Keep in mind naysayers want the greatness of Square back, not a company that rests on laurels and let’s younger fans blindly defend them while they give us half a$$ed games and sequels to arguably the least popular entry in the series. Some tough love and critiquing would help Square out a lot more than blind defense.

  • hutch

    @Animamagn: FF13 was the least inspired I’ve ever seen FF. I honestly don’t know how they got away with such laziness as giving us YET ANOTHER moody, chip on the shoulder, emo ex-solider with a blade and name based on weather. Seriously. We’ve been through it twice already. I am lookking forward to FF15-except I’m kind of getting tired of these emo looking characters. FF used have more artistic design (6,9, & 10 among others)

  • Odine

    I hope those “revisions” include a FF Type-0 localization launch!
    That would be awesome.

    And maybe they do a revision to Lighting’s Return and call the game “Final Fantasy XIII-3″. That would be a logical and desired change.