Square Enix has lost $2 billion dollars from investors, even after all of the effort put into marketing and release of Final Fantasy 16. Despite the quality of this PS5 exclusive, the mistakes Square Enix made with various live-service and mobile titles have led to major losses.
A report from Bloomberg stated that Square Enix has lost $2 billion dollars in value since the release of Final Fantasy 16. Before fans start blaming the action RPG for this decline, it’s actually previous practices that hurt the company, with the JRPG not making enough to recover.
Plenty of blame was pointed at the company’s reliance on various live-service games and failed AAA projects. Marvel’s Avengers, which is getting de-listed later this month, flopped hard due to its confusing live-service structure that turned off fans. Forspoken was also blamed, as this AAA title suffered from bad marketing and awkward writing.
“Flooding the market with unfinished, bad or untested games is a bad move,” Tokyo-based developer Michael Prefontaine said. “The company has overstretched itself on too many titles without proper oversight.”
Blame was also put on the company giving their producers too much creative control, believe it or not. Apparently, these producers have too much scope and direction for their games, which leads to bad team structure all around.
“We remain concerned with the company’s game development structure and game quality control, which could limit the longer-term performance,” said analyst Yijia Zhai.
In terms of sales, it took Square Enix a while to admit that Final Fantasy 16 didn’t do as well as they wanted. Originally, the company celebrated it selling 3 million copies in a week, due to the PS5 still being a rare buy. Later on, the company admitted that the JRPG was a disappointment, though it still did better than the aforementioned flops.
The future of Square Enix should be interesting from here on out, as the company continues to struggle with its modern identity. Although the company should be credited for having variety in their titles, the focus on mobile titles that get canned and a more NFT-based future just don’t sound appealing.
Final Fantasy 16 is available now on PS5, with a PC port recently announced.