In a strange bit of news Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada is stepping down after the company has announced it has incurred an “extraordinary loss.” Yoichi Wada will be replaced by Yosuke Matsuda who joined the company in 2001. The “extraordinary loss” is due to Square’s titles not performing as well as the company had predicted, altering their forecast and resulting in a net loss of over $100 million.
The strange part of all of this, is that three of Squares larger titles for their fiscal year, performed very well! Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider have all sold exceptionally well, far better than most titles, but it is still not enough, nor did they reach the companies expectations. Sleeping Dogs sold 1.75 million, Hitman: Absolution sold 3.6 milliion and Tomb Raider, a game only on shelves for three weeks, has sold an incredible 3.4 million units! These sales also do not take into effect DIGITAL sales, so all Steam sales aren’t even included!
These are incredible sales numbers, particularly for Sleeping Dogs, a title I did not think performed nearly this well. Now I know game development is very costly, far more than most gamer’s realize. From development to advertising and publisher/console costs, games cost a lot of money. That being said however, if you have two games that each sell over 3 million copies, and they are deemed a failure, you are doing something wrong. Cost and planning have not been managed well at Square Enix and hopefully a change in CEO will benefit the studio. Square Enix is one of my favorite developers/publishers out there, taking risks with Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex, as well as making Tomb Raider, Thief, and Just Cause, I truly hope they do not back away from such great games due to this loss.