Square Enix In Big Trouble As Stock Plummets Despite Great Games, Investors Unhappy

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Square Enix is among the most storied publishers in the games industry and is responsible for having created some of the most recognizable video game franchises of all time. Even though the company has had its fair share of stumbles, like Forspoken, the studio is considered the cream of the crop with titles like the recent Final Fantasy XVI. Yet despite this, Square Enix seems to be struggling financially; especially, as is related to its stock market price, which has fallen to alarmingly low levels.

Being a publically traded company, Square Enix’s output directly impacts its stock value. And even after the release of the marvelous Final Fantasy XVI to both critical and user acclaim, the stock price of Square Enix fell from 7.540 yen to 5.342. And this is after the launch of Final Fantasy XVI. This may seem confusing at first since a successful game should have done the opposite, but there’s more to unravel here.

Why Square Enix Is Struggling & What It Could Mean For The Future

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Image Source: Square Enix

Although Final Fantasy XVI launched with a lot of hype, it doesn’t appear to have found commercial success. The company hasn’t yet offered any analysis as to why that might have been, but it does seem as though its exclusivity to PS5 may have contributed. Of course, that will not remain the case for long given the studio is hard at work on porting it over to PC and getting it into the hands of a lot more players.

After how hard Forspoken flopped back in January 2023, Final Fantasy 16 really had to succeed to meet the sales expectations for the year. To top it all off, smaller titles that Square Enix pushed out during the years just fizzled out and failed to grab the attention of fans.

The Industry’s View On Square Enix’s Situation

Kantan Games is a consulting firm in Japan that focuses on the video game industry. The CEO of the firm, Serkan Toto, had this to say to Bloomberg about Square Enix’s situation:

Square Enix has problems with their games output, which is kind of conventional. These titles get a 70% rating on Metacritic, are kind of OK, and are just very forgettable.

Another developer in Tokyo, Michael Prefontaine, echoed Toto’s sentiments:

Flooding the market with unfinished, bad, or untested games is a bad move. The company has overstretched itself on too many titles without proper oversight.

According to some internal sources inside Square Enix, the reason for the company’s current position is the game producers being given too much authority, and so, too much leeway. Although sometimes this results in masterpieces like Final Fantasy XVI, other times it results in uninspired and forgettable content.

Although everything said so far is fairly concerning for Square Enix and its fans, what Kenji Fukuyama, a Japanese analyst, had to say on the matter makes things seem extremely grim:

Even if we look five years ahead, there isn’t much that can make investors confident about the company’s future.

But there might still be hope, as the new CEO of Square Enix, Takashi Kiryu, is looking to fix all the problems Yosuke Matsuda left before retiring. Although this may seem uncalled for, Matsuda can be credited to the blockchain integration the fans absolutely despised. Hopefully, Square Enix is able to climb out of this situation and maybe reclaim its focus on making great games instead of small forgettable titles.



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