Does Working At Square Enix Suck?

Does Working At Square Enix Suck?
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Square Enix makes Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Making those games might not be easy. It might be hard. Really hard. No fun hard.

Making video games is not easy. But some companies, like Insomniac are supposedly terrific places to work, with employees skipping to work. Singing.

But does working at Square Enix totally bite?

Final Fantasy XIV‘s current producer Naoki Yoshida said he works from 10am to 2am or 3am, sleeping only a couple hours a day.

In a recent interview with Japanese gaming mag Famitsu, former Final Fantasy XIV producer Hiromichi Tanaka was apparently asked what he’d do if were the CEO of Square Enix—to which he supposed replied that he would invest in the well-being of employees—namely, the mental and emotional well being of talented employees. He’d also work hard to improve cohesion and revive employee retreats.

Tanaka sounds like he’s being honest. It also sounds like Square Enix isn’t exactly the most enjoyable place to work. But hey, they make FF and DQ games. Maybe that’s all the happiness employees need? Or not.

Japanese business people work hard—maybe not like Yoshida does. And they also have things like corporate retreats. But this is the game industry we’re talking about here.

Are working conditions at Square Enix getting really bad? [NeoGAF]

(Top photo: Junko Kimura | Getty)


  • And maybe this is exactly why SE games have (generalisation alert)been going downhill for awhile. There was similar news a couple of months ago about SE being a horrible place to work, I could be reading to much into it but i think it might to some extent bleed through into their games, every new Final Fantasy seems to take itself more and more seriously, with less and less time for fun and humour, which really hurts an experience, the comic relief characters/scenes may be a massive cliche but they’ve been around so long for a reason.

    Probably a bit of a stretch but having just recently played through VI and IX again I’m reminded that one of the most endearing things about the games to me are the humorous aspects, little intentional glitches or bits of text that really showed the developers were enjoying what they were doing and that they were in the entertainment business. Ironically something you’d be laughed at for suggesting these days, thanks so much Kotick.

    • This isn’t news. Japanese business people work stupidly hard, always have, always will.

      What’s the worst part is that it’s not productive work. They will deliberately go out of their way to make work for themselves where there isn’t any. It’s quite a stupid mindset where it’s seen as ‘dishonourable’ to be the first person to leave the office – so people create meaningless tasks to do.

      They are trained to do this from Junior High School level – work hard, work as a collective, and only have fun when it’s been specifically assigned.

      • Yeah, I remember reading that the average Japanese working works about 1.5 times the average American, but are only 3/4 as productive, suggesting they actually spend a lot of time at work looking busy.

  • Hate to say it but … this kinds of taints videogames for me. Just a little.

    On one hand, I’m a lifetime videogame fan. On the other, I hate hearing about companies creating an environment where putting unhealthy expectations on staff is acceptable.

    It kind of deflates the mild escapism that videogames provide.

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