Final Fantasy Publisher Reportedly Taking ‘Extraordinary Losses’

Final Fantasy Publisher Reportedly Taking ‘Extraordinary Losses’

Square Enix has been pumping out hit-and-miss titles for years, and now the publisher behind Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and other blockbuster RPGs says it plans to be more careful about which projects it invests in. The company expects to “recognize extraordinary losses pertaining to abandonment losses associated with its content production,” it warned investors in a new financial filing.

The “abandonment losses” are projected to total roughly $US140 million, likely meaning that Square Enix has decided to cancel or overhaul a number of internal games it was working on. On Tuesday, the publisher revealed that the board of directors decided in a March 27 meeting to “revise the Group’s approach to the development of high-definition (HD) games with the intention of being more selective and focused in the allocation of development resources.”

The company has been rumoured to be working on a remake of Final Fantasy IX, a game that was included in the infamous 2022 Nvidia leak, alongside a reference to a Final Fantasy Tactics remake as well. It’s also officially working on Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake, which was announced back in 2021. Series creator Yuji Hori said it had begun playtesting back in December.

The shift in strategy comes roughly a year after Takashi Kiryu, who was only 12 when the first Final Fantasy was released, took over as president of Square Enix. “We are performing a zero-base review to determine what kind of organizational structure is necessary to realize the contents of our pipeline, and which approach is best,” he reportedly told investors in February. According to Bloomberg, a structural shakeup has been underway, focusing on some long-time producers and how quality is checked early in development. Long-time Dragon Quest producer Yu Miyake stepped down from the role earlier this year amidst apparent delays.

Fans have spent months fighting about whether big games like Final Fantasy XVI and Rebirth are selling poorly, but that seems to have more to do with the recent sequels being PlayStation 5 console exclusives and not coming day-and-date to PC more than anything else. A bigger challenge for Square Enix is the lack of any major pillars outside of the Final Fantasy franchise. Forspoken didn’t set the world on fire last year, and a number of smaller RPGs like The Diofield Chronicle, Valkyrie Elysium, and Star Ocean: The Divine Force didn’t break out either. Splatoon-like party shooter Foamstars came and went earlier this year with little fanfare.

Square Enix does have other big projects in the pipeline, like Kingdom Hearts IV and Dragon Quest XII, though it’s not clear when those games will be ready. Instead, the publisher seems to be coming up on a quieter year relative to some of its recent release calendars. Final Fantasy XIV’s next big expansion, Dawntrail, arrives in July, followed by Visions of Mana later in 2024.

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