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Square Enix - the tale of a gaming company (Thread)

Do you still like/believe in SE?


Well we all here are fellow gamers, anime fans, truly into that stuff and we all know Square Enix does a hell lot of publishing these days. They are into the gaming business, Figures like Playart Kai and even our beloved anime.

They published so many japanese games and up to that really awesome ones like Persona 4 in Europe.
They even swollowed Eidos/CoreDesign/Crystal Dynamics, are now publisher of IO Interactive and managed to persuade Neverland to make a Lufia2 Reamke for Nintendo DS.

They are Squaresoft and Enix!! Both companies made really good NES & SNES titles, really great ones!
We ought to love them, right? Since they are our shiny precious knights of publishing titles and they even made the Final Fantasy Franchies

Secret of Mana
Secret of Evermore
Final Fantasy 1- VI and VII- IX für PSone, X forPS2
Romancing SaGa
Mystic Quest
Ehrgeiz God Bless the Ring
Parasite Eve
Chocobo Racing
Vagrant Story
Kingdom Hearts 1
Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross and many more!

Dragon Warrior (actually Developed by Chunsoft)
Soul Blazer
ActRaiser 2
Illusion of Gaia/Illusion of Time
every single one of these games were actually developed by Quintet
Ogre Battle
Itadaki Street
Star Ocean 1- 3
Grandia Xtreme (actually developed by Game Art)
and the DragonQuest Series (which was actually developed by TOSE and only published by Enix and later developed by Chunsoft)

but... see where this is going? We'll not love them anymore by the end of this text ... why you ask? well...

Squaresoft ceased to be in 2004, most of the people who worked on all the games we love are not in the company anymore. A few of them got fired, a few of them stepped back (made their own game company aka Mistwalker) and others simply resigned.
Except Tetsuya Nomura and Kitase, as well as a few not known artists and editors there's nothing left of Squaresoft anymore. And as you can see, as far as Enix goes, they did not really do a major part in "developing games".
Final Fantasy X-2 ... ...

Need to say more?
And looking back on what we got so far from SE's side there's nothing much we can do.
Crisis Core was good, it was a good game, it had major mistakes but it was a good game.
Since that went so well, they released countless games with the same mechanics, dodge and attack, dodge and attack. With a few minor twists. But it had likable characters, a nice setting, even tough this was the beginning of the end of FFVII.
Final Fantasy XII was a good game until Square Enix decided to throw half of the games script into the trash bin and someone in the company said that RPG's do not need a Story."**_. Other than that, XII's system was a nice try and the board system felt much better than the sphero grid even most of the characters had a certain charm (except Penelo and/or Vaan in my book)

As we can all see this statement is already hinting to SquareEnix, why? because every new and old RPG from them hat less and less story.
Final FantasyXIII's plot was driven by sequences only.
Walking through one corridor to the next, searching for variety yet finding none of it. Once again likable characters but a battlesystem which puts every other RPG on this planet in a much better light. Why? guess what, pressing X or A was everything you did there.

need more? ¬ ¬''''
It's the same with Parasite Eve 3 (which is only called PE3 in the code of the UMD) aka "the3rd Birthday" and it's high likely that it will be the same with Type-0 as well. PE3 aka T3B was fun at first, especially on a higher difficulty, it seemed challanging, once one get's the hang of it. other than that, it was the same as CC's dodge & attack system and most people did not like the new Aya Brea. Guess why, [insert plot twist here]!!!
Their newest PSP title (Monster Hunter and God Eater clone) Lord of Arcana once again proved that their thinking of gaming is too limited to one thing or another. The same attacks/finisher for every species of enemies, the world looked a bit uninspired, the battlesystem and especially the classes were outdated and boring. So were the weapons, Story well a guy who saves the world, plottwists? not really.

They seem to simply do not care about us

Yet Yoichi Wada CEO of SE (or SEhNiX) is actually holding a speech about "The Essence of Game Industry Revolution." on the TGS'11 this year!!!

What do they expect from us??? Take all this like we poor money spending SOB's are supposed to do it?

Even many of the German folks already know that Square Enix is not good anymore, why? Because they started to ruin our beloved game experiences! Like with Kane&Lynch 2 Dog Days with stupid slapstick comedy runnin’ around naked for 30 minutes or more. Most of the fans were disappointed by that game and swore to themselves that they would never buy a Square Enix game again.
Now XIII will get it's Sequel, hurray, since Hamauzu (componist of XIII) agreed to help them once more, Final Fantasy XIII-2 might have a decent score right?
No, oh wait, it's yes if you like J-Rap and J-Pop! So that's a win/win for SE since they have already proven it in XIII that Leona Lewis was a good choice for an ENDING of a Videogame. Up to that it has the same gameplay mechanics as XIII and we all know what that means, pressing X and holding the analog stick straightforward. Even in battle, pressing X will all we need to do, except the new set of Quicktime Events they implanted.

Since we're already mentioned it above, let's talk about Type-O aka Final Fantasy Agito once more.
The Game will cost around $99 (¥7,790)
oh and that's not all they will even release a collector’s edition of it! FOR $165 (¥12,760)
So what's in it:
The Game, the OST (not in a special casing like when you buy it seperately(¥3,800), a behind the scenes DVD and a postcard booklet (separately sold for ¥1260), whatever the hell this means plus a special transparent case for everything.

Type-0 Will split the story we have already seen in KHBbS in 15 parts, for 15 different Characters, so they might even run into eachother sometime, since they are mostly all send to the same battlefield as the player.
Though KHBbS was a nice game, splitting a story up into 15 different little bits doesn't sound very appealing, does it?

Many Fans from the old days expect Final Fantasy XIII Versus to be one hell of a big title, do you believe that?
The Game itself is already in the making for OVER 5 YEARS so it must be good yes?

Well let's think again:
Even IF Square Enix manages to slap this thing out by the end of 2012 (like they promised) it is another rip-off game.
The system seems to be the same as “The Last Story” a glorious J-RPG developed by Mistwalker, aka former Squaresoft (YES your eyes are not fooling you! Squaresoft! I’ll say it again if I have to!)
Plus did all those years of development any good to DukeNukem Forver? Guess we all know that’s not the case, at least with DNF.

So what do you think of this developer aka publisher?
Will it be worth the wait or are you one of those poor souls who already feel betrayed and robbed of their money?

Sorry in advance for writing so much, god knows how many mistakes I made. *bows*

They had more or less success with their MMO's as well, like Final Fantasy XI it was a good game for those times, not near as good as Everquest or World of Warcraft, but good. You basically had to form a group to get through all of those mass loads of enemies, but for most of the players it was rather frustrating after a while cause every time one person died the player lost XP up to 15%. And it was possible to lose all the levels one has earned so far, so leveling backwards by dying while fighting was a common occurrence.
Even for that time, the city and everything around it was rather bland and dull, due to the fact that it was designed for a huge community on every server. The places which should have been lively always seemed kinda dead that way and it was hard to fight through all those aggressive mobs especially on level 30 onward.
The characters were nice, the story was also well told and the most NPCs had a certain charm to them but the battle system and especially the payment system were an outrage.

So they started on FFXIV, which was ironically released before VersusXIII though announced much later. Everything seemed fine at first, they even touched up the designs, the graphics are good until most of the gamers started to leave the game.
FFXIV is of now the game with the worst reputation in SE’s videogaming history, why is that so?
It was only hard to play at first, the controls weren’t really crisp, but the enemies and even all the places the player is able to visit are copy pasted. And with that I mean exactly copy-pasted.
Unlike it’s predecessor XIV hat a system called fatigue system, it works this way:
Once the player begins to train a class, he has eight hours in which he’s able to earn full experience. Once those eight hours are up, the amount of experience the player has earned will lower over the course of seven hours. At the end of those seven hours the player will no longer be earning experience.
This only adheres to one character, the second one the player makes is also bound to that law, so if you switch characters you have new 8 hours to play and earn XP.

It got a disaster, so much that they had to remove the “fatigue system” and the monthly fee as well, up until now it is still free to play. They did so because many of the players complained about the game and left, most of them never went back, there are a lot of bots on the servers and hardly any GMs... hopefully that’ll change in the future.
The battlesystem is still pretty slow and most of the gamers in the forum state that it's somply put boring to play, though as os now the game actually saw many patches. Even the creator of the game decided to step down as the developer of the game because he did not feel like he was able to create a great MMO.
A certain thing that also comes to mind is that most of the coding of XIV seemes to be chinese at the beginning but I classify that as a rumor since I'm not able to look into the gamedisk files myself.

They already lost a lot of money in it, yet they announced another MMO title of that sort which might be released in ‘12/’13.

not getting this post :P

I played some of their newer games.

And I liked them.

All I see here is bitchin' because SquareEnix made a few titles that you didn't like. You do know this is a business right? That they are also out to make money? So, let's check the sales.

You said that Final Fantasy XII sucked. The total sales for this game is: approximately 5.2 million. The only former FF games that beat that are FFVII, FFVIII, and FFX. And, as you should know, those were the best in the entire franchise so... Final Fantasy XII did pretty damn good. Final Fantasy XIII sold 5.5 million. Also pretty damn good.

The numbers show that people are buying these games, and SE is making a good amount of money. Why the hell should they change their style now? The numbers say people are buying, so they will not change anything 'til they need to.

I played both games and enjoyed them both. They weren't the greatest games I've ever played, but amazing games are hard to come by nowadays. Stop wishing for the classics to come back. If you want them back, play them again. As you said, the people who made the games you enjoyed back then are GONE. Don't expect their replacements to be the same as them. Buy games from this MistWalker. Find a new company to put your hopes and dreams upon instead of whining about the good ol' days.

I know nothing about the other games you mentioned, so I'm not going to comment on those.

I liked Dissidia as well as FFVII:CC~

FFIII wasn't as simple as pressing x and o... Though the beginning is pretty much what you said, you started to have to use strategy against the later opponents in the game, which can really be hell.

And I recently found out about Final Fantasy Versus and It looks great! Like a Kingdom Hearts without the damned Disney characters around :) And the quality of the CG's and what not looks fantastic.

Also... A lot of the other games you mentioned: never heard of em.

Cept Persona 4, though I'm pretty sure Atlus published it and has nothing to do with SE... Correct me if I'm wrong.

... @PureBoredom LOL you forgot something, I live in germany, there is no Atlus to publish it here, SquareEnix did the job there. Sorry, I corrected it right away. :)

Strategy you say, despite switching with L1 a bit it wasn't really necessary to use "strategy" the bosses were obvious and didn't involve real thinking, you did the same with every single one if you listened to the tutorial at the beginning. Especially when the crystarium system opens up. You basically have once again no need to switch through the characters anymore, at least I never did this in the first place.
If you think differently it's your choice. :3

Yes Versus looks good but does the looks even matter?
Unlike in Kingdom Hearts the movements seemed horribly slow in the trailer, especially those of Noctis. True that there aren't much disney characters around in that one, but the same goes for Type-O since they have a similar combat system.
Up to that, it disturbs me that SE still refuses to use motion actors, at least for human characters, that way those characters wouldn't seem like mere puppets tied to a string anymore.
Will update with the MMO's soon btw. :P

If you don't think you'll like it, don't buy it. As opposed to buying their games, not having a re-skinned FFVII then complaining about it.
And complaining about the scores aren't exactly fair. Sure, if a soundtrack is awe-striking then it can have a huge impact, but having the ending song by someone who you might not particularly like doesn't make the game bad as a whole.
And as for XIII, I found the story as classical yet cheesy as any other Final Fantasy game. And I will be buying both its sequel and Versus-XIII. Final Fantasy is evolving in terms of gameplay systems, and it's something that could've been noticed 5 FF games ago.

But I agree with @Decae for the majority of points.
You post as if you want to give SE your money and have something you expect in return. If you expect to be disappointed, maybe you should consider not buying certain SE games in the future.

(edit: And MMOs were just a bad idea anyway. But as a business they're free to take risks)

thing is, they still published good games after fusing. yes, the final fnatasy franchise went bad or badder than before, and its sad; but there are still more than enough games that are good and not final fnatasys..

like which, @break?

I am kinda uncertain if I should come in and rant about why Square Enix sucks and does not even deserve one single € from my side anymore, but I'll wait for some more "SE is godly!!!!111one" posts instead...


In all honesty, alot of people only bought FFxII and FFxIII out of sheer fanboyism,
Just because they expected better, Most of the people that PURCHASED said games were older people that played the earlier games when they were younger and absolutely Loved the series.

So in their eyes SE can do no wrong and well they were all mistaken, You may want to look at the Return rate for those games, they are also quite high.

@Decae and where please did I write that XII sucked? o__ô I think you are interpreting too much into this.
Square Enix Sales dropped around 29% in the last vew months, despite the fact that they released so many games.
There's much more than just Final Fantasy to SquareEnix, yet they startet to recycle their stories and characters throughout different series.
The quality went downhill over the years and there is not really much personal bitching in this despite the "Hell no stuff". It's fact that there's so many unused content on the bluray disk of Final Fantasy XIII. That's why they release XIII-2 so that they can bring that unused content on the old disk to light. Like lightning's house, a few parts of the city.

It's not that I want to make them bankrupt or hate them, it's just that a few people still put them on a godly podest for no reason.
Most of the people I know changed their minds over the years, from happy costumers who liked one or two franchies to more or less disappointed ones.
Yet, they still hope that some day SE will find their way back to the RPG style they once loved. That's mostly why all sales stay stable at first.

If you still like the games, it's quite okay, that's up to you. I'm sure Square Enix will love you for it, cause you are one of their precious costumers.
Bet you also know that the other countries aka China and Japan get all the cool extras from them... like dual audio and a real collectors edition for nearly the same price (main example XIII) so it's still kinda sad that they do not treat us the same while smaller companies like XSEED, Atlus and many Indie devs do.

So if you like it, buy it, it's the same for you. I won't say anything against you for liking their products. It's just that most people do not even know most of the stuff that's going on behind the scenes because of various reasons.

@break but if they would not publish things, someone else would surely do it, like Ghostlight, XSEED, Kochmedia/DeepSilver, Marvelous Entertainment, to name a few.
Publishing something from a completely different developer does not raise the value of a company per se, other than publishing, SquareEnix themselves do not have anything to do with the games or the animations they publicize. But I'm still grateful to them for releasing Persona here, even though it has not much to do with SE japan. ^^
Most of the time Square Enix does not even bother to translate the stuff they publish anymore, like in Dissidia 012.

@darkChaplain well, for example rogue galaxy , odin sphere and dragon queszt 8 were all published by them and all pretty good.


Odin Sphere only got published by SquareEnix in PAL regions cuz Atlus did not.
Both Dragon Quest 8 and Rogue Galaxy were developed by Level-5, who were only hired by Square Enix and have nothing to do with them, as they publish their games themselves in recent years or publish via Sony.
They're behind Professor Layton, White Knight Chronicles, Dark Cloud, to name a few.

@DrakChaplain i thought everything published by them counts? a si really dotn know which games were only developed by sqenix themselves, sorry..

Tbh, I'm not exactly into these kind of games. The reason I actually do take a liking to SE is because they have produced games that I enjoy and any titles I've purchased from them I've loved. And that's coming from a FPS nosher. And it's also why I'll be considering buying future SE titles.

@Yotsuba, fanboyism in alot of peoples' cases would actually just be that they've seen the good in previous titles and feel like they can purchase a game worth getting.

I think the topic here is the amount of trust consumers can put into SE as a developer, and deciding whether it's worth spending anything on their products.
For me, I think I wouldn't pay full price on a new FF title, but I'd surely pay for a game I can expect not to be a waste. Even if I have noticed a decline in the quality of the FF franchise.

As a matter of fact, within the last 4-5 years, I've only ever spent full price on a handful of games. CoD 4, CoD MW2, BF: Bad Company 2 and Black Ops. All these titles I still play frequently after x years of their release. I'd suggest that there is a decline in games quality in general.

Lmfao, actually, an example is Activision.

Kingdom Hearts, Dissidia, practically anything by S-E i will at least try once or twice.

@Yotsuba well though, i would say its mroe liek the buys out of fanboyism were the ones that were taken back- the people expected somethign liek the genius old games and got too disappointed to appreciate the good points those games had... the ones who didnt know the old games mostly kept the new ones because they may be bad compared to the formwer FF games, btu compared to lots of other games, they are still good.
at leats those i played, sicne i cant really judge part 13 and stuff cuz i dotn have a ps3.

but yeah its more or less the same as with devil may cry 2: the fanbase hates it becasue its really BAD compared to the other devil may cry games, but compared to the vast majority of games out ther,e it is a very good game again. just bad compared to the other >DMC's.

I like lots of SE's game. I like Fun and Interesting Games, whether it is Banda Namco, Mistwalker, or whatever. As long as they're fun I'll play.

I agree that the Final Fantasy series has been going on a downhill recently, but I see Lots of Potential in XIV(Do you read Official Forums everyday?) They're already working on the World's re-design, They've finished the map and are working to finish it, and It's gonna be Fantastic.
You are so so so very wrong on the Fatigue system, a lot of people who haven't really played get the wrong Idea about lots of things in XIV, you gotta play the Game for that. Seriously, If you wanna catch up with the Informations on XIV, you gotta read the Official Forums daily.
About the Number of players left, JPs did a research and the number of people who left the game was 25%, It's still quite a lot but it can't be considered as "most". Tanaka is still in the group, he was replaced by naoki yoshida, and I've never heard him say about not being able to be a great game, lol where'd you get that?

I don't recommend people on playing XIV right now because "some people" might get dissapointed due to their taste and shouts "I want mah moneyz backz SE you thief!" but I will once Patch 1.19 and 1.20 is released.

I know of a lot new people to FF that absofuckinglutely hated FFXIII simply for what it was, not for how less it was like other FFs. It's an interactive movie with tedious world designs and dumbed down mechanics, that's what most critics, old or new, agree on.

But then again, I do not really see why we're so focused on FFXIII already. Why not talk about the other disappointments of recent years?

  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has good intentions, but falls horribly short. It really comes along as a spinoff rather than an essential entry to the series. Too little actual plot, not plot driven enough, too much stuff cluttering your view (aka Disney. "hey, have you seen my friends, it's important!" - "no, we haven't, but you could help us do the dishes" - "sure! have nothing else to do anyway!"). The combat was nice, but all in all, it was disappointing.

  • Lord of Arcana - oh look, a thread, and a review, pointing out why this game sucks ass.

  • Final Fantasy IV Complete - while I was excited to get another FF for my PSP, this game is badly polished. The lack of sound adjustments, the dialogue-passing-with-every-button, the nintendo-colorful sprites, all that and quite some other things make me not want to pay the full price for that port. There simply was too little thought put into the game.

  • Dissidia 012 - just what the first Dissidia should have been like. Square Enix has been lying all along when saying "Dissidia is maxing out the UMDs capacity", as they've put the first game into 012, put many more things into it, refined the system slightly, but down the road, its the same product for the same price. Sure, customers who have not bought Dissidia or Dissidia JP and Universal Tuning, 012 is nice. But for all others not worth the price.

  • The 3rd Birthday had maybe slightly more replayability than LIMBO, and that is a 2D puzzle game relying on its atmosphere. Still, they want you to replay the game many many times just to unlock costumes. Story is badly directed, with most of the interesting, juicy bits lying on the side, to read via a computer terminal.
    The gameplay itself is repetitive, unsatisfying and simply not giving enough enjoyment to replay this very short game multiple times.

  • Final Fantasy XIV - is it still free to play? or are they already confident that the game reaches a high enough server population again so that it even beats the average F2P MMO playerbase?
    Really, the game has been horrible in Alpha, Beta and after Release. That's what happens when you outsource bigger projects to companies in China etc. Recycleware, everywhere. And then they think it's done by increasing the size of Mobs so they look more frightening.

  • Mindjack - please, simply watch this review video and have a laugh or two.

  • Final Fantasy Versus XIII - not out yet, sure, but they've announced it when? 2005? before we even got to spread the PS3 around the world? And they're still not done, now that the PS3 is nearing it's end? And still Nomura is throwing over plans to add fancy stuff, improve graphics and live his wet dream?
    Hell, the videos we saw look great, but how many did we see? How much of the game itself? nothing, some scenes they put together for some presentation, no actual gameplay, not even remotely what the end product will be like. I sure am not holding my breath and hype a game I don't know shit about.

Also, you should not just look at the products aka Games only.
Square Enix WHOLE COMPANY is screwed up, including their marketing schemes, intentions and their actions around the games.

Re-releasing the same shit over and over and over again is one of the main things that keep Square Enix together. Releasing old FFs on iPhone, iPad, Nintendo DS, PSP and whereever possible is what earns this company its shrinking profits. Minimum effort, maximum profit.

But not only bring they old games to new platforms, but recycle almost every single game they do again, with often quite a few improvements (see: FFXII Zodiac Job System, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (2nd one came with a GBA to PS2 remake of Chain of Memories), Dissidia, Final Fantasy XIII, it never ends), which results from the tight release schedules that ensure that Japan basically gets a Beta product, we get a 2nd gen Beta product in the west and Japan finally gets a full release, almost on par with the original western release date.

Their pricing policy in Europe is HORRIBLE. They're almost asking twice the value than in the US, and even for PSP games, they want at least 10€ more than we have to pay for other titles, if not more.

Their "Collector's Editions" are a slap in the face for every fan. Art cards, a 5-track minidisc, that's it? "Artbooks" that consist of CG renders you've been seeing on wallpapers all around the web since the game got first announced? And that of course justifies a 10€ price jump, we know already.

Canning good projects, cutting out the soul aka story out of others, all these things have a bearing on the final products.

Back then, Squaresoft hat to cut half of Vagrant Story's plot, due to being only a PSOne game. However, Final Fantasy XII, Tactics, and other spinoff series play in the same world, feeding on the original book of Vagrant Story and the History of Ivalice. Still, they're cutting a lot of the stories, like in FFXII, which could have been much better, if only they have let their developers and directors enough time to finalize the product they believed in. They have no trouble letting Nomura start Versus XIII's engine over and over, right? So why reject a complex story on other ends?

Also, the release schedule is horrible. Releasing half a dozen titles for the PSP within a 3 month timeframe at an average retail price of 45€ won't win the hearts of customers, especially not when considering their target audience (teens) who simply cannot afford 90€ for two games a month.

I could go on for hours, but I'll stop now as my head is getting dizzy and my vision blurry. no, really, everything's shaking!

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