Layoffs hit Square Enix Europe

Square Enix layoffs to hit European and UK offices; exact employee numbers unknown.

Square Enix has begun a round of layoffs in its UK and European offices.

In a statement to MCV UK, the company confirmed the news. The announcement comes after the publisher saw an "extraordinary loss" for the financial year ended March 31.

Speaking to the trade publication, Square Enix said, "We are reviewing our business in Europe to ensure we have the right structure, content, and skills for the changing entertainment landscape."

"We do expect changes to the UK office, which will affect personnel. We will update you when the time is right, but our priority right now is for the people within the business.”

Last month, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada resigned from the company following the announcement of an expected 10 billion yen loss for the 2012-2013 financial year. Despite being well-received critically, sales for big-budget Square Enix titles Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs failed to meet expectations in the North American market.

Written By

Zorine “harli” Te is a long time Australian competitive gamer and also an Associate Editor at GameSpot.

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193 comments
jmmijo
jmmijo

Too bad that Just Cause 3 wouldn't be out in time to save Square as I do believe they published both # 1 and 2.


This would help their bottom line I would think.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Stop adding moltiplayer to everything and you will flourish.

Sushiglutton
Sushiglutton

Both Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider are amazing games. Sad that they didn't do as well as expected :(. Feels silly that AC3 sold ten times as much as SD. I hope Square can recover, because they are producing great quality games atm imo.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

So what you're saying is despite pretty good sales of a pretty good couple of games the executives still cannot figure out that they're the reason why profit isn't happening?

Couldn't just make a few hundred thousand a year and be happy...gotta make a couple million each, huh?

Keep laying them off sunshine!

Can someone let me know where these brilliant executives go after they screw up the industry and get the axe?

ilovelctr
ilovelctr

C'mon! Tomb Raider is and will remain the best game from Square Enix for a long long time. And SE is too lazy to count the sales for digital version, which contributes to most copies on PC, and on top of that, it's ridiculous to be disappointed by the sales figure...

hadlee73
hadlee73

Zorine Te is cute. Oh, wait! There was an article to read too? :P

FoppyOmega
FoppyOmega

Forget the flashy expensive graphics, put FF15 on SNES and take my money

gufberg
gufberg

To my understanding Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider actually all made a profit. The problem is, allegedly, that their asian studios are a huge money sink at the moment. Being too proud to cut their asian studios, Square Enix then elected to cut their western branches instead. 

note: I dunno if this is actually the case. It's just the gist i get from reading about this on r/games

svaubel
svaubel

This is what happens when you make games that have to sell 5 million just to break even. Whatever happened to manageable budgets and manageable team sizes?

Oh right... 'must spend all our money to make the graphics as hi-poly as possible but forget about the rest of the gameplay' hence 5-hour crap games.

joju_australia
joju_australia

what is getting out of hand is these stupid companies continual comparison of their earning to stupid games like COD. It is not fair on the game industry to compare their IP earnings of AAA games like COD. Not everything revolves around COD stupid games! They have a different fan base (age, culture, history) urggggg! it upsets me to my inner core! They say that Tomb Rider failed? IT WAS A BLOODY AWESOME GAME!

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

So you are firing the people that revived Lara Croft from the deepest hole and which sold 3.5mil copies in 1 month. I don't even... WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

PacoTaco
PacoTaco

Tomb Raider is a fine game but was definitely under-marketed from my perspective.  Plus the original games sold a lot because the core demo was 15-25 men (obvious reasons), and now it's shifted so the Lara Croft name has lost a lot of its prestige.  That and the movies were terrible :(

91210user
91210user

I like to see the Japan studio make better games then Hitman and see a team that can sell Front Mission Evolved even better that isn't Japanese!

knyght1008
knyght1008

Here's a good tip for developers since they are too stupid to get the picture after all these years. STOP WASTING MONEY DEVELOPING MULTIPLAYER!

gzg9jg
gzg9jg

No surprise there. Developers will have to evaluate their projects more efficiently now, with the state of the global economy they have to expect lower than forecasted sales and adjust their budgets accordingly. Or find new ways to supplement their earnings from some other source.

Jyakotu
Jyakotu

I've said this many times and I know many have said this other times, but I really did feel that Enix ruined Square as a company. I don't know why they even had to merge in the first place. I mean, Square didn't "merge" with Eidos, they just bought them out and published their games. I don't understand why Square couldn't have done the same with Enix. SMH

TensaZangets
TensaZangets

This is unfortunate, the Company doesn't do as well as predicted and they lay-off employees so that the CEO's can have their bonuses. Too sad, but that's the world we live in, it needs a solution, things must change.

immortality20
immortality20

I loved and bought those 3 games, I wish others did too.

JusXice
JusXice

SquareSoft=Best 

SquareEnix=Worst

I won't support a company that acts like this even the game (Tomb raider) did well in sells (IMO and rating) they lost faith right way once the sells was not good, but in the end it was their decision to make this happen. They making up excuses and playing the blame game they know what they was getting their self into. 

denny33142
denny33142

At this rate no one is going to want to work in the gaming industry

You spend years of hard work creating a game that gets good reviews and sells very well and you still get canned.

kohle36
kohle36

They're going to redirect the funds into "FFXIII-4: Lightning Re-Returns. Again."

Seriously though, they need to to fire the entire Japanese executive arm instead

Pyerun
Pyerun

So the Japanese games are garbage, don't sell, and in return, they layoff white people.......

decoy1978
decoy1978

And it begins....

This should not surprise anyone out there who following gaming news. SE is under financial stress from either self-inflicted high expectations or just overall poor sales. FFXIV first time around was a financial plague for SE. It seems every single game after that is supporting the second go around. I've played the reincarnation and its surprisingly good. I just wish they released THIS version.

But SE's woes won't end here until they DO release a hit.. I expect layoffs until the end of the year when FFXIV 2.0 is released...

anigmha
anigmha

Here is a tip: Don't layoff your talent (Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution) and stop spending money on projects no one cares about (Final Fantasy XIII Versus, Final Fantasy XIV Online).

1947gamer
1947gamer

Square will be hurting them self if they only release Thief for the next generation units. Sure a lot of people may buy new units but then again a lot won't and just forgo the game because of it. Lost sales. They should redo Deadly Shadows in HD. I think most Thief fans would buy it since it was only available on the original XBOX.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Haven't bought anything from the Square side of Square Enix since the PS2/GameCube era, every Square Enix games I bought so far are either from Enix, Eidos, Quest, or Taito side of the company.

R2C25
R2C25

I think Japanese game companies didn't adapt to the gaming market after 1997.

Sega,Capcom,Namco, matter fact all of them except Nintendo and somewhat Sony. 

The biggest software markets in the world are Europe and NA but you don't sell them some of your best games (JRPG)? 

Sega ditched Bayonetta and Vanquish. Wow...

Namco after AC6 managed to bring a subpar game when they had all the framework done with AC6.

Capcom is scared of releasing Megaman.

Japanese devs in general cannot make games that are not JRPG to save their lives this gen. In a place where some used to call the Mecca of gaming.

furrynic
furrynic

@Poodlejumper He'll probably retire and take his wife and girlfriend in the side to some hot beach, and just ride into the sunset.

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

@joju_australia  They are not comparing TR to CoD because CoD is todays best seller while Square games were in past decade and their FF is still a head of COD in sales number.

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

@Darkhol0w  when they compare Original Tombraider which sold 7 millions unit alone on PS1 to TR reboot sold 3.5 millions on mulitple platform that seems tobe a failure.

soulless4now
soulless4now

@Darkhol0w They've been confused since FFXIII was announced. =P It's funny since Tomb Raider will probably sell more than Lightening Returns, the game no one really wants. lol

clinjlin
clinjlin

@Jyakotu The reason the two companies merged was due to the nearly bankrupt statement of Square, because they failed on investing, and putting too much expectation on Final Fantasy the Movie (I am talking about that Sci-Fi one with Aki Ross). That costed a tremendous hole in their finance, which made Sakaguchi stood down from the head of company and left. It was that time when Nomura and  his then new IP Kingdom Hearts released, which sold unexpectedly well and covered part of the financial lost. But unfortunately the hole was too big. And that was the time when Enix came in (though Enix had their own problem too.).

decoy1978
decoy1978

@B00GIEL0VE The main problem with SE is FFXI. They tasted the MMO dollars with that mildy successful game. They tried to recreate it again with FFXIV and the first time around was a complete Shakespearian Disaster! So their solution was to sink even more money into it, but their software didn't meet their sales quota or just in all honesty stunk! 

Front Mission, Dungeon Siege, Nier, some crappy FF games on mobile phone and FB. Tomb Raider and Deus were really successful but I think they were expecting them to sell like 5 - 6 million -_-. Srsly... no joke! 

Hence we get a lot of remakes and re-releases. I do think every single game released thus far after FFXIV was to fund it for a second go round. 

hastati4
hastati4

@denny33142 Right on. One of the biggest reasons I decided against trying to work into the industry myself.

gzg9jg
gzg9jg

@Pyerun WTF?? So games not meeting sales expectations is a racial thing now???

Rokon37
Rokon37

@Pyerun Except that none of the titles mentioned in the article were made in Japan. Not that Square Japan themselves are exactly raking it in (their president did step down amidst their own money troubles) but these were all western games made for a western audience.

kohle36
kohle36

@Pyerun How do you know the affected employees at the European offices are white?

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

@R2C25 Sega didn't ditch Bayonetta or Vanquish, Vanquish was part of a 4 game deal with Platinum games and they didn't have enough resources to fully publish Bayonetta 2, that's why Nintendo stepped in and took advantage of the situation. Sega still owns rights for Bayonetta 2 and there's still a possibility in the future they will publish it for other platforms.

YoungCardinal
YoungCardinal

@steve4123456789 @knyght1008  

MP was one of this games weaknesses and not something you would associate to this kind of game. There really was no point to include it. It costs money to outsource development...thats why the game was considered a failure even though it sold a respectable 5M copies or so.

GreggD
GreggD

@gzg9jg @Pyerun They shifted all the blame onto the European and Western studios, so yes. And Tomb Raider sold just fine, with over 3 and a half million units sold in its first month.

Gerard1981
Gerard1981

@mav_destroyer @R2C25 I think Platinum owns the rights to Bayonetta but seeing as they needed funding and Nintendo jumped in you would be rather ignorant to expect Bayonetta 2 on any other console than the WiiU.

R2C25
R2C25

@mav_destroyer @R2C25 If Sega owned the rights to Bayonetta they would never allowed Nintendo to publish it or Platinum to do whatever thy want with them.

GreggD
GreggD

@The_Last_Paladi @GreggD @gzg9jg @Pyerun You can't tell me it's not a fucking situation where the Japanese arm had to save face for poor sales of their shitty MMO and...well, what else have they put out recently? Seriously, it's a typical blame the foreigners situation, just like Capcom did with all their outsourcing failures.