Square Enix Los Angeles hit with layoffs

Update: Over 30 people across various departments reported to have been made redundant.

Update: Joystiq has reported that half of Square Enix Los Angeles' marketing department has been let go, which is estimated to be 10 people. Around 20 members of staff were laid off across the accounting, IT, and events departments, with another five to 10 going from community and support. The PR department, which is believed to be roughly seven people, will be reduced by about half after E3 this June. Executives will also be hit with redundancies, including the head of marketing and Square Enix America president and CEO Mike Fischer.

Original story: Square Enix has laid off an undisclosed number of staff at its Los Angeles studio in California, the publisher has confirmed.

In a statement issued to Joystiq, a Square Enix representative said, "We can confirm that Square Enix's Los Angeles office has eliminated a number of positions as part of the corporate restructuring announced last week."

"This is an unfortunate situation and we are offering assistance and severance packages to any employees affected by this, we want to thank them for their hard work and sincerely wish them well in the future."

Square Enix Los Angeles was involved with the publisher's MMO titles, such as Final Fantasy XIV and Wakfu. The studio had previously suffered another round of layoffs back in December 2012.

Former Square Enix president Yoichi Wada resigned last week after announcing an "extraordinary" loss in the publisher's first-quarter financials. The loss was attributed to many of the publisher's games suffering in America and Europe, with the recent high-profile reboot of Tomb Raider failing to hit its sales target, despite selling 3.4 million copies in its opening month.

Written By

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor

Want the latest news about WAKFU?

WAKFU

WAKFU

Follow

Discussion

53 comments
thetruth9000031
thetruth9000031

I would say they need more. Here is my review.

I played during Beta 4 when there wasn't major bugs(realistically that was never the case). The bug - error 90000 from 1.0 hit players as fast as 2 hours into Phase 4 and hit myself at 10 hours into it. The whole rest of Beta I was unable to play any instanced content. I was unable to access friends list, use linkshell, join parties, and use duty finder. So I crafted for the next 20 hours or so. Then I got hit with error 9000 which forced a dc and unable to reconnect issue for the rest of Beta 4. 3 hours left of Beta and they took the servers offline for 3 hours. They then extended for another 6 total(plus the three remaining) or so. Making 9 or 10 hours available to those that don't sleep at night. Error 90000 was not fixed. Error 3102 was.

I had to sign up on the Beta Forums which are no longer up, in order to have them manually adjust my character that had corrupt data on it(15000 total posts on error 90000).

The has game failed its player base through poor communication, being ridden with errors, and not enough Server capacity to accomodate those it lets in. For the most part the people interested in the game are unable to see information on this. Due to the fact of the NDA that was in place to protect all the negative publicity it should have received.

For Early access things went fairly smooth if you don't mind not being able to log in for 2-10 hours at a time. 200 people were in the guild I was. After the first day of Early Access most players were frustrated to say the least.

Early access codes and collector edition codes sent most people into panic mode. The codes were not coming for some and for others they were coming for the wrong region and being unusable.

For official launch many players registered a new account under an existing account and were "locked out of the game". So basically some people cannot even play the character that was promised to carry over from Beta 4 and Early Access. The mass confusion and hysteria that SE has caused its customers is frightening to say the least when the company is "all in" on this one relaunch.

Since the company appears to be so desperate for the game to succeed, my trust has been compromised with SE's business decisions and lack of communication. Of course they can't tell us that the data was corrupt, but what they did tell us is that they "manually adjusted each character".

Long story short, I couldn't play today as my character had expired and I had no way to register it due to the creation of another account inside my account (WTF). I called and got my refund started today and I would advise that you pass this game over and buy something that will have better numbers to start with not angry players over all the bugs. Last thing I want to see is people buying the game playing 50-100 hours then posting more error 90000's. The 3102 error was renamed so it actually starts with a 1 now.

Mayleene
Mayleene

SqeeNix just needs to go away!

Scarshi
Scarshi

I'm guessing marketing got the bird for lousy sales. Someone always takes the blame. Heaven forbid its the declining reputation of the company in America, not the games themselves why such poor results.

Shaoran_Li
Shaoran_Li

Call me crazy but I think remastering more older titles might gain them some lost bucks. Feel free to disagree but I know I'd put my money down on a remastered (NOT REMAKE - reMASTERED) version of FFVIII. Other than graphical upgrades, upgraded soundtrack (I doubt they'll re-orchestrate the whole thing so just give it a digital upgrade), expanded widescreen FMVs/CGI clips and higher-res pre-rendered backgrounds, EVERYTHING from the game be kept the SAME. I already own FFVIII on 4 PS1 discs and even considered buying the PSN version. Then I thought to myself, why buy a game you already have? Unless it's remastered, I know I'd put my money down on this if this were to happen.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Maybe they should pump less money into the games... If you need millions of sales to break even, you're doing it wrong... There's pleanty of low budget games that are great & when one of those sells millions it's a joy for everyone, rather than a requirement.

Jyakotu
Jyakotu

It's always sad to hear of layoffs, especially in the gaming industry. Though it's even worse to hear Square Enix laying off employees.

csward
csward

Square Enix has a marketing department?

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

(psst, Square - turn based RPGs are boring)

*hint *hint

XCyberForceX
XCyberForceX

Europe, America, and Canada is where the brain-trust for out of the box game development is being made.  Square-Enix should be careful not to completely pull themselves out or cripple themselves in these markets.  That would be a step in the wrong direction.  They need to get out of their box of past successes and develop a future vision.  This market is always evolving and if you can't move with it .... you're dead.

leeko_link
leeko_link

This is what happen when they made sucking games and decisions. More Final Fantasy XIII sequels? Nobody wants those, we want Type-0, why didn't we get that? We don't want another FF MMORPG, we want a new main FF, finish XIV and go to XV already. Also gives us update on Versus XIII and a deadline for that game. Also to make fans happy, instead of announcing money scamming titles (All the Bravest, Dimensions, Realm's Reborn, etc.), localize these: DQM: Terry's Wonderland, DQVII remake, DQX, Bravely Default, and FF Type-0 and to make fans really happy release a new main game from these franchise: Mana, Blazer, Kingdom Hearts, Ogre Battle, Front Mission, Star Ocean, Parasite Eve, Chrono, Lufia, Grandia, SaGa!, etc. It was great that Drakengard is coming back but we need more to keep us interest.

X-Blackrose
X-Blackrose

I feel bad for the people who were let go; however, to me, Final Fantasy is more of a turn-based strategy game than a massively-online multiplayer game.

They had to see it coming. 

acelogan1989
acelogan1989

hey SE , i've got an idea how to boost your financial : release the  FFVII remake

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

ARR is actually looking pretty great. I hope this doesn't negatively impact it.

kohle36
kohle36

I liked it better when they were canning the guys who actually made the decisions that got them where they are now...

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

I wonder how much they lost on phone titles? allot of times phone apps do not make enough if titles don't find themselves in the chart. I think the tomb raider and deus Ex titles where a good buy, i bought both and thought they where good titles... but i cant recall when i last played a Final Fantasy title hmmm..... FF12?

vikieinstein
vikieinstein

I will buy Watchdogs for sure. I hope square Enix can hit back...

Mohjong
Mohjong

They got a big building near LAX, everytime I drive pass there I dream of working there.  Now that dream is just a dream.  There's still Blizzard and Activision here near Irvine.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

the new FF MMO is looking great though, hopefully they can recover from it.

Halloll
Halloll

the midget girl has a normal nose while the boy have a weird black nose. Square is sexist.

zhing_wong
zhing_wong

buying eidos was a mistake. SE is expanding their business fast more than they could handle. Just like starbucks

blackroommate
blackroommate

i really love hitman &tomb raider & sleeping dogs ....I finish them all and really enjoy them..all were great and i enjoy SD also more than GTA IV...i have no idea why they cant have a good selling however they were really nice entertaining games..

frozenux
frozenux

They should lay to rest the final fantasy franchise.It cost too much to make and promote and it doesn't sell as much anymore because they yanked out what was making the core of series appealing.They seriously need to focus on something else.

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

@Sevenizz When was the last time they made a turn based rpg? I hate to tell you this but Lost Odyssey was amazing for a large number of people.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@XCyberForceX actually dude its not an east vs west thing..its a money vs no money thing...Im sure if there wasnt a global recession we would see a lot more and a lot better games out of developers as a whole regardless of region

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@leeko_link Actually people do want a good FF MMO, judging by FFXI's large fanbase and the amount of money that game has pulled in for SE.  Truthfully, it's just the kind of game SE needs since it provides long-term steady profit even in the face of weaker products.  But you are right about them needing to leave XIII alone.  That was their ego talking on that one, not their business sense.  And yes, they definitely need to rely on their established titles more and quit burning their bridges with their fanbase.

Morokoo
Morokoo

@leeko_link 

Well they already announced a FF to be revealed at E3 for PS4, so likely XV.

bdixon76
bdixon76

@X-Blackrose Actually FFXI was a huge success for them and its a great game. FFXIV was a total flop and it screwed them. It does not help that the last few FFXIII have really been lackluster compared to X and prior.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@X-Blackrose They let them go because the game is just about finished and they needed to trim the fat, so to speak, not because the game is doing poorly.  It hasn't even been released yet, at least not the "A Realm Reborn" version.

Crim45
Crim45

@acelogan1989 Or instead of milking old FF titles and remaking them how about making a new FF game that is actually good? 

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@acelogan1989 An FFVII remake would pretty much cost just as much developing a new game since that's basically what they'd have to do.  A complete graphics overhaul, voice acting, some touch-ups to the battle system.  That's no quick project.  Now would it sell well?  Hell yeah, but you still have to have the resources to put towards it to begin with and right now they're spread a little thin.

Gwoolhurme
Gwoolhurme

@zhing_wong the eidos games are doing well, the problem is the actual square games (Final Fantasy etc), the enix games are also doing well... They just aren't really giving the user base what they want

vikieinstein
vikieinstein

@blackroommate Maybe their Sales and marketing people are bad and looting lots of money not allowing them to grow. Everyone have to start following marketing strategy like EA. I see them in football matches, Racing and Even in some of the holywood movies.

cjimrun
cjimrun

@frozenux I'm pretty sure Final Fantasy is the only thing still making them money.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@Coseniath @Sevenizz 10 was crap.. Anything beyond 10 = crap  While I'm not happy about layoffs, They can do better at somewhere else.  SquareEnix is failing harder than Luke Skywalker was at the start of his Jedi Training with Yoda.  

Coseniath
Coseniath

@horizonwriter @acelogan1989 Pit brat's bootleg has shown the way to Square Enix how to do it (Final Fantasy 7 remake) without spending so much money. Previous president was too stuborn to understand this. I just hope the new president will understand it.

zhing_wong
zhing_wong

@Gwoolhurme @zhing_wong eidos games such as tomb raiders arent doing well. they arent making enough sales. they should have just focus on their own franchise instead of buying eidos to make more income


xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@Scarshi @xeoneex66 @Coseniath @Sevenizz Ya I will give you 12.  At the time I thought perhaps they could redeem themselves.  But no they got worse over time.  Even 11 wasn't bad.  Was cool for awhile but I got bored with it within a year.  

96augment
96augment

@zhing_wong Tomb Raider is doing well. It has the biggest opening week for 2103 (so far).

Morokoo
Morokoo

@cjimrun @WhiteStormy @frozenux 

Not to mention they have more than one Final Fantasy game out at one time, Downloads, blah blah blah. Just kinda curious how this new president is going to play out.

cjimrun
cjimrun

@WhiteStormy @cjimrun @frozenux But as recent articles have pointed-out, Tomb Raider failed to meet sales targets.  It doesn't matter how many units sell if the company doesn't see a profit.  I have no doubt that Square saw profits out of all the dlc associated with XIII-2, not to mention the $15 mobile FF games they continue to produce.