Yoichi Wada: 'The huge loss was like a voice from the heavens'

Former Square Enix president Yoichi Wada says amid tough financial times, it was like a voice from above told him, "It's time to move on."

Outgoing Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has commented on the situation surrounding his recent resignation from the Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy publisher. He said the "extraordinary loss" the publisher expects to see was "like a voice from the heavens" directing him to leave.

"I, personally, would have liked to wait and hand over the firm when it is at its best. However, the huge loss was like a voice from the heavens telling me 'It's time to move on,'" he said in company documents published this week. "After given [sic] much thought, I have judged that it would be best to support the company in other ways as I hand over my roles and responsibilities. For this reason, I have decided to step down."

Replacing Wada as Square Enix president will be Yosuke Matsuda, the company's longtime chief financial officer. Wada said he believes Matsuda is the most eligible candidate to turn the company around. Doing so will involve "fundamental and drastic reforms in the organization," Wada said.

"In addition, I highly value his tough-mindedness, his ability to persistent in a logical manner, and make sound decisions," Wada said of Matsuda.

Wada also clarified his new status at Square Enix now that he is no longer president. He explained that he will leave Square Enix Holdings altogether, though he explained that it is his "duty" to "support the firm in my own ways."

"You might be wondering what role I will take in the company after I step down, so I will tell you before you ask me: I will be completely gone from Square Enix Holdings, I will no longer be the President, Director, nor a staff member of Square Enix Holdings," Wada said. "That means I will not have a say in the future management."

"However, I believe it is my duty as an employee to support the firm in my own ways, including exploiting new businesses, and to yield sound results and performances," he added. "Although I will step down from management, I will continue to work hard to give back to a company that granted me so much."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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182 comments
gbernalesp
gbernalesp

I think that saying that Tomb Raider is a failure implies that Square Enix have done very little analysis in this issue., because:

1) They haven't considered online downloads, which nowadays is an essencial sales channel, 
2) It has only been a month since the game release
3) All the costs associated to game development, characters, technology, movements, etc, can be considered as an investment for the continuity for the franchise, therefore the future Tomb Raider games would have a considerably lower cost of production making them very easy to be profitable. They could release one title per year like Assassin's Creed, making the subsecuent games very profitable.

Considering all this I think the only explanation for Square Enix declaration is that they needed an excuse to change the CEO, and they blame it on an excellent game who already has sold millions of copies. I hope this doesn't stop the production of future Tomb Raider games.

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

I crave a 7 remake as much as anyone. But then I remember the hot tub scene and I briefly start to reconsider. At this point I doubt they'd even be ALLOWED to sell that in the US. Fucking politics.

kithirris
kithirris

Actually, I didn't care about any of those titles at the beginning, but they all turned out pretty good actually.

But I know and you know that what people have been clamoring for for years are old core title remakes and sequels.  Games like a Final Fantasy 7 remake, a new Chrono title, a new Mana title; that's what will put SE back up towards the top.  That's what many of their fans' are asking for, including myself.  And we're being ignored.

jyml8582
jyml8582

Now I see why Square Enix has been losing money. A voice from heaven??? This guy is completely nuts! NUTS I say!!!

gargungulunk
gargungulunk

I'm trying to imagine that guy playing FF12.


I can appreciate his sense of honor, yet the answer isn't hard.  The non-FF games are quite solid still---it's just an odd time for gaming...(or, my bank account); and the current FF games need to get away from politics as a plot device, and step off the sci-fi a bit.


or...you know...translate Bravely Default.


grayyfoxx
grayyfoxx

    Square certainly has some big decisions to make in the near future. That being said, it seems a lot of people will have an issue with them no matter what they do. Reading only the last 30 or so comments, you have people calling for Square's head because they changed Final Fantasy and want them to similar to older Final Fantasy games. Then you have other people saying they're making the same game over and over, and are sick of turn based combat. So tell me, which is it, because it can't be both. So it seems they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't.  

     I think going forward Square's biggest concern should just be quality, and that doesn't mean how high the polygon count is either. They need to pay attention to the story, one that is fresh and not full of cliches (though some here and there are fine), and have strong character development. Character variation would also be nice, maybe having older and more relatable characters. This of course doesn't mean they have to do away with the teens and crazy hair styles, just have a little less of them perhaps. They should bring back Nobuo Uematsu to do the majority of the music for the Final Fantasy series, and not just a few tracks like he's done recently  Bringing back some of the small things from previous jrpg's should also be implemented. This mean's having towns to explore, meaningful sidequests, a decent leveling system (not like the one's in FF13 and 13-2), and overall just paying attention to detail. Last but not certainly least, is gameplay.

     Trying to find gameplay that will satisfy the majority of fans, new and old alike will be challenging. I think we all know that Square's area of expertise is RPGs. The simplest way may be through varying games in different rpg genres. So you can have your standard jrpgs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. If done properly these games can satisfy the core fans of Square. To satisfy those who are sick of turn based combat and want more action, you can have an ARPG. It's name, Final Fantasy Versus. You could start a new series of games here, and possibly even remove the name "Final Fantasy" altogether . From what we've seen in the trailers, Versus will obviously be more action based. The Dissidia also fall under the action category as well. The other type of rpg that Square should start to focus again are Strategy rpgs. I'm of course referring to Final Fantasy Tactics. Whether it be a sequel, or a new game altogether. I think they would be able to find a crowd of gamers who would be interested. Most of them are probably playing Disgaea. 

     This is obviously just a simple template, but I think with all their IP's Square could easily do this. Whether it be something new, or going back to the games like Chrono Trigger and Xenogears. They also have some games that are candidates for remakes, everyone has been clamoring for a FF VII remake it seems. The bottom line is, there is no way a company with so many IP's and resources should be losing money like they have. The potential for mass profits is still there, including from a publishing standpoint. Hopefully with better management they can keep development costs down, and possibly get some new people with innovative ideas in there. 


Omega_Zero69
Omega_Zero69

I wish him the best of luck in what he does in the future.

Hutcheh
Hutcheh

A worthy FFVII remake would turn this downward spiral around. And no I am not saying this from a fanboy point of view, just looking at how many people are wanting a remastered version of the game. To be honest, I have never even completed the original version of the game. They would sell millions of copies and faithful customers would again be satisfied.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Should have stepped down a long time ago and maybe, just maybe, Square would be in a better position than where it currently is.

H4num4n
H4num4n

I don't feel like buying another SE published games after FFXIII ever again.

zhing_wong
zhing_wong

Its a punishment from heaven for what SE have done to FF series

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

Instead of a 'voice from the heavens,' it sounds more like a huge blaring alarm that says abandon ship.

darksiED70
darksiED70

Skrew squeenix. You can go die with the bribe from microsoft. Ps3 owners are happy that we have ni no kuni.

brxricano
brxricano

"In addition, I highly value his tough-mindedness, his ability to persistent in a logical manner, and make sound decisions," Wada said of Matsuda.  

Just the kind of cool robot guy we need in charge of something as fun loose and creative as making video games.

hadlee73
hadlee73

That voice needs to speak its message louder. There are a couple of other companies that could benefit from their old Japanese bosses "moving on".

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

all they had to do was bring FF back to its roots.  such a simple business strategy.  

santinegrete
santinegrete

The lashing to gamers asking for a more modern combat FF it's understandable. After all western influence was badly interpreted and has ruined Resident Evil. Face it, Final Fantasy could use a better battle system. I have a friend who disliked FF13 but loved Dissidia. You can tell by my profile I'm an action games sucker, but Tales JRPGs are always on top for me, because they remove the big problem I always have with RPG: titles actually have gameplay. If Final Fantasy at least had better combat systems... they don't have to be strictly action-combo oriented, they can be intriguing and rewarding turn based experiences, like XCom, Eternal Sonata, and Ni No Kuni.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

Don't want to know what a voice from the hells would be like...

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

I think something that could help rpgs a bit would be online multiplayer. at least for games like tales of.

kazedafinest
kazedafinest

So they put a man money man in charge of the company huh..... there goes the company....

sephirothsfan02
sephirothsfan02

Probably the same voice who told him to listen to a fortuneteller and move SE`s  HQ. Lol demency`s b$%&h huh?, even the holy Kamis want you to gtfo Mr.Wada, maybe those voices should tell you to leave for good and take Toriyama with you... 

Freynow
Freynow

Why are they over dramatizing all this?

Adapttttttt
Adapttttttt

If KH3 & Versus XIII were released, so much money would have been made... just saying.

thingta42
thingta42

I probably would buy FF if it was more up to date. Remove the turn based mechanics and linear walking through a set path, also make it into a party based action game with combos etc. You can still have the bosses and levels. But evetything about FF hasnt changed. The gameplay is still the same like its stuck in 1995.  And thats problem with Japanese games. They are stuck in the past. Or they try to change something that people dont want. Resident evil went backwards for example people want suvival horror, they don't want run and gun shooting. Even Soul calibur is stuck. They went backwards removing characters etc. Nintendo are the only japanese company that still continues to make AAA titles that never disapoint. Sure the American video game industry is greedy and full of CODs. But least they are pulng the numbers worldwide on their games. Most japanese games struggle to get decent sales outside of japan. Dragons dogma would of failed if it was launched on the same day as Skyrim and if it didn't have the whole pawn system. I still think the pawn system in DD was a lazy excuse not to include MP.

eva02langley
eva02langley

I can only applaud for Square Enix move like publishing Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs, BUT...

You lost it and you need to define yourself anew. The latest RPGs are garbage at best and you cannot still put Final Fantasy at the front of your company for another 15 new opus.

You bought Quest, brought them to the ground and killed the Ogre series. You deserve your problems. You don`t care about any other franchise than Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

Its unfortunate that that voice didn't come a heck of a lot sooner. Peace out dude.

JBStone1981
JBStone1981

Tomb Raider was a good game, and I still say it's a miracle that they made Sleeping Dogs a good game in spite of all the development issues prior to their involvement. I have a feeling that their bastardizing of the Final Fantasy franchise--which is now somehow an ACTION game--is responsible for their sagging sales. You can't destroy the flagship and expect anyone to care about the rest of your titles. 

gargungulunk
gargungulunk

@grayyfoxx Sounds like there's an opening if you want it. :)

This is a company that has been there since some of the very first home consoles, and they are trying to find a way to keep it going.  Funny thing is, They really haven't had to fight so hard.  

I can appreciate the changes over the iterations of games, yet I think they're confusing things on their own.  FF13 was the only iteration on current gen systems.  It has been interesting to see how they've altered play-style,  while upgrading their monsters into full 3dHD. There have also been deeper looks into it's cities and plots...they /had/ to take this road just to see.

I don't think that they've failed, SE just lost sight this generation.

But now it's time to come back.  There are some FF games I will replay every few years...13 is not one of 'em.


harshfence
harshfence

@Hutcheh FFVII is one of my favorite game memories. I did manage to complete it, but it took a tag-team approach with my brother. Otherwise, the 70+ hours of game would have proven insurmountable! :)

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

@Hutcheh I actually never finished the original either, got really far 3 times, just to have my ADD take over and move me to something else.

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

@Adapttttttt and a ff7 remake.... they'd be swimming in money instead of failing miserably.

nic1357
nic1357

@thingta42 are you high? people dont like the new FF games because the series CHANGED TOO MUCH

Bayonetta2013
Bayonetta2013

@thingta42 .../the FF series are JRPGs, not action or shooter games. There's aapeal in the fact that they have some classic elements mixed with new, like LR.

grayyfoxx
grayyfoxx

@gargungulunk Agreed, they will have to fight to bring back some of the customers they lost over the past 5 or 6 years. 

I don't think they failed either, though it's obvious development costs were extremely high for games they developed and published. Sales were actually very good for games like FF XIII and most recently Tomb Raider, and yet they're still not happy with the sales. This seems to be a trend with most AAA games nowadays. 

JBStone1981
JBStone1981

@Bayonetta2013 @thingta42 There's barely anything RPG about the latest titles. Basically everything in the Final Fantasy XIII series is an action-hybrid at best, and the new game, "Lightning Returns" is a flat-out action game.

keydash999
keydash999

@somberfox @JBStone1981 @Bayonetta2013 
Action games?
Kingdom hearts
Final fantasy dissidia
Crisis core
Type 0....

But?
Final fantasy 13, 13-2, LR? Those are just linear rpg´s, with "real time battle", that is the problem! i miss the old days when i used to play with my 3-4 chars, active or passive mode!!!

JBStone1981
JBStone1981

@Bayonetta2013 @JBStone1981 No, they're action games with RPG elements. Final Fantasy XIII was linear in every possible sense, and the combat system was action-based. It was an action game under the guise of an RPG, and it didn't fool anyone. Well, except for you, apparently. 

And the new one is purely action.