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Square Enix CEO Explains What Went Wrong

Yoichi Wada expects internal development revamping to take one to two years.

Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada.

Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada has filled in some of the blanks regarding the 12 billion yen loss his company posted for the previous fiscal year. (Details here).

Speaking at an investor's briefing on the 13th (via Nikkei), Wada explained that of the 12 billion loss, about 4.5 billion came from such things as Final Fantasy XIV's reworking and the cancelation of multiple titles. Most of the 4.5 billion was related to domestic development, he said.

"Our game development has become weaker than expected," admitted Wada. "Revamping it will take one or two years."

Wada attributed the poor state of development to weak communication. Creative leads did not pass on his opinion to their subordinates. Additionally, there was trouble with division of labor amongst technical staff, who were protective and would fulfill only their own roles.

To reverse Square Enix's fiscal fortunes, Wada hopes to give a major push to social networking games and apps for high powered cell phones. However, he is unsure if developers who've worked on package games can work in these areas, so he's hoping to make use of external developers. However, he's not considering an acquisition.

This past year, internet-related products brought in profits of 1.5 billion yen for Square Enix. The goal is to multiply this during the current fiscal year, said Wada. Square Enix is also looking into possibly creating a billing platform.

One major point from the presentation materials PDF Square Enix released on Friday (see this story) was mention of a plan to double the company's major brands to around 10 or so. It looks like the PDF was not referring to this year. While development on these new brands is progressing, Wada believes it will take 3 to 5 years.

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