Japanese gaming conglomerate Square Enix is seeking to significantly change its approach to game development, the company’s president has announced. This comes after the publisher noted a decrease in profits between December 2022 and 2023, even with Final Fantasy 16 tacked on in June last year.
Bloomberg reported on Feb. 6 that Square Enix’s representative director and president Takashi Kiryu announced the company would be opting for a “fundamental review of its development system” to improve the quality of its products (quote was translated from Japanese using DeepL). Kiryu continued by adding Square Enix would aim to “reduce outsourced development” and refocus itself on in-house development, all in an attempt to increase quality and profit margins. The new structure and approach are supposed to come this April, analysts said, with Kiryu announcing more will be revealed in Spring 2024.
Bloomberg also reported all these changes have come after pressure from both users and financiers. The latter is most expected, as Square Enix recently showed a decline in gaming profits in their December 2023 nine-month earnings report. Even with Final Fantasy 16, which was released in June of last year, the company failed to outmatch the performance noted in the December 2022 nine-month report. This likely drove Square Enix to release the two DLCs for FF16, one of which is already out with the other on the way in the Spring. The game is also set to receive a PC port, further showing Square’s determination to their flagship title—but even those within Square Enix have recently been wary of being too reliant on Final Fantasy.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the second part of the remade FF7, is coming out this year, with a full showcase scheduled for the Feb. 6 PlayStation State of Play. Whether or not these structural changes have impacted the remake is unknown, but we’ll know on Feb. 29 when the title finally drops.