video game releases Final Fantasy 16 Final Fantasy XVI Square Enix

Square Enix Devalued By $2 Billion, Previous Games Under Performed

While Final Fantasy 16 was critically well-received, the game’s launch was not as successful as expected. Since the June 2023 launch, Square Enix has lost nearly $2 billion in value.

During launch week, Final Fantasy 16 sold three million copies and immediately led to speculation about Square Enix’s sales targets, a subject that’s always proven to be far more unreal than expected. While the initial launch aligned with expectations, the time since then has slowed. Earlier this month, Naoki Yoshida appeared via pre-recorded video at PAX West, confirming two expansions are coming to Final Fantasy 16 and work has begun on the PC port.

A new Bloomberg piece details Square’s financial downturn and claims that the publisher is facing issues. Bloomberg mentions that shares plummeted by double digits, and analysts cut their price targets. Further in the article, it was revealed that Final Fantasy 16’s success could not cover the failures Marvel’s Avengers and Forspoken created, and many of the mobile games shuttered within months of launching, including Bravely Default: Brilliant Lights and Echoes of Mana.

“Flooding the market with unfinished, bad or untested games is a bad move,” Tokyo-based developer and gamer Michael Prefontaine said, listing Marvel’s AvengersForspoken and The DioField Chronicle as examples of poorly-thought-out games. “The company has overstretched itself on too many titles without proper oversight.”

Bloomberg indicates that producers are given “full reign” over the scope and direction of productions, and the shortage of proper documentation and team structure leads to chaos. Contractors working for the company revealed that many ad hoc processes shift on a whim.

However, under the new CEO, Takashi Kiryu, things have begun to shift at the publisher. He aims to move away from smaller titles and focus on big-budget games with higher potential. The company has revamped how it assigns producers to titles.

Last week’s launch of Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis fell short of investor expectations. Square Enix’s stocks have lost 30 percent of their peak and are on track to close at their lowest since May 2022.