In May, Japanese publisher Square Enix announced it was selling a number of Western studios it had owned since 2009.including Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex) and Crystal Dynamics (grave robber). For Stephane D’Astous, who founded Eidos Montreal and left the company in 2013, the deal marks the end of a decade-long “slow-motion train wreck.”
in an interview with gaming industry, D’Astous mocks his former bosses, blaming Square Enix management in both Japan and London for many of the Western studios’ problems. It specifically refers to Square Enix’s ruthless drive for astronomical sales has become something of a joke, becoming so popular among the industry (and even fans).. In this case, Japan expected a profit of $65 million in one year, while without the big games it would have expected a loss of $65 million in that period:
The pressure started to mount and my employees were on me and I was on my managers. I think when people are in a crisis situation where there are many situations, you see their core behavior or values. And I didn’t like what I saw. Indeed, there was a lack of leadership, courage and communication. And without these essentials, no employee can do their job properly—especially when you’re running a studio.
I’ve lost hope that Square Enix Japan will bring big things to Eidos. I was losing faith in my headquarters in London. In their annual financial reports, Japan always added a statement or two: “We were disappointed with certain games. They did not live up to expectations.” And they did it strictly for certain games outside of Japan.
That doesn’t sound like a healthy work relationship! Interestingly, D’Astous adds that he believes Square Enix’s sale to the bargain basement of Western studios is not only because of their performance, but because the publisher hopes to be bought by Sony:
Reading between the lines, Square Enix Japan wasn’t as determined as we’d initially hoped. It’s clear that with all this merger and acquisition activity, Sony would really like to have Square Enix in its wheelhouse, which is rumored to be the case. I heard rumors that Sony said they were really interested in Square Enix Tokyo, but not the rest. So, I guess [Square Enix CEO Yosuke] Matsuda-san set it up as a garage sale.
D’Astous says that the relationship between Japanese and Western studios is “a train wreck in slow motion” and also says that “superhero games don’t have a good success rate” (in terms of performance. marvel’s avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy), so you should definitely go read the full, long interview here gaming industry for more than this river.
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