Last May, Japanese publisher Square Enix announced that it was selling a number of Western studios it had owned since 2009.including Eidos Montreal (The former god) and Crystal Dynamics (Tomb rider). For Stéphane Dastos, who founded Eidos Montreal and left the company in 2013, the deal marks the end of a decade of “train wreck in slow motion”.
In an interview with gaming industryD’Astous calls out his former bosses, and blames the management of Square Enix in both Japan and London for many of their western studios’ problems. especially points Square Enix’s astronomical sales campaign, which has become so popular among the industry (and even fans) that it’s become a constant joke. In this case, Japan was expecting a profit of $65 million in one year, when no big games were released within that time frame, they were actually staring at a loss of $65 million:
The pressure began to build, and my staff toward me toward my superiors. I think when people are in a crisis situation where there are a lot of situations, you see their behavior or their core values. I didn’t like what I saw. There was really a lack of leadership, courage, and communication. And when you don’t have these basic things, no employee can do their job properly—especially when you’re the head of a studio.
I was losing hope that Square Enix Japan would do great things for Eidos. I was losing confidence in my London headquarters. In their annual financial reports, Japan always added one or two phrases saying, “We were disappointed with certain games. They didn’t live up to expectations. And they did so accurately in some of the games that were made outside of Japan.”
This does not sound like a healthy working relationship! Interestingly, D’Astous adds that he believes the deal to sell Square Enix in its western studio basement was not just because of its performance, but because the publisher hopes Sony will buy it:
If you read between the lines, Square Enix Japan hasn’t been as committed as we initially hoped. And there are rumors, obviously, that with all this M&A activity, Sony would really like to have Square Enix inside its wheelhouse. I’ve heard rumors that Sony said it was really interested in Square Enix Tokyo, but not in the rest. So I think [Square Enix CEO Yosuke] Matsuda-san put it like a garage sale.
Dastos goes on to say that the relationship between Japan and its Western studios “was a train wreck in slow motion” while also talking about the “success rate of superhero games not being good” (in light of the performance of marvel avengers And the Guardians of the Galaxy), So you should definitely read the full lengthy interview on gaming industry For more this tea.