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Square Enix sucks at selling games

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As a publisher, Square Enix has become one of my favourites, publishing a number of genuinely great games from the Western studios it acquired; studios like Eidos. Eidos Montreal – behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution – has just lost its founder Stephane D’Astous, citing “irreconcilable differences “ with Square Enix.

Square Enix has had some pretty big games of late; Sleeping Dogs, Hitman Absolution and Tomb Raider – but has failed to capitalise on them and has had a bad financial year.

Speaking to Polygon, D’Astous outlined what he feels are the reasons Square just isn’t doing as well as it rightly should – and it’s got nothing to do with the quality of games. Instead, he feels Square just doesn’t know how to sell games.

"We brought three triple As to the market, and despite that great line up and those great critical reviews we still managed not to respect our financial goals, so that really shook up a lot of people," he said. "When the fiscal results came out official we were all surprised."

“We are in a situation that we have great games that could have sold more,” he said. “They need to attack that very, very seriously. Last year was supposed to be a home-run season, but we didn’t hit a single home run; maybe a double or a triple, but they weren’t home runs.” The publisher “has some things to learn about how to sell their games”, he said.

“They have great, great franchises. In my book content is king,” he said. “I’m quite confident in the developer side of things.”

As for why he left? He says there’s just little to no communication from upper management – and the top-down approach just wasn’t working for him.

“It took a lot of time before some information came out from HQ. It was unfortunate that the senior staff of the studios didn’t really participate in the new strategic plan,” he said.

“My management style is to have your major players participate in building a new strategic plan. But that wasn’t the case and it was then very hard to have the buy-in of the plan that landed on our desks. It wasn’t the way I would have worked.

“Communication is very lacking,” he added.

It really is a pity – and I think that Eidos Montreal, now busy with the next game in the Thief series, will be worse without him.

Last Updated: July 24, 2013


  1. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    July 24, 2013 at 09:19

    Header win Geoff.


    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      July 24, 2013 at 09:23

      Hahaha, indeed


  2. TiMsTeR1033

    July 24, 2013 at 09:24

    HItman Absolution was a great game, got a bit annoying near the end with all the cops but yeah. Seen and played Deus Ex: Human Revolution and wasnt impressed at all Looked cool and stuff but didnt make me wanna play it let alone finish it. Sleeping dogs and Tombraider are both games I still need to get. and they both got good reviews. Square Enix Makes great games but I mean why is it they cant sell them, all they gotta do is advertise the shit outta them! make people want more!


    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      July 24, 2013 at 09:48

      no, they publish great games. they make final fantasy. 😛


      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        July 24, 2013 at 09:50

        lol …………………………. yes they publish and makes great games


      • RitterBruder

        July 24, 2013 at 09:53

        let us not forget kingdom hearts gentleman


        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          July 24, 2013 at 09:57

          Right on BROTHER!!! sing that good song!


          • RitterBruder

            July 24, 2013 at 10:04

            cannot wait for the HD relases of kingdom hearts 1.5 and final fantasy 10 !!

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            July 24, 2013 at 10:16

            Me too, looks lovely, I will just die if they do a KH 2 and BBS HD version

        • TiMsTeR1033

          July 24, 2013 at 10:28

          I honestly Never played Kingdom hearts I always thought was kinda gay looking because of the disney elements but tell me what is kingdom hearts like? similar to final fantasy?


          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            July 24, 2013 at 10:39

            gay? …. lol jeez dude. it’s more action based than FF

          • TiMsTeR1033

            July 24, 2013 at 11:28

            but but how am I to know? I see donald and goofy and its like why they there!?!

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            July 24, 2013 at 11:29

            lol Disney is wonderful man, they are meant to capture the innocence of childhood, yet the game is extremely dark and deals with a lot of adult themes

          • RitterBruder

            July 24, 2013 at 11:34

            preaching the truth I see ! I concur with Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      • OVG

        July 24, 2013 at 10:38

        They don’t make Final Fantasy. They talk about talking about it… over 5 or 7 years per project :p


    • John Ambitious

      July 24, 2013 at 09:55

      I always called it Hitman Ablution. – Nothing to do with the game…haven’t actually played it yet.

      Busy with Deus Ex: HR now (thank you steam sale) and it’s really cool. (though obviously not as great as the first).


      • TiMsTeR1033

        July 24, 2013 at 10:27

        Look Hitmans a great game! I mean gameplay is amazing and if done correctly a mission can leave you feeling totally in awe of what you have accomplished, but in the start its all fun and games and having fun near the end it can become quite a daunting experience. But if you do decided to get it one day, you will love the corn fields level. and thats all I will say. 🙂


        • Sir Twakkus

          July 24, 2013 at 13:02

          The corn field levels where crazy fun and sometimes really really stupid. Especially when you have the “special” disguise. As soon as you put that on, the AI is basically turned off. Poor stupid ICA agents.


    • Skyblue

      July 24, 2013 at 15:26

      Deus Ex: HR is superior to Hitman in so many ways that to even try and explain would take too long bud.


  3. eXpZA

    July 24, 2013 at 09:42

    In before “I didn’t ask for this” jokes.


  4. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    July 24, 2013 at 09:44

    Let’s hope the Tomb Raider Sequel will do well, Tomb Raider was one of the best games this year


  5. Tbone187

    July 24, 2013 at 10:08

    Burning the scientist’s hair, causing him to plunge to his death was very satisfying indeed…Tomb Raider is simply epic…and Sleeping dogs was better than any GTA to date…Pity the sales and marketing let them down…


    • TiMsTeR1033

      July 24, 2013 at 10:30

      Isnt the car handling a bit shitty on sleeping dogs? thats why I havent got it yet. I dont want arcade driving want gta 4 style some realism to the cars.


      • Tbone187

        July 24, 2013 at 11:14

        It’s the camera angle that cause confusion at 1st but u get used to it as the game goes on…the fighting more than makes up for it…Something GTA could learn from I reckon…reminds me of Streets of rage but in an open world…


        • Skyblue

          July 24, 2013 at 15:24

          OMFW!! Street Of Rage in an open world, fuck it, I’m geting it!


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