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Let's clear up the reason for Squaresoft's "demise" and why Square and Enix merged

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Riposte

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I get the feeling Tanaka wasn't as entirely as guilty behind FFXIV's clusterfuck as he made himself sound. Probably a lot of factors, a big one perhaps being related to the big misfire Crystal Tools or w/e was.
 
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I get the feeling Tanaka wasn't as entirely as guilty behind FFXIV's clusterfuck as he made himself sound. Probably a lot of factors, a big one perhaps being related to the big misfire Crystal Tools or w/e was.

A truthful post-mortem on 1.0 would be the coup of all video game post-mortems. And it definately has some similar tones as other ugly chapters in SE's recent history, that's for sure.
 

anaron

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Awesome OP. Great stuff!



Didn't Sakaguchi recommend him as best person to be in charge of Final Fantasy just before he left? But yeah, I'm also wondering where the bloody hell he is too.
It seems to have originated from a gamefaqs user who asked him while getting his autograph signed.

Who knows, it could be fake, but I'm inclined to believe it being true regardless of said event actually taking place seeing as how IX is Sakaguchi's favourite and Ito being one of the series' longest staples.
 

Mandoric

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I get the feeling Tanaka wasn't as entirely as guilty behind FFXIV's clusterfuck as he made himself sound. Probably a lot of factors, a big one perhaps being related to the big misfire Crystal Tools or w/e was.

That's a really tough one to call, IMO, especially in the wake of ARR's success. My gut take is that Tanaka's tastes in game design hard-capped the audience at a couple hundred K and then the early near-unplayable jankiness also cost a couple hundred K, leaving them with basically nothing - while ARR probably lost a couple hundred K to the constant login errors, lag, and hack scares but could push a million+ as a competent WoW clone, leaving them with 700k or so paying subs as of the end of September.
 

anaron

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XIV's diasastrous development is another one I'd love a ton of insight on. Didn't rushing the game out affect things quite majorly? I think it was Kagari who followed it pretty closely if I can recall, maybe she could provide something.
 

Mandoric

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Currently the amount of games and franchises going at the same time, is about equal with Square and Atlus.

Not even close, even if you don't count mobile/browser.
In the past two years, Atlus has developed or primary-published 9 titles in 5 IPs:
Dragon's Crown
Etrian Odyssey (4, Millennium Girl)
Persona (2 Eternal Punishment, 4 Golden, Arena, Arena 2)
Shin Megami Tensei 4
Soul Hackers

And published Conception 2, Game of Thrones, Aquapazza, and Testament of Sherlock Holmes in the US.

Counting mobile, you can add Knights of the Sky, Shadowland, and BattleSpace.


For Square, you've got 26 in 13 IPs:
Bravely Default (BD:FF, BD:FtS)
Deus Ex HR:DC
Drakengard 3
Dragon Quest (VII, X1.0, X2.0, M:TW)
Hitman Absolution
Gunslinger Stratos
Gyrozetter (arcade, WoA)
Final Fantasy (III, VII PC, VIII PC, X:HD, X-2:HD, XI:SoA, LR:XIII, XIV:ARR)
Kingdom Hearts (1.5R, 3D)
Quantum Conundrum
Sleeping Dogs
Theatrythm
Tomb Raider

And published in Japan: Call of Duty (BOII, Declassified, Ghosts).

Counting mobile: DQ, DQ8, FFXIV:TAY, Pictlogica, FFII, FFIII, FFIV, FFV, Star Ocean MT, Guardian Cross, YIS Million Arthur, Chaos Rings, Line Neko Jump, Line Slime Gozenitor, FF Tactics S, TWEWY Live Remix, FF ATB, Circle of Mana, Chaos Rings 2, Seiso Dragnir, FFT War of the Lions, Chocobo Farm, FF Artniks, Demons' Score, Emperors SaGa, Otome-Break, Nirvana of Genesis, FF Legends, KSS Million Arthur, Lord of Vermillion 774 Deaths, Chaos Rings Omega, Itadaki Street, FF Brigade, Occult Maiden, Melpharia March, Bloodmasque, Sangokushi Renbu, Crystal Defenders Plus, Theatrythm, Symphonica, TWEWY Solo, DQ: Monster Parade, Kingdom Hearts Key, Thousand Heroes, Star Galaxy, Legend World, BD:pB, and Crystal Conquest.

If you count Taito, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary, you can also add Card de Renketsu Densha de Go, Block King, Psychic Force 2012, Sonic Blast Heroes Dasy, Blazblue Chronophantasma, P4 Arena are Arena 2 (as arcade publishers!), Chaos Code: New Sign of Catastrophe, Crimzon Clover, Groove Coaster, Do Not Fall, and Tottemo E Mahjong.
 

anaron

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Not even close, even if you don't count mobile/browser.
In the past two years, Atlus has developed or primary-published 9 titles in 5 IPs:
Dragon's Crown
Etrian Odyssey (4, Millennium Girl)
Persona (2 Eternal Punishment, 4 Golden, Arena, Arena 2)
Shin Megami Tensei 4
Soul Hackers

And published Conception 2, Game of Thrones, Aquapazza, and Testament of Sherlock Holmes in the US.

Counting mobile, you can add Knights of the Sky, Shadowland, and BattleSpace.


For Square, you've got 26 in 13 IPs:
Bravely Default (BD:FF, BD:FtS)
Deus Ex HR:DC
Drakengard 3
Dragon Quest (VII, X1.0, X2.0, M:TW)
Hitman Absolution
Gunslinger Stratos
Gyrozetter (arcade, WoA)
Final Fantasy (III, VII PC, VIII PC, X:HD, X-2:HD, XI:SoA, LR:XIII, XIV:ARR)
Kingdom Hearts (1.5R, 3D)
Quantum Conundrum
Sleeping Dogs
Theatrythm
Tomb Raider

And published in Japan: Call of Duty (BOII, Declassified, Ghosts).

Counting mobile: DQ, DQ8, FFXIV:TAY, Pictlogica, FFII, FFIII, FFIV, FFV, Star Ocean MT, Guardian Cross, YIS Million Arthur, Chaos Rings, Line Neko Jump, Line Slime Gozenitor, FF Tactics S, TWEWY Live Remix, FF ATB, Circle of Mana, Chaos Rings 2, Seiso Dragnir, FFT War of the Lions, Chocobo Farm, FF Artniks, Demons' Score, Emperors SaGa, Otome-Break, Nirvana of Genesis, FF Legends, KSS Million Arthor, Lord of Vermillion 774 Deaths, Chaos Rings Omega, Itadaki Street, FF Brigade, Occult Maiden, Melpharia March, Bloodmasque, Sangokushi Renbu, Crystal Defenders Plus, Theatrythm, Symphonica, TWEWY Solo, DQ: Monster Parade, Kingdom Hearts Key, Thousand Heroes, Star Galaxy, Legend World, BD:pB, and Crystal Conquest.

I thought we were talking about Atlus today compared to Squaresoft. At least I was.
 

Mandoric

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I thought we were talking about Atlus today compared to Squaresoft. At least I was.

Hm, possibly. But most 2-year chunks in the late '90s dwarf that Atlus list too, don't they?

'97-'98 gives us 18 IPs, 27 titles:
Another Mind
Brave Fencer Musashi
Bushido Blade (original, 2)
Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon (original, 2)
Digital League
Ehrgeiz
Einhander
FF IV PS, V PS, VII, VII International, Tactics
Front Mission (Second, Alternative)
Paishin 2
Parasite Eve
Power Stakes (original, Grade 1)
Pro Logic Mahjong
SaGa Frontier
Sokaigi
Super Live Stadium
Tobal No.2
Xenogears
 

HappyBivouac

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XIV's diasastrous development is another one I'd love a ton of insight on. Didn't rushing the game out affect things quite majorly? I think it was Kagari who followed it pretty closely if I can recall, maybe she could provide something.

A lot of us were following it closely. It was not even close to a finished game. The company likely thought its visual presentation would dazzle people enough to make some money. Probably one of the most foolish business decisions the mainstream gaming industry has ever seen.

Tanaka had some old-fashioned ideas about game design, there's no doubt about that. That didn't help things, sure, but make no mistake, the disaster of FFXIV's initial launch was that it was rushed out the door a good two years early. The story and even entire zones were just hastily slopped together. The majority of the game world was literally copy-pasted bits and pieces put together, while other parts (main cities) were immaculately detailed. Obvious evidence of a rushed game.

It still boggles the mind how anyone could've thought that was okay to release. I feel like the power structure of the company had a lot to do with it. Perhaps the developers were afraid or felt it wasn't their place to tell higher-ups that rushing it to release would be such a disaster. I feel like Tanaka knew it was going to be awful, but he should've had the balls to try and stop it. That's all just speculation, though.
 

anaron

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A lot of us were following it closely. It was not even close to a finished game. The company likely thought its visual presentation would dazzle people enough to make some money. Probably one of the most foolish business decisions the mainstream gaming industry has ever seen.

Tanaka had some old-fashioned ideas about game design, there's no doubt about that. That didn't help things, sure, but make no mistake, the disaster of FFXIV's initial launch was that it was rushed out the door a good two years early. The story and even entire zones were just hastily slopped together. The majority of the game world was literally copy-pasted bits and pieces put together, while other parts (main cities) were immaculately detailed. Obvious evidence of a rushed game.

Thanks for the update, HappyBivouac!

Man, what a shitshow. I remember watching videos of XIV's launch where there were portions of areas that were completely barren.

I've noticed too with Tanaka's leaving and Yoshida's salvaging that the fanbase is pretty split over what they have now. Do we know what the original plans/vision were for the the game should it have been properly developed?
 

HappyBivouac

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Thanks for the update, HappyBivouac!

Man, what a shitshow. I remember watching videos of XIV's launch where there were portions of areas that were completely barren.

I've noticed too with Tanaka's leaving and Yoshida's salvaging that the fanbase is pretty split over what they have now. Do we know what the original plans/vision were for the the game should it have been properly developed?

They were really quiet about it for years, only stating that work was being done on a "next-gen MMO." Then, suddenly at Sony's E3 conference "Hey guys, another Final Fantasy MMO!"

From then until beta, all we really got were some pictures and videos showing off the pretty graphics, and some bullshit PR talk about crystal tools.

Nobody really knows what Tanaka had in mind. At release, the game was an odd mishmash of ideas that didn't blend together cohesively at all. They took cues from popular MMOs like WoW that made quest rewards a focus, and did really odd things with that design concept. Instead of real quests, there was a system that had a bunch of generic repeatable "kill x of this mob" quests, and funneled them to a single NPC, but with the limitation of only being able to do a few of them each day. And that system was basically all the game had, so aside from that you were stuck grinding against normal mobs in barren areas, and you gained levels with no real goals in mind, since there was barely anything else to the game. You would just run around empty copy-paste zones and kill stuff if you wanted to, because there was nothing else to really do. That was literally the full extent of the game when it launched. Oh, I guess you could go through the few story cutscenes that didn't make a whole lot of sense or do anything to motivate the player, and I guess there was the option to spend hours crafting gear that nobody needed. But that really was all the game had. Somehow, they thought that was a game people would pay money to play. I can't even fathom it.
 

DiipuSurotu

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As a fan of Tanaka's previous games (FFIII, Secret of Mana 1 and 2, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, etc.), it was pretty sad reading FFXIV interviews where he had to dance around the fact that the game was just really bad.
 

Jinko

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It was a sequel to their most famous game. It was guaranteed to do alright.

Makes you wonder why they didn't do this with TSW, I think it bombed because it didn't target the existing fanbase.

I thought TSW was ok but wasn't anything like I expected.

Thanks for the update, HappyBivouac!

Man, what a shitshow. I remember watching videos of XIV's launch where there were portions of areas that were completely barren.

I've noticed too with Tanaka's leaving and Yoshida's salvaging that the fanbase is pretty split over what they have now. Do we know what the original plans/vision were for the the game should it have been properly developed?

I think Tanaka's vision was a more solo friendly FFXI, open world monsters, party based XP grinding and parties based moves (battle regimens)

Yoshida, because he had played years of western MMO's probably left him wanting to take it in that direction instead.

I was there for both Alpha's/Beta's and it was pretty obvious the first dev team just didn't want to listen to the feedback, either that or they just didn't have the time to implement any of it due to the higher ups forcing the game out the door, its another case of Wada you made a boo boo again.

After the failure of FFXIV the team became much more transparent and communicative with the players.
 

Dunan

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This doesn't surprise me. FF was strongest when it was synthesizing outside elements into a new whole. D&D, Star Wars, early Miyazaki anime, Amano strangeness, Bach, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Deep Purple, etc.

They also deserve kudos for incorporating all kinds of Western and generally non-Japanese cultural influences in a time when the typical Japanese person was completely ignorant of them. You had Italian (FFIV), Egyptian (FFV), and German/Norse (FFVI) mythology worked into the games thanks to the staff's then-distinctive scouting trips to different countries where they would look for influences.

I still remember reading Dante's Inferno in my 10th grade English class and seeing Rubicante and Cagnazzo in the book and smiling. (Thanks to character limitations and dodgy translators in the 16-bit era, I didn't notice that FFIV's "Milon" and "Valvalis" were the same "Scarmiglione" and "Barbariccia" that were in the book too.)

and 10, which drew its setting both visually and thematically from a minority Japanese culture and was probably the peak of Nomura going wild.

Not to disagree with the rest of your points, but FF10 had disappointingly little Okinawan influence beyond the names of the two main characters. I had just been to Okinawa when I discovered this game (a few years LTTP, as it was), and was really looking forward to playing it, but aside from having protagonists named after the sun and a hibiscus plant, there wasn't much more there.
 

DiipuSurotu

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They also deserve kudos for incorporating all kinds of Western and generally non-Japanese cultural influences in a time when the typical Japanese person was completely ignorant of them. You had Italian (FFIV), Egyptian (FFV), and German/Norse (FFVI) mythology worked into the games thanks to the staff's then-distinctive scouting trips to different countries where they would look for influences.

Nowadays we have France (LR: FFXIII) due to Toriyama's trip there, lol.
 

Riposte

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On the earlier website, it read like FFXIV wouldn't have an overarching level system (just learning skills, based on FFXI's skill system) and it felt really weird that it did (skill system doesn't translate well to exp) with stats being kind of useless. You also had material that made it seem the crafting classes would be helpful in combat. Finally, the multi-class rules seemed like they were going to be much freer than they were (and only became more and more restricted as the game progressed).

I think one thing that is overlooked is how FFXIV was seemingly dedicated to be a game with great verisimilitude, a complete departure from any previous Final Fantasy game. You saw this best with the crafting system which required crafting every little component (e.g. handles, blades). Even the restrictions that caused frustration, such as guildleves being the sole content outside the few missions or teleports being very limited, were fundamentally tied to the setting. The world design, beyond the muted art direction and armor design (which I would argue was gorgeous, but certainly doesn't look like a MMO), included having large useless areas and slow modes of transportation outside teleports because that's what a world is actually like. Each class (as opposed to the mishmash traditional/referential "jobs") was directly tied to a concept in Eorzea (e.g. Pugilists were linked to a specific organizations that collected debt and protected gamblers), more "fighting style" than archetypes of arbitrary importance with their guilds being "dojos" and players being able to freely adapt what they learned of these styles to other classes with the multi-class mechanics. Perhaps the situation I explained about the leveling system and classes came about because they initially wanted escape the "gamey" element of levels and abstract job systems, but backtracked at the last second (probably because it is really hard to make a game like this without them). I think they really wanted Eorzea to make sense, in a way ARR certainly does not. Like, the fan-service (both thepets/crossover/blatant FF references and sexually dimorphic armor design) would be totally out of place with what they were going for.
 

Mandoric

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On the earlier website, it read like FFXIV wouldn't have an overarching level system (just learning skills, based on FFXI's skill system) and it felt really weird that it did (skill system doesn't translate well to exp) with stats being kind of useless. You also had material that made it seem the crafting classes would be helpful in combat. Finally, the multi-class rules seemed like they were going to be much freer than they were (and only became more and more restricted as the game progressed).

I think one thing that is overlooked is how FFXIV was seemingly dedicated to be a game with great verisimilitude, a complete departure from any previous Final Fantasy game. You saw this best with the crafting system which required crafting every little component (e.g. handles, blades). Even the restrictions that caused frustration, such as guildleves being the sole content outside the few missions or teleports being very limited, were fundamentally tied to the setting. The world design, beyond the muted art direction and armor design (which I would argue was gorgeous, but certainly doesn't look like a MMO), included having large useless areas and slow modes of transportation outside teleports because that's what a world is actually like. Each class (as opposed to the mishmash traditional/referential "jobs") was directly tied to a concept in Eorzea (e.g. Pugilists were linked to a specific organizations that collected debt and protected gamblers), more "fighting style" than archetypes of arbitrary importance with their guilds being "dojos" and players being able to freely adapt what they learned of these styles to other classes with the multi-class mechanics. Perhaps the situation I explained about the leveling system and classes came about because they initially wanted escape the "gamey" element of levels and abstract job systems, but backtracked at the last second (probably because it is really hard to make a game like this without them). I think they really wanted Eorzea to make sense, in a way ARR certainly does not. Like, the fan-service (both thepets/crossover/blatant FF references and sexually dimorphic armor design) would be totally out of place with what they were going for.

IMO, I think it caught even more flak than was really "justified" because the places where it didn't make sense stood out from the ones that did get enough polish. It's not that the same clump of trees repeated 20 times was objectively worse than the industry standard of the same tree repeated 5 times over a flat polygon, it's that it broke the core conceit.

It could just be a case of bad messaging, too, though. There was certainly enough vitriol spilled over how earning 50% exp once you were exhausted was a nonsensical punishment compared to the genre standard, where you earn 200% exp only as long as you're rested.

And, yeah, a key caveat of "FFXIV 1.0 was at its core a pretty interesting game" is still always going to be that it was extremely content-starved due to an early launch. I wouldn't be amazed if the completely dead NPCs were due to a sudden realization that there weren't enough leves and town quests would need to be converted.
 

anaron

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I was never as aware of what made XI and by extension the idea of the original XIV so unique. It's super sad to to see it couldn't accomplish that again successfully and has become yet another MMO closer to WoW.

Maybe by necessity it had to do that after that launch, but is it going to be worth it down the road when they have lost what separated it from the rest?
 

studyguy

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I was never as aware of what made XI and by extension the idea of the original XIV so unique. It's super sad to to see it couldn't accomplish that again successfully and become yet another MMO closer to WoW.

Considering FFXI had at most 500k subs during its heyday and even now XIV is doing better in sub rate than it ever was. Post launch claims the projected loss of revenue turned out to be a large profit instead and at the end of the last reporting date, it still had 600k+ retention rate, it's doing swimmingly.

The thing about FFXI is that it was never a massive success due to high sub numbers, but rather solid retention rate of players. XIV seems to be holding out for the time being, it's next patch is two months away. I'd rather wait a year out for XIV before I claim anything on it, but apparently it's profitable enough to have given the team the greenlight for continued content production. I doubt anyone would ever claim XIV is the next WoW killer, but if has the kind of tail XI had, it could be profitable
 

anaron

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Considering FFXI had at most 500k subs during its heyday and even now XIV is doing better in sub rate than it ever was. Post launch claims the projected loss of revenue turned out to be a large profit instead and at the end of the last reporting date, it still had 600k+ retention rate, it's doing swimmingly.

The thing about FFXI is that it was never a massive success due to high sub numbers, but rather solid retention rate of players. XIV seems to be holding out for the time being, it's next patch is two months away. I'd rather wait a year out for XIV before I claim anything on it, but apparently it's profitable enough to have given the team the greenlight for continued content production. I doubt anyone would ever claim XIV is the next WoW killer, but if has the kind of tail XI had, it could be profitable

Yeah I knew XI was never HUGE but maintained a very loyal player base. It'll be interesting to watch XIV and to see if that continues.
 

Apophis2036

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I don't believe they've ever mentioned numbers, but rendering a deliberately cartoony feature in 2005 at SD resolutions has gotta be a lot cheaper than shooting for realism in 1999-2000 at something close to 4k. The animators also had significantly more experience at that point.

Remember, that's about the time that Japan started shooting some scenes in traditional animation 3DCG/cel shaded to -save- money over hand-drawing them, and even $5m (hell, for anyone but Square even $1m) would have been an exceptionally rich budget for a direct-to-video project at the time.

Thanks a lot for the info :). I hope they make another CGI movie sometime.
 

MogCakes

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That's a really tough one to call, IMO, especially in the wake of ARR's success. My gut take is that Tanaka's tastes in game design hard-capped the audience at a couple hundred K and then the early near-unplayable jankiness also cost a couple hundred K, leaving them with basically nothing - while ARR probably lost a couple hundred K to the constant login errors, lag, and hack scares but could push a million+ as a competent WoW clone, leaving them with 700k or so paying subs as of the end of September.

At launch that was pretty terrible yeah, though it got better after a couple of weeks. How many players were lost during that period because of said issues, only SE would know. There's never a lack of players in any given town or outpost currently.

. I think they really wanted Eorzea to make sense, in a way ARR certainly does not. Like, the fan-service (both thepets/crossover/blatant FF references and sexually dimorphic armor design) would be totally out of place with what they were going for.

ARR's world makes sense to me. The existence of fanservice and crossover content doesn't hurt its believability IMO.
 

iMerc

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this is such a great thread.
i've always found the history of square and the amazing talent the has worked there throughout the company's time so interesting.

seriously, this should be perm-stickied, or there should be a GAF 'gaming history facts' thread/sub-forum.

c'mon, we all know in as short as a years' time, newer gamers who grew up on newer systems will ask & query the same old questions, and gamers who who have been around the block a few times will have to re-explain everything all over again. the cycle continues as it has for the past twenty years (fuck i'm old).

the other reason, is that there are tonnes of 'gamers' who love to replace historical fact with their own biased 'interpretation' of events in gaming history.

would be great if there was a thread to point to and say "actually fucktard you're factually & historically incorrect. stop trying to spread your ignorant bullshit as fact. it's not".

sorry for going a little OT. :)
 

anaron

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this is such a great thread.
i've always found the history of square and the amazing talent the has worked there throughout the company's time so interesting.

seriously, this should be perm-stickied, or there should be a GAF 'gaming history facts' thread/sub-forum.

c'mon, we all know in as short as a years' time, newer gamers who grew up on newer systems will ask & query the same old questions, and gamers who who have been around the block a few times will have to re-explain everything all over again. the cycle continues as it has for the past twenty years (fuck i'm old).

the other reason, is that there are tonnes of 'gamers' who love to replace historical fact with their own biased 'interpretation' of events in gaming history.

would be great if there was a thread to point to and say "actually fucktard you're factually & historically incorrect. stop trying to spread your ignorant bullshit as fact. it's not".

sorry for going a little OT. :)

I don't know or think what I have provided is the answer or anything, but it was definitely intended to help get to one. There's been so much misinformation over the years that it felt necessary to try clearing up some things and attributing specific influences on the company over those crucial years and why things changed & how they didn't really have to.
 

qualitydisc

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KoopaTheCasual

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Thanks for the update, HappyBivouac!

Man, what a shitshow. I remember watching videos of XIV's launch where there were portions of areas that were completely barren.

I've noticed too with Tanaka's leaving and Yoshida's salvaging that the fanbase is pretty split over what they have now. Do we know what the original plans/vision were for the the game should it have been properly developed?
I think I recall Kagari off-handedly mention that XIV was rushed because Wada couldn't resist the urge to claim to have launched 2 successful Final Fantasy mainlines out the door in the same year. I'll try to look for the quote, but yeah. Heard the game was an unfinished disaster.
 

anaron

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I think I recall Kagari off-handedly mention that XIV was rushed because Wada couldn't resist the urge to claim to have launched 2 successful Final Fantasy mainlines out the door in the same year. I'll try to look for the quote, but yeah. Heard the game was an unfinished disaster.

It that's true:


the IRONY
 

iMerc

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I don't know or think what I have provided is the answer or anything, but it was definitely intended to help get to one. There's been so much misinformation over the years that it felt necessary to try clearing up some things and attributing specific influences on the company over those crucial years and why things changed & how they didn't really have to.

exactly! this thread of yours is as close to a factual 'recount' of square's history as we'll ever get, i'd imagine.

you made this thread in an attempt to 'clear things up', rather than to spread some sort of agenda through misinformation -which is what the majority of internet message board gamers, motivated by stupid 'console wars', usually do.

so yeah, you have my utmost kudos for this. :)
 

qualitydisc

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I still can't believe that that SE actually lost his most famous composer because a fortune teller told Wada that they needed to relocate their offices. I mean, what kind of company lets it's CEO take decisions based on the recommendations of a fortune teller?

The following is kind of redundant but here goes anyway

Rumor is that Wada also moved the whole company to its curent location in East Shinjuku due to a "feng shui master"
http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2013/06/14/square-enixs-fall-because-of-bad-feng-shui/
article mentions Uematsu's disgust of moving the company to Shinjuku due to "a Taiwanese fortune teller named Pao"

Coincidentally, Uematsu's beloved dog, after whom i think he named his company Dog's Ear, is also named Pao
 

Mandoric

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The following is kind of redundant but here goes anyway

Rumor is that Wada also moved the whole company to its curent location in East Shinjuku due to a "feng shui master"
http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2013/06/14/square-enixs-fall-because-of-bad-feng-shui/
article mentions Uematsu's disgust of moving the company to Shinjuku due to "a Taiwanese fortune teller named Pao"

Coincidentally, Uematsu's beloved dog, after whom i think he named his company Dog's Ear, is also named Pao

Sankaku's very unreliable.

As a side note, isn't the wording in the actual Uematsu interview that a move was already planned and then the fortune teller was offered as an excuse for the exact choice of building? It seems more to me like Wada wanted to make a break with the past and assert dominance over the old order, and that was just a "call me on it, I dare you".
 

jaxword

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Sankaku's very unreliable.

As a side note, isn't the wording in the actual Uematsu interview that a move was already planned and then the fortune teller was offered as an excuse for the exact choice of building? It seems more to me like Wada wanted to make a break with the past and assert dominance over the old order, and that was just a "call me on it, I dare you".

This sounds pretty accurate. Penis-waving and ego-stroking of the new boss would explain much of Wada's decisions.

It almost feels like S-E became Wada's toy to thrust in everyone's faces to show he's a big man now.
 

kurbaan

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Everytime i see this thread it makes me cry. Square was the reason I really got into gaming. From Chrono Trigger to FF7-9 to Chrono Cross, Xenogears and Vagrant Story. Untill FF11 and KH2 they were in pretty good shape. But after those game it was all just horrible. FF12 was a quasi-mmo and I really didn't like that direction. Also the story for that game is forgettable. But it was still FF.

This last generation though was just a mess, first they decided to side with Xbox for the early games when the fans were on PS3. No one in japan was buying a 360 for the Last Remnant. Then FF13 was the massive turd it was. FF14 v1 was trash. But the worst part was we never got anything else from them no other amazing RPGs like earlier. No Chrono, no PE (dont mention the PSP travesty).

I think there is no recovery for this company. The people left are just insane. FF15 looks ok but my hopes are not high since it looks more like ARPG uncharted edition. Its pretty sad since on the 90% of my game library was SE, reduced a lot on PS2 and on PS3 just 2 games neir and FF13. The latter I hate and the former I got bored a couple hours in.
 

Mandoric

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This sounds pretty accurate. Penis-waving and ego-stroking of the new boss would explain much of Wada's decisions.

It almost feels like S-E became Wada's toy to thrust in everyone's faces to show he's a big man now.

Even if he honestly felt that running the place "like a business" was for its own good, it's the kind of thing that would have needed to be done to shore up his own position, along with the departures like, uh, most of the music department that keep them on as contractors outside of the normal management structure.

If executed well it lets a lot of people who only have a corporate-politics powerbase because they've been their forever feel like they can go back to doing their thing. If executed poorly you get a complete hollowing out of the company.
Wada's execution was middling, helped along by the fact that Sakaguchi had been trying to do his own thing with his own crew in America on and off since 1989 and appears to have at least partially self-defenestrated; there are obvious hurt feelings but the only key people he appears to have completely driven out are Sakaguchi and Tanaka (and hey, when did Takahashi officially bail?)
Most of the "new guard", guys who took key creative positions in the mid '90s or later, seem to have treated it as something that went on entirely over their heads.

As an aside, I definitely think the loss of Tanaka follows from the loss of Sakaguchi - FF14 shipped half-baked because Wada desperately needed to show mainline FF success, Wada needed to show mainline FF success because 12 and 13 lingered for years, and 12 and 13 lingered for years because as a beancounter with iffy legitimacy even if he knew he SHOULD put his foot down and call for something to ship, he couldn't judge where pressure needed to be applied or how to apply it without triggering a mutiny like the ones that hollowed out Capcom.
A retained Sakaguchi would probably not have made any more FFs, if he had they probably would have had worse sales records (but better critical reception) than what we've gotten, but as we've established in this thread he was able to provide a sort of fatherly and well-accepted firm hand in leadership roles. That could maybe have pushed Matsuno from director to scenarist-designer when the project BEGAN to run away with him, or focused engine development on 13 and gotten that out the door before it got quite so baroque and overanticipated, or kept 14 in the oven until after Cataclysm.
 

Ath

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This was a really excellent read! Really helped clear some misconceptions I had regarding The Spirits Within and the Square-Enix merger.
It seems to have originated from a gamefaqs user who asked him while getting his autograph signed.

Who knows, it could be fake, but I'm inclined to believe it being true regardless of said event actually taking place seeing as how IX is Sakaguchi's favourite and Ito being one of the series' longest staples.
I was at that event (and I got Sakaguchi's autograph too!). His reaction when someone asked him about FFXIII was hilarious. I swear he mentioned Hiroyuki Ito during the public Q+A as well, but that's probably my mind playing tricks on me to be honest.
 

Square2015

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qualitydisc

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This link has a worldwide sales for all of Squenixes million sellers. I was so excited to see this!...until I saw the source just below it: Jefferies and vg_chartz, vg_chartz!? Square needs vg_chartz to keep track of their sales!?

No. This is a 3rd party report from an investment company. They also list The Last Remnant for PS3 as a 2014 release which is probably an error, since the PS3 version is believed to be long cancelled.
 

anaron

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This was a really excellent read! Really helped clear some misconceptions I had regarding The Spirits Within and the Square-Enix merger.
I was at that event (and I got Sakaguchi's autograph too!). His reaction when someone asked him about FFXIII was hilarious. I swear he mentioned Hiroyuki Ito during the public Q+A as well, but that's probably my mind playing tricks on me to be honest.

LOL, what was his reaction to XIII like?
 
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