Final Fantasy 16 Clive and Joshua standing in dark area
Image via Square Enix

Square Enix president worries the company’s too reliant on Final Fantasy, wants more diverse games

Maybe it should've kept Tomb Raider.

During an investor Q&A session, Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu expressed concern over the “limited diversity” in the company’s portfolio of games, even suggesting it has grown too reliant on the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises.

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This session took place in November 2023, but was only recently published in English and spotted by Eurogamer. It also revealed that Final Fantasy 16 did meet internal expectations and helped to boost net sales in Square Enix’s HD games sub-segment, along with Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster. Yet, if anything, it sounds like Kiryu wants to see the company putting out Final Fantasy games less regularly despite it being its premiere franchise.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth box art Cloud Zack and Sephiroth
Perhaps Square Enix will slow down with the Final Fantasy games after FF7 Rebirth. Image via Square Enix

In fact, the plan is to slim down Square Enix’s output in general. While this means less games, it ideally will make the few “carefully selected” games it does launch higher quality. “Through this approach, we hope to strengthen our internal development capabilities,” Kiryu explained. “[We can] gain greater development proficiency, and establish a development function that enables us to consistently produce high quality games, thereby bolstering our profitability.”

2023 was a particularly busy year for Square Enix. Even if you discount ports and re-releases, the company published roughly 12 games, including multiple RPGs such as Final Fantasy 16, Octopath Traveler 2, and the Star Ocean: The Second Story remake. Kiryu wants Square Enix to branch out to try and capitalize on different kinds of genres and players, using PowerWash Simulator as an example. Though described as an outlier in the company’s portfolio, Kiryu noted Square Enix has “been able to steadily build up our earnings from it” despite the game’s very casual nature.

If more diversity is what Square Enix needs, the company may be regretting its decision to sell off some of its Western studios, such as Eidos and Crystal Dynamics, in 2022. The deal saw it part ways with IPs like Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Legacy of Kain, with Embracer Group snapping them up instead. Some felt Eidos and Crystal Dynamics would benefit from the change in parent company, but Embracer’s overspending has since resulted in lost jobs throughout its subsidiaries. Studios such as Free Radical have shut down entirely.

Despite Kiryu’s desire to not be so reliant on Final Fantasy, that doesn’t change how Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is Square Enix’s most significant launch of 2024. The second installment in the company’s big Final Fantasy 7 remake project releases in February, and Kiryu even called its sales “the greatest variable on which our ability to achieve our full-year operating income target of ¥55.0 billion hinges.” Aside from that, 2024 will also see the launch of Foamstars, Square Enix’s own take on the free-to-play multiplayer shooter, a new Final Fantasy 14 expansion, and new entries in the Mana and SaGA RPG series.


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Author
Michael Beckwith
Staff writer at Dot Esports covering all kinds of gaming news. A graduate in Computer Games Design and Creative Writing from Brunel University who's been writing about games since 2014. Nintendo fan and Sonic the Hedgehog apologist. Knows a worrying amount of Kingdom Hearts lore. Has previously written for Metro, TechRadar, and Game Rant.