It seems like a broken record at this point, but once again, Square Enix is disappointed with the sales of one of its games. This time, it’s Forspoken, the magical realist action-RPG that was released on January 24, 2023. During the company’s recent earnings call, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda stated that sales of the game were “lackluster.”
The Tough Review of Forspoken
Matsuda went on to say that the reviews of Forspoken had been challenging but noted that the parkour and combat in the game were well received. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to boost sales, and while the performance of new titles with February and March release dates will be the ultimate determinant, Matsuda sees considerable downside risk to the company’s FY2022/3 earnings. These results are undoubtedly frustrating for Square Enix, a company that has seen several disappointing game sales figures in the past.
Square Enix’s Disappointing Sales
The disappointment with Forspoken is just one in a long line of games that haven’t performed as well as the company had hoped. Titles like Tomb Raider, Hitman, Outriders, and Guardians of the Galaxy have all fallen short of expectations in recent years. While some of these games have gone on to develop more of a cult following over time, it’s clear that Square Enix would prefer for them to see immediate success.
Part of the problem might be that Square Enix seems hesitant to take big swings when it comes to anything outside of Final Fantasy. The company isn’t always willing to roll out the red carpet for their games, and they don’t always receive the necessary marketing and development resources. As a result, many of the smaller or mid-sized titles that Square Enix releases are set up to fail, sometimes due to bad marketing or lack of marketing.
NFT Games and Cryptocurrency
Despite these setbacks, Square Enix seems fully committed to exploring new trends in gaming. While many other companies in the industry have backed off NFTs, Square Enix has announced plans to release games that feature them. Matsuda told investors that the company hopes to launch blockchain games in FY2024/3 and beyond.
It’s worth noting that this commitment to cryptocurrency and blockchain games hasn’t been universally well-received. Despite its increasing popularity, many people are still skeptical of NFTs and cryptocurrencies. There are concerns around their environmental impact, as well as their potential for market manipulation and fraud.
The Future Beyond Forspoken
So, what’s next for Square Enix? Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that we’ll see a sequel to Forspoken. The studio behind the game, Luminous Productions, is being absorbed back into the larger Square Enix organization. However, the company does have several other projects in the works that it hopes will be more successful.
For example, Square Enix has said it hopes to have a good spread of new releases in FY2025/3 and beyond. Of course, the success of those games will depend on a variety of factors, including the quality of the games themselves, their marketing campaigns, and external factors like the state of the gaming industry and the wider economy.
The Bottom Line
All in all, it’s clear that Square Enix is facing some challenges when it comes to game development and sales. While it’s encouraging to see the company continuing to explore new trends in the industry (like NFT games), it’s also important to remember that not all new ideas are guaranteed to be successful.
At the end of the day, what’s important is that Square Enix continues to prioritize quality game development and create games that players want to buy and play. Hopefully, the company’s future releases will see more success and help Square Enix regain its footing in the competitive world of gaming.