Square Enix CEO Resigns Following “Extraordinary Loss”
Last week EA CEO John Riccitiello stepped down from his post, and now Yoichi Wada, CEO of Square Enix has joined him wherever CEOs go when they resign. He will be replaced formally in June by Yosuke Matsuda at a shareholder’s meeting. The resignation came after an “extraordinary loss” was announced by Square Enix, totaling around ¥10 billion, around $100 million. According to Square Enix, income was lower than expected due to “slow sales of major console game titles in North American and European markets.”
Yoichi Wada joined Square back in April 2000 as executive director, after having worked in banking and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously. Later that same year, he became President and CEO of the company, and continued in that position when Square merged with Enix, and became the monolithic entity now known as Square Enix (or “Squeenix” colloquially).
Unlike some other CEOs of game companies, Yoichi Wada loved games before becoming CEO, as he explained in an interview with Edge a few years ago. He also said that he plays as many Western games as he can, and often gives comments on these to Square Enix developers. And in his time as CEO, Square Enix has published numerous popular games in North America and Europe, such as Rocksteady’s Batman games, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Just Cause 2. They also acquired Eidos in an attempt to get in on the Western markets with well-known IPs made by Western developers.
Perhaps this interest and knowledge is why he suggested in the Edge interview that the Final Fantasy team might move on to “something completely different” after finishing Final Fantasy XIII. However, that did not happen, and perhaps a more risky approach to games production has played a role in Square Enix’s troubles, as a somewhat unique game like Sleeping Dogs is among the games believed to have underperformed.
Yosuke Matsuda, the replacement, joined Square Enix as Senior Vice President in 2001, later became General Manager of Accounting and Finance, and since 2004 he has served as Director and CFO. Not much else seems to be known about him or what he’s done within the company, but unless he’s merely a temporary solution, I’m sure we’ll hear more about him in the months to come.
(Thanks to NeoGAF)