What's going on with Square Enix?

What’s going on with Square Enix?

Image: Nintendo Life

If you take a look at the release schedule for the next six months, you’ll see that there are loads of games coming out. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll notice that maybe 50 of them are from Square Enix. And that’s only on Switch!

We’re exaggerating, of course, but it’s hard to ignore the company’s absolutely massive output over the next few months – and for all of 2022, really. We’re not going to list all of the Square Enix Switch 2022 releases here, as that would take up a lot of space (although you can check out all of its games here or scroll to the bottom of this article). However, from September to next year, Square Enix is ​​developing and/or publishing 13 games on Switch alone. Phew! And of course we include PowerWash Simulator in that.

Look, we’re not complaining – it’s actually pretty amazing to see Square Enix release so many titles, and it feels like another golden age with Square and Nintendo, just like the NES days. and SNES. But with September’s Nintendo Direct, our jaws couldn’t help but drop with each new announcement from Square Enix.

We’ve secured release dates for two titles, a demo for another, and two new reveals in Theatrhythm Final Bar Line and Octopath Traveler II for February 2023. On other platforms, Square Enix also has Final Fantasy XVI which will release the next summer. In addition to everything else! How did it go ?

Well, we said development and publishing, and Square Enix isn’t just a big studio either. Next year’s Final Fantasy title is, for example, being developed by Creative Business Unit III – the team behind the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. And the same goes for the many upcoming Switch titles.

There are several development teams within Square Enix that each work on a small list of different titles. Octopath Traveler II is developed by Acquire, the creators of the Tenchu series, in conjunction with Square Enix Business Division, with Bravely Default producer Tomoya Asano returning to helm the project. Fans often dub these games – the Bravely HD-2D series and games – the works of the Asano team. Miscellaneous Daylife also falls into this category, although the recently released Switch port actually originated from Apple Arcade and was developed by DokiDoki Groove Works.

You also have a list of ports or remasters coming to the console, such as NieR: Automata – which was developed by PlatinumGames and is ported by Virtuos – and Yasumi Matsuno returns to oversee Tactics Ogre: Reborn. Then there’s the delayed Life is Strange collection, which Square Enix is ​​releasing.

Many studios, both internal and external, also help develop or bring Square Enix titles to the Switch. Indieszero is back to work on the new The theatrical rhythm game, and The DioField Chronicle’s real-time strategy comes from Lancarse, the team behind Zanki Zero: Last Beginning and Monark.

Of course, while a lot of them are RPGs or RPG-adjacent, they’re all quite different from each other. People picking up Harvestella won’t necessarily be the same crowd that wants Octopath Traveler II, and The DioField Chronicle is different enough from Tactics Ogre – which also has nostalgia on its side – to stand out. And even if you love your Final Fantasy music, Theatrhythm might not be for you!*

All of the postings follow a recent statement from the company, which suggests Square will seek to sell stakes in some of its remaining studios after a drop in earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. The Japan-based developer also said sold many of its western studios to Embracer Group, with the deal finalized in August.

So the company has a little more money to play with. But the truth is, many of these upcoming projects have likely been in development for a while – July’s Live A Live remake took three years to develop, for example.

Much to the chagrin of many fans, Square Enix has also jumped into the world of NFTs, releasing Final Fantasy-based NFTs, as well as joining a blockchain – all eco-friendly, apparently. The company’s president, Yosuke Matsuda, was quick to admit his interest in NFTs, and a large portion of the company’s profits were invested in them. So maybe Square Enix is ​​trying to hide this from us gamers by throwing dozens of games at us, right?

Probably not, but while the company doesn’t seem to understand consumers on the one hand, it has produced demos for many of its releases on the other. From Dragon Quest XI S and the first Octopath Traveler, to Harvestella and Valkyrie Elysium, a PlayStation exclusive, these demos work hugely in Square’s favor, letting people try the game before they buy it. Moreover, these demos allow us to transfer our save file to the full version, which means that when we decide to buy the full game, we have saved a few hours of gameplay before the expected date. Results!

Square Enix won’t be slowing down anytime soon, we’re sure. There are a few projects we haven’t heard from in a while and a few Japan-only releases like the visual novel Elements with emotions, but we ? We’re going to celebrate for a while. Triangle Strategy and Live A Live are two of the best games released on Switch this year, and there are some high-quality titles on the horizon (well, we hope). We just feel a a little overwhelmed amidst an extremely busy slate in the final months of 2022, especially for RPG fans.

But that’s not all for us! Vote in our polls below and let us know what you think of Square Enix’s release right now. Is it a Blizzaga-style flurry of overwhelming proportions? Or are you as happy as a Chocobo seeing all these games coming out? Oh, and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments too.

* This is factually incorrect, as Theatrhythm is for everyone. Play it now.

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