Monday, March 6, 2023

Yosuke Matsuda To Leave Square Enix

On Friday the Square Enix board of directors filed proposed changes to the leadership of Square Enix. Out will be current President and CEO Yosuke Matsuda, who assumed those positions in 2013. His proposed replacement is current director Takashi Kiryu, who joined Square Enix in June 2020.

Details of the change

According to the document, the board proposed the change to:

Under the rapid change of business environment surrounding the entertainment industry, the proposed change is intended to reshape the management team with the goal of adopting ever evolving technological innovations and maximizing on the creativity of the Company’s group in order to deliver even greater entertainment to its customers around the world. 

Venture Beat summed up some of Matsuda's recent actions.

Matsuda has run the company for a long time, but he also presided over one of the company’s biggest retreats as he sold the company’s Western studios such as Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group for $300 million. That meant he disposed of properties such as Tomb Raider and then focused on an expansion into blockchain games. Square Enix also released the critically panned Forspoken title.

Back in January, in spite of a crash in cryptocurrency with the FTX meltdown and an accompanying drop in prices for non-fungible tokens, Matsuda issued another letter saying the company would continue to invest in cryptocurrency.

I am pretty sure players of Square Enix games would like to know whether Kiryu will end the move towards blockchain and Web 3.0 games. A company that specializes in video games, DFC Intelligence, isn't sure either.

Matsuda had been a major proponent of NFT and blockchain games.   After a rough 2022 for the category, Matsuda reemphasized the company focus on NFTs in a New Year’s Letter from the President.

What is unclear is whether Square Enix will continue to pursue blockchain development.  Kiryu has only been with the company since 2020 and is a relative unknown.  Our hope is that the company increases it focus on core games for an international audience (what they call MMO and HD games)

About the only piece of information I couldn't find is when the next annual shareholders' meeting is. The various news sources put it in either May or June, although the majority stated June. But what date? Going back through the Square Enix investor relations page, over the last few years the event is usually held during the fourth week of June, usually on a Wednesday or Thursday. The vote to replace Matsuda with Kiryu likely will occur on Thursday, 22 June. 

What other event is occurring on 22 June? The launch of Final Fantasy XVI. Coincidence?

No comments:

Post a Comment