Square Enix vs. The Economy


Big News!

Welcome to the Weekend Edition of THE WRATH OF EL PATO. The column that never falls on hard times during a crappy economy.

First things first, today I received a memo from “upstairs” saying that an old OCmodshop favorite, Trish Oliver is back to show us what good content is.  Cool! Trish’s writing is immaculate and wonderful, and it’s good to have her back. She’s also the one that had to keep me in line with my profanity…then she left.

I think we all know what happened after that.  Since Alan and company can’t seem to keep me in line (The Metal Gear article broke the record on F-bombs), maybe Trish will try something. Maybe an OCmodshop swear jar or something. Anyways:

The Big News of the week seems to be the collection of articles on the net about the economy hitting game developers. I’d start the list, but I think we don’t have enough bandwith for me to write them all down. That and I’m lazy.

One of those companies though is using that as an excuse. Yep, my friends at Square-Enix are saying they lost 11% due to this recession. A five year low.

Hmmm, let me see here, we haven’t had a new Kingdom Hearts, a new Final Fantasy, or even a Final Fantasy remake. What else? Oh yeah no prequels, sequels or whatever else Square could do to milk the FF franchise let along FFVII. Am I leaving out anything? Oh Dragon Quest comes next year.

What did S-E make? The Last Remnant. A game completely panned by reviewers. Face it, S-E isn’t the juggernaut they were three years ago and it shows. It’s like I’ve been saying, Square can’t make jack SH*T unless if it has Final, Dragon, Quest, or Fantasy in the title or in the storyline. Their lack of games is what hurt them. What came out before Last Remnant on a major console? Yeah see my point? The DS only does so much here.

Here’s a tip Square, take some responsibility, quit blaming the economy and get some new directors for God’s sake. Bring back Sakaguchi! It isn’t like he’s doing anything, Blue Dragon sucked and Lost Odyssey wasn’t that much better. Dragon Quest IX is either going to make or break this company. If it tanks, Final Fantasy XIII is the last hope-and it would be a long shot at that. After FFXIII tanks (which I predict it will) SE will close up shop. They are finished, they can’t do a damn thing anymore. Which is sad.

However, have hope in Dragon Quest IX. Even though I just panned the DS, DQ falls out of that universe. Japan is absolutely ga-ga over this series and if Square can pull off the DS release like it looks, then they will be able to recover from this loss and make more FF spin-offs. I do dig the downloadable content offered over wi-fi which will add replayability to what should already be an 80+ hour game. With DLC, that game can go for awhile.

If you ever wanted an indication that E3 is on its last legs, look no further than Blizzard’s announcement to not attend the show this year. I’m figuring with this, several developers will follow suit to where it’s nothing in four years. Granted, Blizzard hates trade shows and would rather do things their way at their own show, but it’s going to have a chain reaction on E3 that will continue until they go back to the old format. News Flash: IT ISN’T WORKING.

A quick sports note if you don’t mind. It seems that Electronic Arts reportedly had to shell out a whopping $35 million just for the rights to show the players names in Madden games.

$35 million. I want you to look at that number and then wonder why people this year have started giving up on the NFL. THAT’S why. That is just too insane and too much for a license and the NFL should be ashamed for themselves, as well as the players. This sport is starting to turn into the NBA where it is ruled by greed and the power of the almighty dollar.  It’s just too much for a video game. NFL is trying to churn as much of a milking profit as they can, especially in this economy and it’s flat ridiculous. I want to know where EA gets some of that money, cuz that’s a nice chunk of change. They kinda shot themselves in the foot though since it’s either EA or nobody the way that exclusivities contract is worded — but I’ve been wrong before.

Alright, that’s it for this week. See you all very soon!

El Pato Outo

Patrick is a freelance gaming journalist and crime-fighting penguin at night. He has tweets, and you can follow them.