Changes at Square Enix
E114: An update on the state of Square Enix today.
Good morning gamers! Last year Square Enix sold Eidos-Montreal, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group for $300 million. This decision was undoubtedly fueled by the lackluster commercial success of Marvel’s Avengers and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy but Square Enix pinned it as a way to help fund their other initiatives. A few months later, Square Enix confirmed that they’re moving away from outright owning studios due to the rising costs of video game development.
Fast forward to last week and Square Enix made headlines yet again.
Luminous Productions, the makers of Forspoken are being absorbed back into Square Enix as of May 1st, 2023. They will remain focused on updating Forspoken and working on the upcoming DLC.
Square Enix announced their intention to replace current President Yosuke Matsuda with Takashi Kiryu in order "to reshape the management team with the goal of adopting ever-evolving technological innovations and maximizing the creativity of the company’s group."
Former Square Enix partner (and Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator) Yuji Naka has pleaded guilty for insider trading while working on Balan Wonderworld at Square Enix. He bought stocks using information he learned at Square Enix about unannounced Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest titles.
Final Fantasy 16 will have a free demo (with save data that carries over) two weeks before its June 22nd launch date. According to game producer Naoki Yoshida, FF16 is a PlayStation 5 timed-exclusive (six months) because Sony provided extensive technical support during the development process.
Star Wars Jedi - A Trilogy?
In an interview with IGN, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor director Stig Asmussen said he wants Cal Kestis's story to be a trilogy and that discussions about a sequel took place before 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was even released.
Asmussen felt that it was important to discuss the entire story with Lucasfilm Games prior to starting development. He said “I think it’s a pretty safe assumption” that the next game will be built on Unreal Engine 5 instead of Unreal Engine 4. However, Asmussen did mention that there’s some challenges as “we [Respawn] would have to retool some of that to get it to work on any new engine”.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is set to be released for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on April 28th. Respawn Entertainment is looking to improve upon the first game including new features such as Fast Travel.
🥇Congratulations to FNATIC for winning the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo, to FaZe Clan for winning the RLCS 2022-23 Winter: North American Regional 3 and to Gaimin Gladiators for winning the DOTA 2 Lima Major.
Beyond The Summit, one of the esports industries best-known fighting game event organizers is shutting down after 11 years in the business. Co-founder David ‘LD” Gorman made the announcement via Twitter saying “ Based on our current financial outlook, and how challenging the next year looks, we’ve decided that it would be irresponsible to keep BTS going in its current structure”.
The International Olympic Committee has officially announced details for the 2023 Olympic Esport Series. Professional and amateur players will get the chance to participate in qualification rounds followed by an in-person finals in Singapore from June 22 to 25. The featured games include Archery (Tic Tac Bow), Baseball (eBASEBALL), Chess (Chess.com), Cycling (Zwift), Dance (JustDance), Motor sport (Gran Turismo), Sailing (Virtual Regatta), Taekwondo (Virtual Taekwondo) and Tennis (Tennis Clash).
2022 was a big year for the development of women in esports. We saw behemoth organizations like Evil Geniuses and NAVI establish female rosters in Valorant and CS:GO leagues, while both the ESL and Riot Games invested in hosting major events. Last week, female esports took even greater steps forward.
Women in Esports updated their branding, and published a new manifesto that further highlights their ongoing effort of creating an “equitable and inclusive future for esports”.
Women of the eRena is hosting a $75,000 Fortnite event featuring 50 all-women duos.
Rocket League and Ally Financial Inc. have partnered to announce the Ally Women’s Open.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is reportedly waiting for the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King merger to close to resume making acquisitions.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the long-awaited sequel to Nintendo’s 2017 superstar hit Breath of the Wild might already have a planned DLC.
Santa Monica Studios God of War: Ragnarök is the BAFTA Game Awards most-nominated game ever with 14 nominations across 11 of 18 categories.
FromSoftware has officially announced that an Elden Ring DLC expansion called “Shadow of the Erdtree” is currently in development.
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is reportedly going to release in September or October 2023 before the Shadow of Erdtree expansion.
Final Fantasy XVI will reportedly have 11 hours of cutscenes and a 35 hour main story with 70-80 hours of side content. It is a PS5 exclusive for 6 months.
LEAP, an online multiplayer fast-paced first-person shooter with battles up to 40 players launched on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and Steam.
Respawn Entertainment laid off over 200 Apex Legends Quality Assurance testers last week via a Zoom call.
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