Square Enix LA office again hit with layoffs

The Los Angeles offices of Square Enix America have again been hit with an unspecified number of layoffs, reportedly including the CEO and head of marketing. The office house mostly marketing and public relations staff.


The Los Angeles offices of Square Enix America have again been hit with an unspecified number of layoffs, reportedly including the CEO and head of marketing. The office houses mostly marketing and public relations staff.

"We can confirm that Square Enix's Los Angeles office has eliminated a number of positions as part of the corporate restructuring announced last week," the company said in a statement to Joystiq. "This is an unfortunate situation and we are offering assistance and severance packages to any employees affected by this, we want to thank them for their hard work and sincerely wish them well in the future."

According to a few Joystiq sources, 10 people were terminated from marketing, while another three or four in public relations will be released after E3. Roughly another 20 were laid off from other divisions within the office. In addition, president and CEO Mike Fischer will be out by May, and the director of marketing will be gone after E3.

Square Enix announced a restructuring of the company last week after the loss of a whopping $138 million for the fiscal year, primarily because of weaker than expected sales of Sleeping Dogs, Hitman Absolution and Tomb Raider.

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  • reply
    April 3, 2013 1:00 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Square Enix LA office again hit with layoffs.

    The Los Angeles offices of Square Enix America have again been hit with an unspecified number of layoffs, reportedly including the CEO and head of marketing. The office house mostly marketing and public relations staff.

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      April 3, 2013 1:17 PM

      Video games are dying or is it just me?

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        April 3, 2013 1:19 PM

        I think it's more just a lot of bad decision making is catching up to some companies.

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          April 3, 2013 1:32 PM

          Pretty much this, and reaching for the moon one too many times instead of working on more smaller, more profitable projects.

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      April 3, 2013 1:18 PM

      wow a layoff that affects someone other than artists and programmers? that's refreshing.

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      April 3, 2013 1:44 PM


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      April 3, 2013 1:56 PM

      That sucks, Those games are awesome!

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      April 3, 2013 2:16 PM

      I used to do QA grunt work there. Say what you will about the company and its decisions but nearly every person I met there was rad and pleasant to be around. I hope the best for people I know and don't know. :(

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        April 4, 2013 5:56 AM

        nice personality and good worker aren't always inclusive.

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          April 4, 2013 7:19 AM

          Absolutely, but as good people I still wish them the best.

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      April 3, 2013 3:15 PM

      Here's the problem:
      Tomb raider sold 3.4 million copies, which means that Square-enix must've put the expectations so dramatically high due to their own mismanagement of funds/budgets. Things like this show that the wrong people are in charge of the company.

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        April 3, 2013 3:41 PM

        or, there was no need for marketing and PR staff since Tomb Raider came out and all the marketing was pre-release

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          April 3, 2013 4:09 PM

          Yes, but I doubt that house only worked on the marketing for *only* tomb raider. Specially with Deux Ex for Wii U that's just released or about to be released, among other titles/dlc...

          regardless, the main issue at hand is that the the comment that they're saying that Tomb Raider "underperformed" points to a larger issue.

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            April 3, 2013 4:13 PM

            from above, probably looks like TR underperforming means a failure by the "sales" team to get people to buy it

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        April 3, 2013 6:26 PM

        News flash: modern, "AAA" games are enormously expensive. Some conservative, back-of-the-envelope math suggests Tomb Raider wasn't out the door for less than $100 million dollars (dev + marketing up until release). With that kind of budget to recoup, and with the publisher seeing maybe half the MSRP, it's not a matter of high expectations; the publisher just wants to have made an investment that didn't have a negative/zero interest rate (ie lose money).

        There is no easy way to reduce these costs as the largest component is headcount. Since gamers won't tolerate anything higher than $60 for games (despite the ballooning development costs) and continue to demand higher fidelity experiences, high production games become bets that can singlehandedly sink anyone save the largest publishers.

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          April 3, 2013 7:05 PM

          You also forget the HUGE investment lost for development of FFXIV then the "re"development of the game. On top of other non-performers, Tomb raider/sleeping dogs both sold over 30 million copies, both were profitable on their own, but Square enix thought (wrongly) that those two titles would recoup the lost development funds spent on their failed projects (ffxiv, and some other games).

          From a link in this story in the comments:
          'While Tomb Raider and our other western developed series are all selling well enough to make healthy profits they cannot both make a profit for themselves and cover the losses of the Final Fantasy series inlcuding 14 which not only lost a ton of money but which is now being rebuilt from scratch to lose more money, Versus 13 which has had years put into it without anything to show for it, and the 13 series which despite not doing well for two games now has a third on its way."

          also let's not forget that the "restructuring" that they're doing is costing them another 105m.

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      April 3, 2013 3:30 PM

      Petroglyph also laid off people :(

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      April 4, 2013 4:40 AM

      Most of the mega-publishers forget the one golden rule when it comes to games...Is it fun to play?

      Who cares if a game has photorealistic graphics when the gameplay comes through as a cross between sitting on a three legged dog and trying to play Jenga with someone suffering with Parkinson's.

      I think this is one of the main reasons indie games have become huge. They don't necessarily look great (although some look very nice like Bastion, Torchlight, Orcs must Die) but they play better than most AAA games.

      Oh, and here's another tip for publishers. Don't buy the license to a "classic" title and then try to "re-imagine" it with completely different gameplay from the core game. At least Firaxis did it mostly right with Xcom...both Syndicate and the Jagged Alliance reboots were mostly fails.

      There's something to be said for revampment and modernization however Sqeenix turned the FF series from a traditional JRPG to little more than an interactive movie. I understand people were feeling the JRPG tropes as getting stale. I personally think western RPG's "Army of One" mindset is also equally tiresome as once you become powerful enough you can mow through most challenges.

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        April 4, 2013 7:21 AM

        Square Enix has had a long history of having games be carried by media and story. That said, this is a big reason why they have failed to adapt to today. It's to the point where they once said that gameplay is not important compared to presentation. If there is one thing that needs restructuring, it's that attitude.

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      April 4, 2013 4:50 AM

      Very sad indeed. Squenix has come to be one of my favorite publishers as of late with a lot of great games (DE:HR, Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider, etc) and it's unfortunate that the games industry is in this state.

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      April 4, 2013 5:40 AM


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