It seems Square Enix plans to shake up their leadership in a pretty major way, as today they announced that current president Yosuke Matsuda will be replaced with newcomer Takashi Kiryu, pending the approval of shareholders. Apparently, this leadership change will be voted on during the company's Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, which takes place in June.
Yosuke Matsuda took over as Square Enix president a decade ago, and his tenure as leader has seen some ups and downs. On the one hand, Square Enix’s Japanese studios refocused on the RPGs they were known for, producing a successful string of games in popular series such as Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XV, and Dragon Quest XI, as well as smaller budget retro hits like Octopath Traveler. That said, Square Enix’s Western-based studios continued to flounder, with Marvel’s Avengers from Crystal Dynamics being a particularly-embarrassing flop. Eventually, Square Enix would sell their Western studios and IP like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex to Embracer Group at fire-sale prices.
More recently, Matsuda has become well-known for aggressively pushing NFTs and blockchain technology, a direction a lot of fans aren’t exactly thrilled about. Some may hold out hope that Matsuda’s potential replacement is a repudiation of his blockchain focus, but it seems like it’s anything but. Takashi Kiryu has been with Square Enix for less than three years, and before joining the company, he was general manager of Dentsu Innovation Initiative, which focused on scouting “new and disruptive technologies,” such as blockchain and metaverse applications. Square Enix also provided this explanation for wanting to install Kiryu as their new president…
“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.”
So, no, this is not a sign Square Enix has changed its mind about blockchain. If anything, it seems they’re doubling down to a degree even Matsuda perhaps wasn’t comfortable with.
What are your thoughts on Square Enix’s latest move? What do you think the future hold for the publisher?
The post Square Enix Aims to Replace President Yosuke Matsuda, Blockchain Focus Unlikely to Change by Nathan Birch appeared first on Wccftech.