Analyst: Singleplayer IPs Could Be A Problem for Square Enix
Square Enix’s stable of singleplayer-focused IPs may have put the company in a difficult position, says one analyst.
In a note passed to GI International, veteran video game analyst Billy Pidgeon predicted that that the departure of CEO and president Yoichi Wada will be a positive change for the company, but that the coming year will be “very tough.”
“The AAA market is extremely competitive. Most of Square Enix’s franchises are single player games, which are less popular than multiplayer. Square Enix has been a leader in that sector, but now faces stronger competition from multiple publishers, both large and small, including Bethesda, Capcom, Xseed, Atlus and Level 5.
“Square Enix’s franchises are well established and require ever-higher production budgets to match and surpass past performance. The latest Hitman and Tomb Raider sold in the three million unit range and got Metacritic ratings above 8. Those numbers would rate as successful for JRPGs that earn more from vendors as exclusives and have manageable budgets.
“But for games with development budgets approaching $100 million to be truly profitable, ratings have to be above 8.5 and sales need to be in the five to ten million unit range.”