Following the release of Final Fantasy XVI, publisher Square Enix has suffered a nearly $2 billion loss in market value, with company stocks falling 30% from its peak this year. While Final Fantasy XVI isn’t the sole cause of the plummet, the company’s previous business decisions and poor performances of games like Forspoken and Marvel’s Avengers, as well as its hefty investments in NFTs and blockchain technology, might’ve contributed towards the decline as well.
As reported by Video Games Chronicle, Square Enix’s share price reached its highest this year shortly before the launch of Final Fantasy XVI on 16 June but it closed yesterday at its lowest since May 2022.
Despite selling considerably well for a PS5 exclusive title, Final Fantasy XVI ultimately failed to meet Square Enix’s lofty expectations in the end. It might be easy to point a finger at the action-RPG and claim it was responsible for the company’s market value drop but other factors are at play including the disappointing launch of Forspoken and the live-service game Marvel’s Avengers, both of which garnered a mostly mixed reception as opposed to Final Fantasy XVI‘s high review scores.
Marvel’s Avengers officially ended its support in March while Forspoken developer Luminous Productions folded into Square Enix after its rocky release. Furthermore, despite warnings of the cryptocurrency market’s steep decline, Square Enix still pushed ahead with its NFT and blockchain plans for IPs like Final Fantasy (that no one really asked for).
Tokyo-based developer Michael Prefontaine seems to agree, stating:
“Flooding the market with unfinished, bad or untested games is a bad move. The company has overstretched itself on too many titles without proper oversight.”
Current and former Square Enix employees claimed that the company gives individual producers too much control over the scope and direction of projects in addition to suffering from inadequate documentation and team structure. This led to some of its recent uninspired releases that were heavily panned at launch.
Source: Video Games Chronicle