Square Enix announced that it will replace its president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda, who is stepping down from the job after many years in the role. He will be replaced by Takashi Kiryu, who is currently the chief strategy officer. Previously Kiryu had two stints at Dentsu, a Japanese advertising and PR powerhouse. The company’s official statement reads:
“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 the creativity of the company’s group in order to deliver even greater entertainment to its customers around the world.”
Matsuda has run the company for a long time, but he has also presided over one of the company’s biggest contractions as he sold the company’s Western studios Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group for $300 million. That meant he disposed of titles such as Tomb Raider and then focused on expansion into blockchain games.
The company has seen some of its most recent high profile releases flop or fail due to poor sales. Marvel’s Avengers, Babylon’s Fall and Forspoken all fall under this category. Were it not for its most successful title, Final Fantasy, things would be worse for the giant video game maker.
Square Enix’s first NFT game Symbiogenesis launched last year, with the trailer receiving mixed reactions from the community. Last month, the company revealed that it had chosen the Polygon blockchain for the game. In January, the company announced a grand plan to release more blockchain games in 2023.
The Tokyo-based company credited this major managerial change to a general need for reshaping its leadership amid an ever-changing business environment. Looking at the bigger picture, the move might have been at least partially prompted by the fact that Square Enix's 2022 financials revealed declining sales across the board.
Square Enix says that Matsuda intends to step down from his leadership role this coming summer. This corporate shakeup will be discussed at Square Enix's 43rd annual shareholder meeting scheduled to take place across two sessions in May and June. Hopefully, the new CEO will keep the blockchain gaming plans intact, we continue to observe.