What’s up with Square Enix?

Image: Nintendo Life

If you take a look at the release schedule for the next six months, you’ll see a ton of games coming out. Take a look a little closer, though, and you’ll notice that maybe 50 of them are from Square Enix. And it’s only on Switch!

We’re exaggerating, of course, but it’s hard to ignore the company’s absolute mass production over the next few months – and in fact throughout 2022. We won’t be listing every 2022 Square Enix Switch release here as it would take up a lot of space (although you can check out all of its games here or scroll to the bottom of this article). However, from September to next year, Square Enix develops and / or publishes 13 games on the Switch alone. Phew! And of course we include PowerWash Simulator with it.

Look, we’re not complaining – it’s really amazing when Square Enix is ​​releasing so many titles and it feels like we’re in a different golden age with Square and Nintendo, just like the days of the NES and SNES. But thanks to September’s Nintendo Direct, our jaws couldn’t help but droop with each new announcement from Square Enix.

We’ve received release dates for two titles, a demo for another, and two brand new releases for Theatrhythm Final Bar Line and Octopath Traveler II for February 2023. Square Enix is ​​also to be released on other platforms next summer. On top of that, everything else! How did this happen?

Well, we said creating and publishing, and Square Enix isn’t just one big studio. Next year’s Final Fantasy title is, for example, created by Creative Business Unit III – the team responsible for the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. And the same goes for many of the Switch’s upcoming titles.

There are many development teams at Square Enix, each working on a small number of different titles. Octopath Traveler II is developed by Acquire, the developers Tenchu in partnership with Square Enix Business Division, and Bravely Default producer Tomoya Asano returns to lead the project. Fans often dub these games – Bravely HD-2D series and games – the work of the Asano team. Miscellaneous Daylife also falls into this category, although the recently released Switch port actually comes from Apple Arcade and was developed by DokiDoki Groove Works.

There will also be a list of ports or remasters on the console, such as NieR: Automata – which was developed by PlatinumGames and is being ported by Virtuos – and Yasumi Matsuno is back to oversee Tactics Ogre: Reborn. There is also the delayed Life is Strange collection that is being published by Square Enix.

Many studios, both internal and external, help develop or roll out Square Enix titles to the Switch. Indieszero returns to work on a new one Theatrical rhythm game, and The DioField Chronicle’s real-time strategy comes from Lancarse, the team behind Zanki Zero: Last Beginning and Monark.

Of course, while many of them are RPGs or adjacent to RPGs, they are all different from each other. People who go for Harvestella won’t necessarily be the same crowd that the Octopath Traveler II wants, and The DioField Chronicle is different enough from the Tactics Ogre – which also has nostalgia on its side – to stand out. And even if you love Final Fantasy music, Theathrhythm may not be for you! *

All of these publications are in line with a recent statement by the company that suggests Square will want to sell stakes in some of the remaining studios after earnings decline in the first quarter of 2023. The Japanese developer also sold a large number of its Western studios to Embracer Group, and the deal was finalized in August.

So the company has a little more money to play with. But the truth is, many of these upcoming projects have probably been in development for quite some time now – for example, the Live A Live remake in July took three years.

To the disappointment of many fans, Square Enix also jumped into the NFT world, launching Final Fantasy-based ones as well as joining the blockchain – apparently all environmentally friendly. The president of the company, Yosuke Matsuda, was not ashamed to admit that he was interested in NFT, and a lot of the company’s profits were invested in them. So maybe Square Enix is ​​trying to hide it from us gamers by throwing dozens of games at us, law?

Probably not, but while the company doesn’t seem to understand consumers on the one hand, it does release demos for many of its releases on the other. From Dragon Quest XI S and the first Octopath Traveler, all the way to Harvestella and PlayStation exclusive Valkyrie Elysium, these demos work to Square’s favor, allowing users to try the game before purchasing it. Moreover, these demos allow us to transfer our save file to the full version, which means that by deciding to purchase the full game, we shortened the game time a few hours ahead of schedule. Result!

We’re sure Square Enix won’t slow down any time soon. There are some projects that we haven’t heard of in a while and a few Japanese-only releases like the visual novel Elements with emotions, but we? We will feast for a while. Triangle Strategy and Live A Live are two of the best games released for Switch this year, and there are some top-quality titles on the horizon (well, we hope). We just feel a bit overwhelmed in the midst of an immensely busy slate in the final months of 2022, especially for RPG fans.

But it’s not all about us! Vote in our polls below and let us know what you think of Square Enix’s results right now. Is it a Blizzagi-style blast with overwhelming proportions? Or are you as cheerful as Chocobo when you see all these games? Oh, and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments too.

* This is not true because Theatrithm is for absolutely everyone. Play now.

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