Square Enix: Disc Based Sales Are Killing Us

Atmos Duality

New member
Mar 3, 2010
lacktheknack said:
Atmos Duality said:
Notice how Matsuda completely dodges the option "Reduce insane overhead cost"

how do

or "try more digital distribution instead of mainly physical" and instead jumps straight into F2P (which is less "digital distribution" and more "online cattle ranch").
If they're in trouble, they'll jump at the safest bet.

Guess what the safest bet is.
Oh I know.
It's a business where Tit-for-Tat is the default strategy when shit starts going south, even when it doesn't work.

Their over-emphasis on mega-Blockbusters is just the latest long term failure.
F2P will also work initially and then slowly erode.

As for F2P itself; I admit no small bias against it, primarily because it requires multiplayer centric gameplay to function, and that by itself eliminates so many possible game types. More importantly, it eliminates most of what Square-Enix is best known for (single player RPGS). While their MMOs are a very mixed bag.

But since they seem willing to let the indie crowd come in and eat their "niche lunch", more power to them to focus on MMOs in the future.


Level 2 Lumberjack
Jul 17, 2009

Square, it's not Discs that are the problem, it's your budgets. If you cannot afford to make games like Hitman, Sleeping Dogs or Tomb Raider, then either don't make them or budget your game and make them cheaper, so that you can make them. Don't blame Discs for your idiocy.


Jan 17, 2010
United Kingdom
He knows that Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider and Hitman Absolution were all good games; the critics said as much when they released, but from a financial perspective none of them hit sales targets or made anything like the return Square Enix hoped for.
Yeah, but didn't Square Enix have completely outlandish sales targets for all of those games?


Not actually a Japanese pop star
May 26, 2011
Or, Square, you could, you know, not sink so much money into these titles that four million sales doesn't make back as much as you wanted.

Or, better yet, you could actually give a toss about what your fanbase wants from your in-house sector and do things like localize games people might want in other sections of the world.

As long as Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are available on physical formats, Square Enix can do whatever the hell they want. After those are out, I think I'll have a hard time caring about anything Square does anymore without the involvement of Tetsuya Nomura or Eidos. Especially if they're going to start turning main Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts titles into Free-to-Play games.


New member
Sep 12, 2011
"Matsuda has some thoughts on how to solve the problem. Free to Play has deeply impressed him."

I initially read this as "Free to Play has deeply depressed him."

Then I read the rest of the article, and became deeply depressed.


New member
Apr 16, 2013
So instead of blaming themselves for spending too much money on their games they blame discs?
If they continue doing this and not learn from their mistakes they'll eventually go bankrupt.

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
lacktheknack said:
It may be scapegoating, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.
They've basically put all their failures on three titles. Two of which cleared the four million mark, one which the Western head of the company has called a success due to a long-term strategy.

It quite likely is wrong, because the odds that these three games are the entire downfall for a corporation that had problems well before their release is about nil.


New member
Oct 29, 2010
Come on Square, just be blunt and blame Gamestop like everyone else does. I know you want to.


New member
Dec 19, 2010
This is just my opinion (as that is his opinion), but the money invested into those games is what hurt it, not the disc based model. No one is going deny that digital releases are cheaper, but you still need to spend the same amount on advertising. Those games all had bloated budgets, regardless of the format. Sleeping Dogs was by far the best out of those games. I played them all, but I really only enjoyed that particular game. Tomb Raider was interesting, but about halfway through I started feeling like it was wearing out it's welcome, and Hitman was simply an OK game. The fact that the millions of units moved total was insufficient for them speaks volumes about their terrible budgeting and inability to even remotely anticipate market needs. With the exception of sleeping dogs, they were basically sequels or relaunches of games that were in many ways very different from the most current iterations. They can't sink millions into reformatting a game and then be put off by the fact they all needed to move 6 Million+ units while simultaneously alienating the original fanbase.

I've said my piece. That is my opinion, not any sort of fact. I just think they, like many Triple-A publishers want to blame a single thing that is not their fault when the culpability still lies with them for the most part.

Knight Captain Kerr

New member
May 27, 2011
Square Enix launched Sleeping Dogs in August 2012 and has sold approximately 1.75 million copies of United Front Games' open-world crime thriller. Since Hitman: Absolution's release in November 2012, Square Enix has sold about 3.6 million units. And Tomb Raider, which launched three weeks ago, has already racked up approximately 3.4 million units in sales. (The numbers only take retail sales into account, not digital purchases.)

Source [http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/26/4148780/square-enix-missed-sales-targets-sleeping-dogs-hitman-absolution-tomb-raider]
If you are selling that much in retail alone then maybe it isn't disk based sales that is the issue. How high are their sales expectations anyway?


Jul 2, 2008
As nintendo said at E3 'make better games' but i guess that is cruel, Tomb Raider was pretty darn good.

Um hard to comment on this as there is no clear answer, economic times are tough at the moment jobs are thin on the ground (at least in the UK) and world wide I get the same impression that its much the same. So yea monies not just there to spend. The matter of disks is a little odd to me, I like physical things it why we still use paper money, but saying that i frequently use steam, but it'll make me sad if I got myself a ps4 and had to download all the games as i hold some distrust of total digital distribution(ubisoft is the key example pain in the ass in this).

Anyhow give me a sequel to Tomb Raider please!!! I'll get it on steam anyhow if that pleases you :)


New member
Apr 7, 2010
Then stop charging £50 for Digital games and we wont bother with disc's....


New member
Oct 2, 2012
As someone who likes to collect, play and hang on to disc based content (because I'm an old dude, I'll admit it), I would actually like to see a compromise in this arena. Digital sales at a cheaper base for those looking to consume the game and move on, and nicely packaged premium disc based content sold directly from Square.

I've honestly stopped going in to retail to buy my games (especially from companies I like) and try to buy them directly from the publisher themselves (or through Square's Amazon in this instance.) In that manor I've already pre-ordered FF13, FF10 and 10 2 HD, and Kingdom Hearts Remix (which arrives today! Psyched!).

That said, Square probably also has to reign in their budgets and expectations a bit. It really doesn't seem like the source of their money distribution problems are as simple as "disc based content is ruining us!"


New member
Nov 27, 2010
I have nothing to add except what everyone else has said, lower your overheads, if you want digital only charge less, I like my disc collection and am willing to pay current prices for them (does it give away how old I am if I say I miss the really thick manuals). I also pretty much buy my games through amazon which is more justified now since HMV left the island. But yeah the problem isn't the discs it's Squares budgeting.


New member
Oct 14, 2010
No one is forcing Square Enix to make their games as expensive as they are. Been saying for a long time they've been putting too much into graphics.


New member
Jan 18, 2013
Finally Square have realised what is wrong with the industry, really hit the nail on the head. If they get rid of disc-based games they can double their production budgets and still make millions of every title![/sarcasm]

I don't see how they can blame physical media for poor sales when they have sold pretty damn well at retail. Sure they get less profit because of so many people taking a slice of the money but that isn't exactly new. If they want more profit then they should reduce their costs and promote their digital sales more, like giving people a discount for buying digitally and not giving armfuls of exclusive stuff to people who buy the physical game. No free-to-play required.