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Square Enix will lay off staff as part of new business plan

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Square Enix is set to lay off staff in Europe and the United States, as part of a major company restructure announced in May 2024. The news was reportedly announced in an internal staff meeting, where Square Enix boss Takashi Kiryu detailed incoming layoffs to publishing, IT, and Square Enix’s indie games division.

It follows the release of a new overarching business plan designed to strengthen Square Enix and its AAA games output. Within this plan, the company confirmed it will pursue a new three-year strategy of long-term growth, which includes multiplatform game releases and more surefire gaming hits. As part of this new strategy, Square Enix has already cancelled a range of games in development.

In early May 2024, the company reported ¥22.1 billion of “content abandonment losses” which related to cancelled games. The decision to drop the titles was “as a result of a close examination of the Group’s development pipeline undertaken in keeping with [a new] revised approach.” Going forward, Square Enix will be much more selective about its games, and how it releases them.

While unconfirmed, early speculation is that Square Enix’s new edict could see future entries in the Final Fantasy 7 remake series arrive on Xbox and PC, as the initial launch of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has been reported as underwhelming.

Read: Square Enix reports ¥22.1 billion of ‘content abandonment losses’

Square Enix’s new business plan appears to be in response to significant economic downturn, and a reported 70% drop in annual company profits (accounting for the aforementioned extraordinary loss). Going forward, the company is looking to rebuild – although it does appear this will come at a cost to hard-working staff.

Square Enix has not confirmed the number of staff set to lose their jobs in the coming weeks, but it appears the announced layoffs will be significant. Those impacted will be told this week, with all relevant legal processes kicking off imminently. In the UK, there will be the standard one-month consultancy period before employees are let go. In the US, staff may be let go even sooner.

In the coming months, it’s likely further changes will hit Square Enix – although it’s unknown how public-facing these decisions will be. Based on the company’s new three-year strategy, the scope of planned changes is immense, and they could reshape Square Enix as we currently know it.

As always in situations like these, our thoughts are with those employees set to be impacted by layoffs.

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