Square Enix Turns the Page

Matt Dion
3 min readJul 8, 2023

Examining Square Enix’s tough fiscal year ’23, its reliance on the Final Fantasy IP, and its new CEO’s plans for the company’s future.

Source: Square Enix

It’s been a busy month for Square Enix.

The company’s flagship franchise just launched its latest mainline release, Final Fantasy XVI, to largely positive reviews (with some exceptions) after nearly seven years in development.

The Japanese publisher also used the FFXVI launch to showcase its newest chief executive, Takashi Kiryu. At 47 years old, the freshly minted CEO brings a younger face to the corner office, replacing former CEO Yosuke Matsuda after a decade-long stint. Kiryu immediately sought to win fans over with his bona fides as “a Final Fantasy fan for life,” committing to deliver “entertainment that promises new and unforgettable experiences.”

Kiryu takes over at a pivotal time for Square Enix. The company is coming off a poor showing in its FY2023 earnings, in which it reported year-over-year dips in total revenue (-6%), digital revenue (-12%), and profit (-3%), driven in part by underwhelming sales of HD releases (Forspoken, Octopath Traveler II, and a host of smaller RPGs) and a lack of major expansions to its MMORPG titles (Final Fantasy XIV, Dragon Quest X).

The current fiscal year (April ’23 to March ’24) also represents the final third of a three-year “medium-term plan.” Though the company’s stock is up nearly 10% this year and roughly 15% since the commencement of the medium-term plan, Square Enix has a lot of ground to make up if it wants to hit its ambitious earnings targets, which you’ll see in the chart below. The company’s own FY’24 projection of ¥360 billion in net sales already falls short, coming in below the company’s FY’22 figure of ¥365 billion.

Source: Square Enix

The prior two fiscal years of the medium-term plan have also been host to major shake-ups across the organization, headlined by…

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Matt Dion

Always Scheming is the product of Matt Dion, a product manager, writer, and games industry professional.