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Square Enix loses millions
Over $48 million in revenue loss
In-store purchases, increased sales, and what the massive revenue loss means for future MMO titles.
Read time: 8 minutes
Here are small and developing stories you should keep your eye on
Switch sales up 200%: the grass is green, the sky is blue, the Nintendo Switch continues to rack up sales in 2020. In what may be the most predictable thing about console gaming in 2020, the Nintendo Switch again pushed past its sales numbers from the previous year and did so by 81%. This brings total sales for the year up to 209% over 2019, which is truly astonishing to see. Time and again, people have pointed to the pandemic as to why Switch sales have been up, but that’s not the only reason (and Nintendo should be given a lot more credit). Titles such as Super Mario: 3D All-Stars, Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, have been fan favorites among Switch gamers. Even older titles such as BoTW continue to dominate, especially with Black Friday sales appearing on sites for Best Buy, Target, and more. And before you even think it — no, sales won’t be slowing down any time soon. The Switch is set to see some slight price drops this holiday season, and with the upcoming Nintendo Switch Pro, there will be more reasons to buy a Switch later this year and well into 2021. At this rate, it wouldn’t be far fetched to say that Switch may be part of the majority of households.
Take-Two still skeptical: although a lot of people are massively excited about the potential of game subscription services like the Xbox Game Pass, Take-Two is not one of them. In fact, the publisher for games like Red Dead Redemption and The Outer Worlds has been consistent with their skepticism over the growing trend of game subscriptions, with Take-Two president Karl Slatoff saying they “weren’t convinced that subscriptions are the only or primary way,” in an interview they did with GamingIndustry.Biz. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as other C-level execs within Take-Two have shared similar sentiments earlier this year. But one interesting thing was that the publisher wanted to “meet customers where they were,” indicating that although they had some skepticism, they were still open to venturing into that avenue of gaming. Especially if that avenue ends up being as profitable as it appears to be. Gaming subscription services have slowly been incorporated into the gaming ecosystem, with more companies venturing into the vertical. All it takes is one or two successful attempts, and it’s likely that others will soon follow in the lead of Xbox, Google, and Amazon.
No in-store PS5 purchases: in just a few short days, we’ll be entering into a new generation of gaming. The PS5 is set to arrive on Thursday, November 12, and millions of gamers around the world are ready to experience what the new console has to offer. But unfortunately for those that didn’t get a chance to pre-order, you may have to search online if you want to buy a console on launch day. Sony has confirmed through its blog that all console launches will be conducted “online-only” in response to the growing COVID-19 cases. Conversations with various GameStop and Best Buy employees have only confirmed this, as the only consoles available in-store are for those that have already pre-ordered. With that said, if you’re willing to search the internet, you may find opportunities. Sony has already shared that a select number of PS5 consoles will be available at Best Buy, and multiple GameStop employees have shared with me that they will have some PS5 consoles available online. How much is unknown, but it’s likely to go quickly. And if you choose to wait till more is available, it likely won’t be until early-to-mid December before any more PS5s are available for purchase.
Square Enix loses big
Credit: Square Enix
Square Enix continues to pay the price for Marvel’s Avengers.
The title showcasing the Marvel superhero group has been considered a major flop within the industry. Since its release, the game has only generated around $3 million in sales, with the game costing $100 million to make.
When factoring unit sales, microtransactions, and marketing costs, the company lost over $48 million within its Gaming Division.
Things continue to look poorly for the game as well, as the release date for the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions have been pushed back until 2021, likely to clean up issues and add more content into the game.
With that said, Square Enix believes that they can turn the ship around, and they are actively working on updates to reinvigorate its waning fan base.
But if you’re worried about Square Enix in total, you shouldn’t. The company posted profits across the board regarding the rest of its gaming divisions, with Final Fantasy XIV being a strong reason for it due to a growth in monthly paying subscribers. For six months, which ended around September 30, the company posted a 43% growth in revenue and 46% in profit.
Overall, the company is doing solid, but it’s worth wondering how much better they’d be doing if Marvel’s Avengers actually delivered.
Although I never want to wish ill-will or failure for any company, especially for a developer like Square Enix that has created awesome titles like Kingdom Hearts…
I’m kind of glad that Marvel’s Avengers flopped.
Greed can be a powerful thing, and part of me believes that is why this game was released “early.” When the beta for this game came out earlier this year, it was met with neutral or negative reviews.
The game looked unpolished. It felt wonky. There were bugs.
Marvel’s Avengers should have been delayed right after the release of the beta. To give credit, a lot of the issues experienced during the beta were cleaned up (as they normally are), but it’s the approach of the game that I’m critical of.
You see, Marvel’s Avengers attempted to take on the MMO, games-as-a-service approach, following in the footsteps of Destiny 2.
There was lots of grinding, the ability to jump into multiplayer modes, and micro-transactions.
Although we as gamers have grown accustomed to things like this, especially with the emergence of battle royales, it’s still something we don’t like to see. That’s especially the case if we have to pay $60 for a game.
Now when it comes to MMO, games-as-a-service type titles, we expect there to be a revolving door of content. If not, we expect the game to be jam-packed with content right at purchase. Unfortunately, this game didn’t provide either.
Although the campaign was fun for many gamers, the missions seemed very similar and grindy. And once players finished the campaign, they weren’t left with much else other than to grind objectives to help you unlock certain skills, abilities, or skins (which can also be bought).
Followed by the fact that Square Enix says that “more content” is on the way is laughable. Whenever people pay full price for a game, especially if you’re taking the Destiny 2 approach, the game should be filled to the brim with content. And then you continue to add more content.
Provide value upfront.
Games like Marvel’s Avengers is what I’ve grown to hate about the gaming industry. Too often are we asked to pay $60 (and soon $70) for incomplete games that have paid DLC right at launch or updates for new content “within the next week.”
Other times, games might be filled with content, but none of that content is different enough, leading gamers to feel like they’re grinding through the same missions and objectives to unlock the next level or achieve certain abilities.
If devs attempt to take on games like this (or just games in general), I really hope they adopt a mindset of “value-first.”
Give gamers a lot to work with and, as a result, you get a lot back in terms of sales. Granted, there’s only so much a team can provide due to workplace environment, budget, staff limitations, and so on, but this idea of providing paid DLC and updates soon after launch is ridiculous.
I really hope devs look to Marvel’s Avengers and see what not to do.
Also, really upset the game bombed because I love The Avengers. It would’ve been awesome to play as Iron Man.
A New Mass Effect
I absolutely love Mass Effect.
I played these games so many times during my middle school and high school years, and I can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve spent on them
Mass Effect 2, in particular, was stunning, and I played through it so many times trying to get the perfect outcome and ensure none of my teammates died.
Well, it looks like we might finally get a new Mass Effect, and it seems like it’s in a much better direction than the abomination that was Andromeda. Bioware has shared that they are working on “the next chapter” of the Mass Effect universe, and it’s being helmed by a “veteran team.”
What that means is unknown, but what I can say is that I am massively excited. Bioware, who not only created Mass Effect but also Jade Empire, is certainly not a “make the same mistake twice” type of developer. I have full confidence that they’ve learned their lesson and will return to the formula that made the original Mass Effect such a hit.
It’s been a long time since Mass Effect 3 (which was probably the worst of the trilogy), but I have high hopes this “veteran team” can return the game to its former glory.