Square & Bandai Namco Being Honest About Quality Is A Step In The Right Direction

But I'm still unconvinced.

Story Highlights

  • Bandai Namco canceled five games to ensure quality products after a 96.5% decline in earnings.
  • I’m concerned about the future of Blue Protocol given it failed to perform in Japan.
  • Square Enix claims to ensure equality moving forward but its New Year’s letters are concerning.

With each passing day, the industry continues to spiral down with no signs of stopping. Even though these dark times remain in full swing, two big companies appear to be turning over a new leaf.

You already know the names after that title but I still have to mention them by name for some reasons—Square Enix and Bandai Namco.

But what exactly have these two giants done that allows them to turn over that leaf I mentioned?

Bandai Namco Cancelled 5 Games, Thank You

That’s right and if you’ve been following the industry news, you’ll know why. In case you don’t and the title failed to capture your attention, it’s because of quality control. To simplify it even more, it’s because the company knows that the games being released till now were mediocre or downright horrible for the most part.

While we don’t know which projects were canned, I’m sure Bandai Namco axed the ones that didn’t hold massive potential. See, the company’s mainly been involved with anime games.

A perfect representation of how desperate I am for Scarlet Nexus 2.
A perfect representation of how desperate I am for Scarlet Nexus 2. | Source: Steam

Rather forgettable ones at that for I only remember Tales of Arise & Scarlet Nexus out of its veritable sea of titles (Scarlet Nexus is a fantastic game). 

I’ve always talked about these companies prioritizing revenue and profits over everything else. Bandai Namco saw a 96.5% drop in income in its third fiscal quarter compared to last year’s period. There was no way that it could ignore such a massive decline. So, what did it do?

It canceled five games in development and admitted to low-quality evaluation standards. Thank you, Bandai.

Even after that news, however, I’m left wondering if the company has even learned anything. It recently announced an RPG based on “That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime” and I find it hard to believe that it can even remotely be profitable. Of course, it will find a niche audience but I can’t see it being a commercial success.

YouTube video

While Bandai Namco needs to move away from these anime IP-based mediocre RPGs, there’s a bigger issue here.

I’m Concerned About Blue Protocol

This game was announced over half a decade ago. It’s no secret that creating an MMO takes a lot of time; therein lies the problem. During the timespan of an MMO’s development, consumer demands and the general market shift so much that it becomes mandatory for the project to be adjusted.

Even beyond that factor, there are internal elements that need to be considered as well. Blue Protocol involves gacha and P2W aspects among other things. While many have expressed interest in it, I find it to be something that puts me off.

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Bandai Namco reported that “a new online game fell short of planned levels by a substantial margin.” Counting the number of such titles under its umbrella, it’s obvious what’s being referred to here.

Given how Blue Protocol isn’t faring well in Japan and with the global release falling under Amazon’s domain, I’ve already bid farewell to what could have potentially been the “Genshin Killer.”

Don’t worry, it’s just a joke. The only thing capable of killing Genshin Impact is its creator.

But Square Enix Is Giving Me A Headache

As these industry giants claim to be turning over a new leaf, Square Enix continues to confuse me. In a Q&A session from its latest earnings report, Takashi Kiryu talked about how the company aims to slim down its gaming lineup to ensure better quality.

All this talk about developing better games and ensuring stricter evaluation guidelines is great. The only problem is that these companies continue to contradict their statements. The last two New Year letters from Square Enix have been horrible and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s an excerpt from this year’s letter:

We also intend to be aggressive in applying AI and other cutting-edge technologies to both our content development and our publishing functions. In the short term, our goal will be to enhance our development productivity and achieve greater sophistication in our marketing efforts. In the longer term, we hope to leverage those technologies to create new forms of content for consumers, as we believe that technological innovation represents business opportunities.”

Breaking that down into parts, the first segment shows how Square Enix intends to implement AI in its development efforts. Secondly, marketing efforts will be given some much-needed attention. After all, Square barely markets most of its titles and then wonders why it fails to generate revenue. 

NFTs and inclination towards AI is why I've lost interest in Square Enix. The only connection I have now is with Yoshi-P and FF14.
NFTs and inclination towards AI are reason why I’ve lost interest in Square Enix. The only connection I have now is with Yoshi-P and FF14.

The last part gives me a major headache. These people want to leverage new technologies to create more content for consumers because they represent business opportunities. 

When was the last time consumers asked for Symbiogenesis or a game made with AI

Products that consumers don’t want will never sell regardless of how ground-breaking they might be. A simple bit of wisdom that these companies often fail to understand.

Here’s Hoping For The Best

With all that out of the way, I have no idea what the future holds. More layoffs and a continued downward spiral for sure but at the same time, some saviors may yet emerge. Moreover, consistent financial hits sustained by these companies will propel them toward decisions that favor the consumer.

At least that’s what I hope for. Optimism never hurts anyone but it’s best to temper your expectations. We may be getting great games even now but that doesn’t mean the industry as a whole is in top shape. 

Maybe it will go to the gym or perhaps we’ll get aVideo Game Industry Remake.”

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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