Square Enix says Forspoken sales have been ‘lackluster’

forspoken pc demo steam

Small and mid-sized titles missed Square Enix’s expectations, too

Square Enix has released an outline of its financial results briefing from Feb. 3, in which it says Forspoken sales have been lackluster.

The action RPG arrived just a few months ago, but the trend so far seems to have not lived up to Square Enix’s expectations. The publisher also drew attention to its reception in reviews, which president Yosuke Matsuda characterized as “challenging”:

“Reviews of ‘FORSPOKEN,’ which we released on January 24, 2023, have been challenging. However, the game has also received positive feedback on its action features, including its parkour and combat capabilities, so it has yielded results that will lead to improvement of our development capabilities of other games in the future. That said, its sales have been lackluster, and while the performance of new titles with February and March release dates will be the ultimate determinant, we see considerable downside risk to our FY2023/3 earnings.”

Additionally, Square Enix noted a year-over-year dip in the “HD Games” net sales segment. The publisher attributes this partly to a challenging bar set by the previous year’s releases, but also because many of the “new small and mid-sized titles” Square Enix launched did not perform as well as expected.

Great expectations

Sales expectations have certainly been a point of friction for Square Enix’s games in the past. Especially for Forspoken, a game made for PlayStation 5 and fairly beefy PCs, there were some challenges set out before it. The thing is, Forspoken wasn’t horribly received by all. It may have just been middling, but too middling for a game of this scale.

Comments about the small-to-mid-tier games are a shame to see, though. Square Enix absolutely launched a tidal wave of mid-range games last fall, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Some of those smaller releases end up being more memorable to me than other big games of the same year.

That said, a lot has happened since this February 3 briefing. Luminous Productions has been absorbed into Square Enix, and president Matsuda has announced he’ll be stepping down in June. It’s unclear what all this signals for the future of Square Enix, which is now a big ol’ pile of Final Fantasy. Hopefully the Q&A comment near the end of the outline, hoping that we “look forward to the blockchain games” Square Enix plans to launch, is not an indication of that future.

Eric Van Allen
Senior News Reporter