Consider this a story several years in the making. Eidos Montreal CEO Stephane D'Astous has resigned from his position, citing "irreconcilable" differences with the U.K. branch of Square Enix
The decision comes at a time when Square Enix posted a financial back step for 2012 and pointed fingers at underselling Western releases as the cause of this crisis. The company has laid off large portions of its LA branch, and D'Astous blames much of the current situation on panic, confusion and poor marketing in a statement to Develop.
"Since last year's financial short-coming performance of Square Enix Europe, we (HQ London and GM Eidos Montreal) have had growing and divergent opinions on what needed to be done to correct the situation…
…The lack of leadership, lack of courage and the lack of communication were so evident, that I wasn't able to conduct my job correctly. I realized that our differences were irreconcilable, and that the best decision was unfortunately to part ways."
D'Astous also believes the company struggles in marketing games properly, stating to Polygon that Square Enix "has some things to learn about how to sell their games. Eidos Montreal's own fabulous Deus Ex: Human Revolution took much of the backlash for the financial situation despite its universal praise.
"We are in a situation that we have great games that could have sold more. They need to attack that very, very seriously. Last year was supposed to be a home-run season, but we didn't hit a single home run."
Sounds like an absolute mess. Square Enix can't even shake off the miscommunication between the U.K. and Canada, how is it supposed to even come close to getting anything done with the Japanese HQ watching over everything?
Square Enix bought Eidos in an attempt to become a major world player and have the image of a Japanese EA or Activision. The only problem is that the company never followed through with the investment or marketed products, D'Astous says.
"Square Enix is in a tight spot because there are compromises that are made, investments that are made that should not have been and things that they didn't invest in but should have. Communication is very lacking."
With the company as divided as it is now, they can only stand to lose from a guy who seems to be level-headed on the issue. Eidos, both in Canada and the UK, have been carrying the critical success of Square Enix for years while the Japanese branch continues to defiantly drag out Final Fantasy XIII as far as it can go.
They seem to be the guys you want to keep happy.
There is little excuse for a worldwide company which covers three continents to suffer from such an extreme lack of communication. I don't blame D'Astous for jumping ship, and it sounds like the three branches should work tighter or simply go their own ways. At this point, they all seem to be holding each other back.