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Squaresoft break the table

Management resigns en-masse

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Despite a long history of fantastic RPG titles including the likes of the Final Fantasy series, Vagrant Story, the two Parasite Eve titles, Chrono Trigger and Cross, the Mana games and even more, Squaresoft are, at least according to some of the more pessimistic industry analysts, on the rocks. On the 8th February, three senior members of the management team submitted their resignations in answer to the recent slump on sales and general financial performance. Long-standing chairman of the board and MD Tomoyuki Takeichi, MD and VP Hironobu Sakaguchi and also director Masatsugu Hiramatsu have started a chain reaction within the company that will lead to massive changes both on the board and in general. The three executives' resignations have led to Square reorganising its management structure to include one MD/President/CEO and on MD/CFO, with several outside board members. Within minutes of clearing his desk and heading for the exit, Hironobu Sakaguchi was spun around and shifted into the job of executive producer, so that Square can retain the rights to develop his series, including Final Fantasy. With a reported figure of more than $150m spent on the series film already Mr. Sakaguchi is probably quite safe from the dole for the time being. The two other former executives, Mr. Takeichi and Mr. Hiramatsu, will return as a contracted advisor and executive official respectively. Although this move marks quite a shake-up for the worldwide games developer, the only effects are expected to be a failure to pay share dividends for this year to public stockholders, something that the company's bad performance is blamed for anyway. Late last week, Sega's president and chairman Isao Owaka, no doubt fearing for the future of his company in light of the recent Dreamcast announcements, donated £500m worth of stock in order to help make up for the losses. At this time, it's thought that Squaresoft aren't in quite such dire need of cash injection. Nonetheless, the movie budget alone is stretching them by now. Related Feature - Sega president goes potty

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