The president of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, is set to step down from his position, with Takashi Kiryu taking over as his replacement. Matsuda, who has been at the helm of Square Enix since 2013, is expected to step down in the summer of 2023, and his resignation will be discussed at the company’s 43rd annual shareholder meeting in May and June, around the time Final Fantasy XVI is expected to come out. The move is said to be part of the company’s need to reshape its leadership amid the ever-changing business environment.
Matsuda’s continued interest in NFT technologies has been a topic of controversy among fans, and rightfully so, but it has reflected positively on the company’s stock price in recent years, despite not leading to an actual product or fandom acceptance. Square Enix’s market cap has grown by a factor of six under Matsuda’s leadership, and the conglomerate is currently valued at nearly $5.5 billion.
Kiryu, who joined Square Enix in 2020 as its chief strategy officer, is expected to take over as president after the second shareholder forum in June. He has two stints at the Japanese advertising and PR company Dentsu, where he initially served as a director for four years before taking a brief hiatus to enroll in an MBA program at MIT in 2017. After completing his Master’s degree, he returned to Dentsu in the capacity of a general manager the following year.
Square Enix President Stepping Down – The Future Of Square Enix
While the reason for Matsuda’s departure has not been officially confirmed, it may be partially prompted by Square Enix’s declining sales in 2022. It remains to be seen what kind of changes Kiryu will implement as the new president, but his personal stake in the conglomerate is around $66,000 as of March 2023.
In other Square Enix news, Final Fantasy XVI is shaping up to be one of the biggest departures in terms of gameplay in the long-running series. The gameplay and overall direction are more akin to that of God of War 2018 or Devil May Cry 5, than past entries in the franchise that opted for turn-based combat.
While some believe this is a bad thing, most will likely enjoy this new take on the series, and if the game is commercially successful (which seems very likely at this point) then this is the direction the Final Fantasy series will go for in the long term as well. But since the Final Fantasy 7 Remakes are also in the works, it is possible that there will be something for every kind of Final Fantasy fan.