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Forspoken's reviews "challenging" and sales "lackluster", says Square Enix

It never was cuffing season

"It already seems inevitable that there will be stories two weeks from now about how Forspoken failed to meet Square Enix's sales expectations," I wrote as the demo for the Isekai romp arrived on PC. How wrong I was! It took six and a half weeks.

"Reviews of Forspoken... have been challenging," says Square Enix's latest financial report, and its sales have been "lackluster".

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The report notes that Forspoken "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."

Forspoken wasn't the only game to underperform. According to the report, "many of the new small and mid-sized titles we launched this year did not perform as well as we had expected." No particular games are named, but in recent months Square Enix have released several remakes such as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song Remastered, and Tactics Ogre: Reborn, as well as new, mid-sized games such as Harvestella, The Diofield Chronicle, Various Daylife, Voice Of Cards: The Beasts Of Burden, Triangle Strategy, Star Ocean: The Divine Force and, uh, PowerWash Simulator, which might be the best of all of these.

That's not even a dig at these other games, plenty of which are good, too. My only dig would be that they have terrible names and often non-existent marketing.

Early last year, Square Enix sold their western studios to Embracer Group, including Eidos and Crystal Dynamics.

Alice B found plenty to fault in her "challenging" Forspoken review, while also enjoying it enough that she wanted "a sequel where they do everything better." That seems less likely now.

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