If you take a quick look at a release schedule for the next six months, you’ll see there are a ton of games coming out. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll notice that maybe 50 of them are from Square Enix. And that’s just on the switch!
We’re exaggerating, of course, but it’s hard to ignore the company’s absolutely massive production in the coming months – and throughout 2022, really. We won’t be listing every single version of Square Enix Switch from 2022 here because it would take up a lot of space (although you can check out all of its games here or scroll to the end of this article). However, from September until next year, Square Enix is developing and / or releasing 13 games on Switch alone. Uff! And, of course, we’re including PowerWash Simulator in this.
Look, we’re not complaining – it’s truly amazing to see Square Enix releasing so many titles and it feels like we’re in another golden age with Square and Nintendo, just like the days of NES and SNES. But with Nintendo Direct in September, our jaws couldn’t help but gasp with every new announcement from Square Enix.
We have release dates for two titles, a demo for another and two brand new revelations in Theatrhythm Final Bar Line and Octopath Traveler II for February 2023. On other platforms, Square Enix also has Final Fantasy XVI coming out next summer. On top of everything else! How did it happen?
Well, we said development and publishing, and Square Enix isn’t a big studio either. Next year’s Final Fantasy title is, for example, developed by Creative Business Unit III, the team behind the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. And it’s the same for many titles coming to Switch.
There are multiple development teams within Square Enix that are each working on a small list of different titles. Octopath Traveler II was developed by Acquire, the creators of Tenchu series, in collaboration with Square Enix Business Division, with Bravely Default producer Tomoya Asano returning to head of the project. Fans often dub these games: the Courageously HD-2D series and games – the works of Team Asano. Various Daylife also fall into this category, although the recently released Switch port originated on Apple Arcade and was developed by DokiDoki Groove Works.
You also have a number of ports or remasters coming to the console, such as NieR: Automata – which was developed by PlatinumGames and is brought to you by Virtuos – and Yasumi Matsuno is returning to oversee Tactics Ogre: Reborn. Then there’s the late collection Life is Strange, which Square Enix is releasing.
Many studios, both internally and externally, help develop or bring Square Enix titles to Switch as well. Indieszero goes back to work on the new one rhythm The DioField Chronicle’s real-time game and strategy comes from Lancarse, the team behind Zanki Zero: Last Beginning and Monark.
Of course, despite the fact that most of them are RPGs or adjacent to RPGs, they are all quite different from each other. The people who harvest Harvestella won’t necessarily be the same people who want Octopath Traveler II, and The DioField Chronicle is different enough from Tactics Ogre – which also has nostalgia on its side – to stand out. And even if you love your Final Fantasy music, Theatrhythm may not be for you! *
All of these releases follow a statement recently released by the company, which suggests that Square will look to sell stakes in some of its remaining studios following a decline in profits in the first quarter of 2023. The Japan-based developer also sold a large number of his western studios at Embracer Group, with the deal ending in August.
Hence, the company has a little more money to play with. But the truth is, many of these upcoming projects have probably been in development for some time – July’s Live A Live remake took three years to develop, for example.
Much to the chagrin of many fans, Square Enix has also dived into the world of NFTs, releasing those based on Final Fantasy, as well as joining a blockchain, all apparently green. Company president Yosuke Matsuda hasn’t been shy about admitting his interest in NFTs and many of the company’s profits have been invested in them. So maybe Square Enix is trying to hide it from us gamers by throwing us dozens of games, Right?
Probably not, but while the company doesn’t seem to understand consumers on the one hand, it has produced demos for many of its versions on the other. Right from Dragon Quest XI S and the first Octopath Traveler, right up to Harvestella and the exclusive PlayStation console Valkyrie Elysium, these demos work tremendously in Square’s favor, allowing people to try the game before they buy it. Not only that, these demos allow us to transfer our save file to the full version, which means that when we decide to purchase the full game, we have saved a few hours of gameplay ahead of schedule. Result!
Square Enix won’t slow down anytime soon, we’re sure. There are a few projects we haven’t heard of in a while and a couple of Japan-only releases like the visual novel Elements with emotions, but we? We will celebrate for a while. Triangle Strategy and Live A Live are two of the best games released on the Switch this year, and there are some high-quality titles on the horizon (well, hopefully). We feel alone in a bit overwhelmed by an extremely busy list in the last months of 2022, especially for RPG fans.
But this is not just about us! Vote in our polls below and let us know what you think of Square Enix’s output right now. Is it a Blizzaga-style burst of overwhelming proportions? Or are you as cheerful as a Chocobo seeing all these games come out? Oh, and don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments too.
* This is factually incorrect, as Theatrhythm is absolutely for everyone. Play now.