Square Enix’s Forspoken faces challenges breaking even with a cost over $75M

Square Enix’s latest game, Forspoken, has reportedly cost the company over $75 million to develop, which may result in significant challenges in breaking even. Senior analyst at MST Financial, David Gibson, estimates that Forspoken cost more than 10 billion Yen to create, with most of that likely to be written off. Given that the company-wide profits are around 374 million US Dollars, the investment in Forspoken is a significant figure for Square Enix.

Despite charting at the 7th spot in the NPD games list based on sales revenue in January, Forspoken is considered below Square Enix’s expectations. The game’s lukewarm reception from critics and the fact that AAA game development has become an expensive and risky undertaking for publishers in the current landscape did not help. The marketing budget for Forspoken was likely quite high, as the game had major advertisements on display at popular places, such as Times Square, as well as a CG trailer.

Gibson believes that Square Enix may suffer major losses as a result of Forspoken and that it may have been related to the company’s decision to replace its CEO.

Square Enix’s latest action role-playing game, Forspoken, developed by Luminous Productions, was released on January 24, 2023, for PlayStation 5 and Windows. The game, described by Square Enix as a “narrative-driven adventure,” has received mixed reviews from critics.

Forspoken’s gameplay is focused on terrain traversal speed and fluidity, as director Takeshi Aramaki has noted. The game offers an open-world format that allows players to travel anywhere at any time. The player character, Frey, has access to a range of magical spells, and experience points are earned following each combat encounter. Players can upgrade Frey’s cloak to improve her combat efficiency and stats, while applying nail polish unlocks special abilities. The player can also craft new items or rest at a safe location to restore health. During exploration, players may encounter a “breakstorm,” similar to a horde mode, in which waves of demonic creatures spawn and attack Frey. The storm ends with the appearance of a named boss character.