Square Enix has announced its intention to replace Yosuke Matsuda as president and representative director, pending approval at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in June.
Matsuda, who’s served as the president of Square since 2013, will be replaced by Takashi Kiryu, who currently serves as a director within the company. In a statement, Square said the decision was made “to reshape the management team with the goal of adopting ever-evolving technological innovations and maximizing on the creativity of the company’s group.”
A controversial run
During his 10-year run as Square Enix president, Matsuda oversaw the $300 million USD sale of the company’s prominent western development studios — Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montréal, and Eidos-Montréal — to Embracer Group.
Matsuda also, controversially, advocates for the integration of blockchain technology in game development.
“In the future, we would like to try our hand at providing ‘autonomous game content’,” he said last year. “Until now, in most games, we provided the content as a finished product and the players played that content. However, there are a certain number of players in the world who want to contribute to making games more interesting, by creating new settings and ways of playing.”
He added: “In the future, we want to utilise the power of these people to create games that will continue to evolve. If, instead of relying on goodwill, we can also provide incentives to those who contribute to development by utilising technologies such as blockchain, there is a possibility that innovative and interesting content can be created from the ideas of users.”
More recently, in his 2023 New Year’s letter, Matsuda referenced “blockchain” 14 times, citing it as the “new business domain” Square Enix was “most focused” on pursuing.
Earlier this week, the company announced it was folding Forspoken developer Luminous Productions back into Square Enix effective May 1. Matsuda will spend his final months as president leading Square through the release of Final Fantasy 16.
We left our combat-focused Final Fantasy 16 hands-on preview optimistic about the PS5 exclusive, saying it has the potential to be “a JRPG worth being excited about.”
Jordan covers games, shows, and movies as a freelance writer for IGN.