Authors: Tim Craig, Daniel Cuellar, and Tawon Lirdluckanawong
Published April 2016.
Length: 21 pages (plus exhibits)

In the summer of 2013, Yōsuke Matsuda took over as CEO of Square Enix, the Japanese video game producer known for the classic RPG (role-playing game) series Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. The previous year Square Enix had lost $145 million, and Matsuda’s job was to restore the company to profitability and recapture the prestige it once enjoyed as one of the titans of the global video game industry. But this was a formidable task, as Square Enix had not released a hit new game in several years and the video game industry had changed radically since the firm’s glory years.

The case provides a comprehensive overview of the video game industry, including its history, the continuing evolution of gaming platforms and business models, and the process of creating video games. Readers step into the shoes of CEO Matsuda as he takes on the challenge of guiding Square Enix through a rapidly-changing industry environment characterized by new technologies, changing market needs, new competitors, and globalization.

Topics: Video game industry, Strategic management, Technological change, Product development, Cultural differences