2009 Final Fantasy XI Lawsuit Dismissed

December 27, 2011 -

Square Enix announced on Friday that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California has dismissed with prejudice a class action lawsuit involving its MMORPG Final Fantasy XI. The ruling came on December 20. The lawsuit was filed by San Francisco's Esther Leong in 2009 on behalf of a class (Final Fantasy XI subscribers), that accused the publisher of "deceptive advertising, unfair business practices, and fraudulent concealment with respect to the online games at the point of purchase." The game was released in North America in 2003.

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Square Enix: 1.8 Million Accounts Could Be Compromised

December 16, 2011 -

Square Enix has revealed details on the extent of the hack that we reported on earlier this week. Square Enix confirmed that up to 1.8 million customers in Japan and the U.S. could be affected by the attack on its member service that took place earlier this week. While personal information may have been compromised, the Final Fantasy maker says that no financial information was stolen because the servers contained no credit card or billing information. They also noted that servers in Europe were not comprised.

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Square Enix Hacked

December 13, 2011 -

Here we go again.

Square Enix put out a press release this afternoon stating that it had “reason to believe that unknown parties may have gained unauthorized access” to a server related to its Square Enix Members service offered in North America and Japan.  In response, the company temporarily suspended operation of the free service as of last night.

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Final Fantasy XIV Fees Begin January 6

December 6, 2011 -

Starting January 6 Square Enix will begin charging subscribers who are still playing Final Fantasy XIV online. The Final Fantasy-based MMO has been free for almost a year because of a myriad of technical problems that the company couldn't initially overcome. The MMO was so bad that it made Square Enix reevaluate how it handles developing and lunching MMO's.

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Square Enix Plans New Studio, Expansion in Montreal

November 21, 2011 -

Square Enix announced plans this morning to expand its presence in Montreal by adding jobs to its existing Eidos-Montreal studio and opening a new studio in 2012 called Square Enix Montreal.

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Square Enix: Final Fantasy XIV Damaged the Final Fantasy Brand

September 27, 2011 -

At a press conference in Tokyo, Japan yesterday, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada said that the entire Final Fantasy brand has been damaged by its latest MMO title. Final Fantasy XIV, which launched in September of 2010 on PC, did not do as well as anticipated due mostly to serious technical issues, connectivity issues, and bugs at launch. This caused the PS3 version of the MMO to be delayed as the development team put its focus on fixing problems and generally improving the game to make customers happy.

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Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human Revolution Theft

July 7, 2011 -

Yesterday we reported that Square Enix had filed a lawsuit against unnamed Italian citizens who (they allege) stole a preview build of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (see this story). The latest wrinkle in the story is that the company wants Valve Software to help them because the stolen build was a copy that was hosted on Valve's Steam service.

For its part, Valve says that it has plenty of information on those individuals responsible for stealing and leaking the file onto the internet, but it is unable to give that information to Square Enix without them presenting Valve with a court ordered subpoena.

It may seem like an odd position for Valve to take with a publishing partner, but the company is simply protecting itself and following procedure.

We'll let you know how this situation plays out.

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Square Enix Sues Over Deus Ex: Human Revolution Theft, Leak

July 6, 2011 -

Square Enix is ticked off that its new Deus Ex game has been leaked and it is taking some individuals in Italy to task for it. The company has filed a lawsuit against unnamed Italian individuals who allegedly crashed an invite-only preview of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, then somehow managed to download the game and distribute it online.

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GRIN Blames Square Enix for Bankruptcy

May 30, 2011 -

GRIN, who you may know best as the creator of Capcom's Bionic Commando action game, claims that it went bankrupt due to an insane relationship with Square Enix. The company had been working on a "Nordic themed" Final Fantasy spin-off which never came to fruition. The company spoke out (to Swedish publication Aftonbladet) about its relationship with Square Enix, and the picture it paints isn't a pretty one.

The spin-off codenamed "Fortress" never had a chance, according to GRIN founders Ulf and Bo Andersson, because Square Enix was erratic, unreasonable, and contrary in its dealing with GRIN. GRIN says that Square Enix didn't pay any of the $20 million contract it had with the studio to develop the game, even though it met every milestone it was supposed to right up until it went bankrupt in August 2009.

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Square Enix Confirms Security Breach at Eidos Montreal Web Site

May 13, 2011 -

Sony isn't the only company worrying about lost data, personal privacy and the level of security on its web sites. Today Square Enix revealed that the Eidos Montreal website has been compromised on Wednesday and that up to 25,000 email addresses and 350 resumes may have been compromised. From Square Enix:

“Square Enix can confirm a group of hackers gained access to parts of our Eidosmontreal.com website as well as two of our product sites. We immediately took the sites offline to assess how this had happened and what had been accessed, then took further measures to increase the security of these and all of our websites, before allowing the sites to go live again,” Square Enix said in a statement sent to VG247.

Square Enix said that no credit card data had been stolen because the site did not have that kind of data on its servers. More from the statement:

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Square Enix Warns Investors of Massive Fiscal Year Loss

May 12, 2011 -

Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series creator and publisher Square Enix warns investors that it will report losses of around ¥12 billion ($148m / £90.6m) for its fiscal year later this week. Digital project cancellations, the recent natural disasters in Japan, associated closures and restoration of the company's amusement facilities are being blamed for the losses. The digital projects represent slightly over a third of the total loss.

"Under a rapidly changing operating environment and more prudent estimates of future cash flows, the Company plans to write down goodwill (approximately ¥8.8 billion)," read the statement. "Further, as a result of introducing a tightened selection standard regarding title lineup to strengthen the revenue base of the Company's digital entertainment segment, project development cancellation and related losses (approximately ¥4.5 billion) are expected."

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Report: Square Enix Negotiating Canadian Tax Deal for Future Studio

March 16, 2011 -

Square-Enix plans to open a new studio with over a hundred employees in 2012, somewhere in Canada. The maker of Final Fantasy is reportedly negotiating with the governments of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Whichever location offers the best tax incentives package will get a new Square Enix Studio that expects to employ over one-hundred new employees. Square Enix already has a studio in Montreal - which it acquired when it bought Eidos in 2009. But that doesn't mean Square Enix is giving the edge to that locale:

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Oops: Square-Enix Editing COD Zombie Mode After All

November 4, 2010 -

In addition to being censored in Germany, Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops will be receiving a few trims for its release in Japan as well.

A few weeks ago, Square-Enix, who is distributing the title in Japan, announce that in order to comply with standards set by the CERO ratings board, it would be removing “all scenes of dismemberment and ‘expressions of brutality.’”  These cuts would apply to the both the subtitled and the dubbed versions of the game but the publisher promised that the zombie mode would remain untouched.

Turns out, that’s not the case.

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Bricked Consoles Spur Suit Against Sony & Square Enix

June 7, 2010 -

Square Enix and Sony Computer Entertainment of America have been hit with a class action lawsuit filed by a San Diego gamer upset over a glitch in Final Fantasy XIII that can cause PS3 consoles to freeze up and become useless.

The lawsuit, which was filed on the behalf of all similarly situated US owners of Final Fantasy XIII for the PS3, alleges that SCEA and Square have been so busy blaming each other for the bricked PS3s, that they haven't remedied the problem or repaired the bricked units (or are charging users for the repair).

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Wada on Piracy and “Japan is Over” Quip

January 6, 2010 -

Square Enix President and CEO Yoichi Wada provided some insight and opinions on the Japanese videogame market in a recent interview with Edge-Online.

Wada, who is also Chairman of Japan’s Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA), a trade organization designed to promote interactive entertainment, was queried on how piracy is affecting Japanese game makers:

Piracy does a lot of damage, but within the Asian region the majority of damage comes from outside of Japan – not including the Nintendo DS. The R4 continues to inflict tremendous damage to our business. So in tandem with Nintendo, we have brought the issue to court. And we have been able to reach a certain degree of success from the court rulings.

When asked why Western games appear to be shunned by Japanese gamers, Wada answered:

Well, actually, I’ve found the person that is prejudiced is actually the retailer and not the actual players. The retailers have a prejudice against overseas titles, and they won’t procure them.

Wada was asked for his take on a comment from Capcom’s Keiji Inafune that Japan’s game industry is finished:

To say something so extreme is surprising. I’m surprised Capcom allowed Inafune to say that at TGS. My message by proxy for the Japanese developers who would have heard such a discouraging message is that if they are willing today, then they definitely have the capability to change and face tomorrow.

Head over to Edge for the full article, which also details what’s next on Wada’s games-to-be-played list and the possibility of using non-Japanese developers on future Square Enix titles.

8 comments

Consumer Class-Action Suit Targets Final Fantasy XI

June 26, 2009 -

A class action lawsuit has been brought against Square Enix of America alleging unfair business practices, false advertising and unjust enrichment with regard to their long running MMORPG Final Fantasy XI.

In the suit, lead plaintiff Esther Leong of San Francisco claims that Square Enix deceived more than 100,000 customers about the game's monthly fees, penalties and restrictions. The suit seeks damages of $5 million. The nasty business which Leong charges that Square Enix engaged in includes:

  • Licensing of online game software disguised as a sale
  • Monthly fees to play the game
  • Penalties for late payment of fees
  • Interest charges for late payment of fees
  • Charges while the user's acccount is suspended
  • Termination of right to play for late payment of fees
  • User restrictions and conditions related to the game
  • Termination of game data for late payment of fees

Unfortunately, specific details of how Square Enix allegedly screwed its customers are not specified in the complaint. 1UP points out that the FFXI website lists a $12.95 monthly fee to play

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the lawsuit here.

-Doug Buffone, Entertainment Consumers Association intern

Via: Courthouse News Service

109 comments

Square Enix Gets Heavy-Handed With Its Homebrew Fans

May 21, 2009 -

Pirating games is one thing and those who engage in the practice assume all of the risks involved, legal and otherwise.

But The Guardian's Keith Stuart reports that, earlier this month, Square Enix sicced its lawyers on a small band of rabid Chrono Trigger fans, serving them with a menacing cease and desist order.

It seems that a group of homebrew types spent four years (!) modding a sequel which they dubbed Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes. Talk about a labor of love. As Stuart reports, the group use a ROM hack to mod the original source code:

If Square Enix had allowed the game to be released, the commercial impact would have been infinitesimal. It's being released as an IPS patch, not a complete Rom image; and if you're not sure what I'm talking about, that's the point – getting these things to run is for the homebrew community only.

As Stuart points out, some fan projects (Counter-Strike, for example) have turned into actual commercial games. And the video game industry is increasingly touting the idea of user-generated content to market certain games. But the message inherent in Square Enix's slap at its adoring, hardcore fans is of an entirely different nature. Stuart writes:

Think of the marketing benefits of embracing this passion, of inviting the creators to port the project over to the DS or on to WiiWare. It would be a radical departure from standard tactics but it would surely be more useful and forward-thinking than kicking the lawyers into action. How about a new mantra: embrace and assist?

Swine Flu Keeps Japanese Staff of Square & Koei Away From E3

May 21, 2009 -

Two more video game publishers have pulled their Japanese employees out of the upcoming E3 Expo in Los Angeles due to concerns over swine flu.

Develop reports that Square Enix and Koei join Capcom in withholding Japanese employees from the highly-anticipated show:

Square Enix has cancelled plans for its Kingdom Hearts team to attend the show, whilst Koei has confirmed that an unspecified number of its Japanese employees will not be travelling to the event...

However, like Capcom, both publishers will be represented at E3 by U.S. and European staffers. According to Develop, neither Sony nor Nintendo plan to withhold employees due to swine flu.

AFP reported this morning that there are 281 confirmed cases in Japan, although most are mild. There have been no deaths attributed to the virus in Japan so far and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso urged the public to be calm.

Via: gamebizblog

6 comments

Report: Square Enix Pushing a Japanese Game Publishers Alliance

October 22, 2008 -

With Japanese game publishers losing market share to their Western counterparts, Kotaku reports that Square Enix chief Yoichi Wada has put forth the idea of a "Japan alliance".

From the report:

To remain competitive, Wada says, "Therefore, we should consider some sort of 'Japan Alliance'." More medium to small-sized companies will need to realign — case in point, Tecmo and Koei. "Individuality is important," Wada adds. "It's not forcing everything into a single corporate brand. The ideal is a holding company under which several companies and brands can hang."

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james_fudgeprh99: Whether you agree with the article or not, fighting alleged censorship with censorship is hella lame10/02/2014 - 4:27am
james_fudgewhoever made that decision at Intel will regret it later on down the road. Boycotts are tricky business.10/02/2014 - 4:26am
prh99The unflattering characterization "They don’t know how to dress or behave." & "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
Neo_DrKefka#WriteAKotakuArticle "#GamerGate is responsible for breaking millions of Intel powered macbooks after angry SWJ hipsters slam them shut" or "How Toxic Processors from Intel causes sexism. "10/02/2014 - 12:15am
Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
Andrew EisenJust finished my stream. That... could have gone better. Technical issues prevented me from playing a console game so I instead played and bitched about The Walking Dead for two hours. Oh well, the folks watching still seemed to enjoy it.10/02/2014 - 12:09am
Matthew Wilsonwe all know valve can not cout to 3.10/02/2014 - 12:08am
MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
 

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