Friday, 26 July 2013

Eidos GM Resigns - Stephane D'Astous Leaves the Company He Helped Found

GM had "irreconcilable" differences with Square.

If you've been following this blog for a long time then the name of Stephane D'Astous may ring a couple of bells. I did write a couple of short articles in response to what he said during an interview in 2012, where he argued that games needed to become more and more complex, and that where gaming was moving would be in the direction of taking more older franchises and updating them into current generation iterations.

While I didn't necessarily agree with everything that D'Astous had to say, I did think that he was a GM that was somewhat more in touch with things than the average one. That's why I'm somewhat saddened by the surprising news that he resigned from Eidos just this week.

D'Astous leaving the company that he helped build from the ground up was rather shocking, but apparently he could no longer tolerate the relationship between Eidos and Square Enix, which bought the company in 2009. Square hasn't exactly been doing well for itself lately, something which has in and of itself been in a lot of news circles.

D'Astous didn't have a whole lot of good things to say about the company stating, "Square Enix is in a tight spot because there are compromises that are made, investments that are made that should not have been and things that they didn't invest in but should have," he said. "Communication is very lacking."

Again, in situations like this it can be hard to sort out what's actually a legitimate problem and what's so much sour grapes. At the same time though the numbers haven't exactly been painting a very pretty picture for Square, so there's probably more truth in these words than they really care to admit. However, some of it also seems to come off as the blame game, "We are in a situation that we have great games that could have sold more," he said. "They need to attack that very, very seriously. Last year was supposed to be a home-run season, but we didn't hit a single home run; maybe a double or a triple, but they weren't home runs."

Selling more is a great thing, gaming for these people is a business, and they do treat it as such. However, like I've said before ad nauseam games shouldn't be becoming so expensive they have to literally sell almost all their initial run in order to be successful. Seriously, that shit is getting more than a little old. If D'Astous is leaving because Square wasn't playing favourites or giving him favours, then it comes off as more than a little petulant.

At the moment though, it does, at least to me, seem like he's mostly just tired of the way that Square conducted itself, both with Eidos and with others as well. "The lack of leadership, lack of courage and the lack of communication were so evident, that I wasn't able to conduct my job correctly. I realized that our differences were irreconcilable, and that the best decision was unfortunately to part ways."

A lot of people at Eidos probably wish it weren't the case, but that's life I suppose.

Oh, next week will probably, again, be a rather sparse one in terms of content. Just putting that out there now.

1 comment:

  1. "GM had 'irreconcilable' differences with Square."

    ...I'm going to take the high road here and not make the obvious comment. But I'm still thinking it. In any case:

    "However, like I've said before ad nauseam games shouldn't be becoming so expensive they have to literally sell almost all their initial run in order to be successful."

    I think that anyone with even a passing interest in video games has been saying that repeatedly -- or if not saying it, then thinking it. Why this is such an easy concept for gamers to understand, but SO HARD for the actual companies making the games -- the guys with the most on the line -- is a question best left for a collection of sages. I'd like to think that there's a reason for it underneath the obvious betrayal of common sense...maybe not a good reason, but A reason, at least. I really don't want to believe that the industry is making these decisions just because they can.

    It's the only way I'll sleep at night. The only way.

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