If there are two publishers that take a gigantic amount of heat from gamers, it's the Call of Duty mega-company Activision and the ailing one-time RPG gurus at Square Enix.

The question is, will the majority of gamers ever learn to love either publisher again? There was a time when Square Enix was Squaresoft during the first PlayStation generation, and everything Square touched turned to gold. I'm referring to more than games in the Final Fantasy franchise; let's not forget about Vagrant Story , Chrono Cross , Legend of Mana , Xenogears , and even Einhander (a side-scrolling space shooter, for crying out loud). They were all pretty damn amazing. These days, RPGers are wondering what Square Enix has done to their precious FF series and other projects they've tried have fallen flat.  The fans just don't like their constant emphasis on appealing to Western tastes.

During Squaresoft's reign, Activision was suffering, as they were struggling with bankruptcy right around the time the PlayStation debuted. Now, Activision rules the world, but at the sacrifice of the hardcore gamer crowd that despises the publisher's apparent money-grubbing ways. The outspoken majority also sees Activision as really only having two massive successes in CoD and World of Warcraft , despite what Hirshberg says . The strange part is that because CoD seems to cater to a great many casual gamers, who really don't care what company publishes the games, Activision gets no love from those millions. Fisher Price could produce CoD, for all the fans care. But the older gamers who aren't quite so enamored with either CoD or WoW are a little miffed for a number of reasons.

So the questions is- will either company ever break free and become loved in the eyes of the avid game enthusiast? If so, which one?

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Oyashiro
Oyashiro
9 years ago

I really want nothing to do with Activision. I find it sad that they became what they hated most when they first formed.

As for SE… I want to love them again… But they are making it to hard to even look at them this generation.

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

Yeah SE still has a chance but it feels like that window will close on them soon.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Maybe Square will have a triumphant return with the PS4.

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

Yes, SE triumphant return to the PS will be highlighted by yet another FFVII tech demo on the PS4. That's their highlight for the PS3 so far.


Last edited by cLoudou on 6/23/2011 11:53:59 PM

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

I remember wondering the same thing about EA last gen…

We're hard on them now, but I don't think it's because we hate them. I'd say it's more disappointment than hate.

If S-E could go back to their old JRPG awesomeness that everyone loved, people would flock back to them. They changed their formula, and in effect, they lost what made them special in the first place.

Activision, on the other hand…

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

EA's got Bioware, so they're alright in my book.

Fatcat3788
Fatcat3788
9 years ago

They also got Visceral Games which means they have the DEAD SPACE franchise. EA definately climbed themselves out of the hole they dug them selves into.

Riku994
Riku994
9 years ago

SE will come back with FFv13 and KH3…. Just you wait…

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Yah, what's the deal with Versus XIII? Coming 2012 maybe?

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

I feel SE doesn't want to make KH3 because it will have to stay exclusive unless they will be making a KH collection that will also be on the 360. I think they would like to make an all-new KH if possible, complete with new characters fresh for Multiplatforms.

But what the hell do I know?

Riku994
Riku994
9 years ago

Versus is most likely going to release in 2012, given their current release sleight.

Nomura WANTS to make KH3,but all his time is going into Versus.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

I think Square should step away from Final Fantasy for a while (once they finish all the FF games currently in developement) and just give us some fresh new rpg series with that PS1/PS2 flavor. I've been playing a ton of PS1 rpgs lately and they totally trump anything this gen.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

the simple answer is yes it's possible. ea was in the doghouse awhile back and seemed to able to turn their image around.

i would argue that the 20 million copies of cod bo sold shows it's pretty irrevelant if activision is loved or not by the majority of gamers. it's pretty obvious a lot of people love activision's games enough to make a purchase.

squaresoft is in a tough spot becuase everbody whines and moans about every change they have made to its ff games. the last game still managed to sell a lot of copies. as long as it looks like they are making an effort to address the fans concerns then it's possible they can turn around their image as well. i don't think square is disliked nearly as much as activsion. i think some of the dislike for square stems from their "betrayal" of sony by supporting the 360 as much as they have.

i still like square. one off final fantasy games isn't enough to get me to hate them. as much as i dislike their decision to back ms this generation, i understand it was a business decision based purely on the amount of marketshare ms has picked up this generation.

they have made a lot of great games for the handhelds, and their production values are still top notch. i eagerly await ffvs13, and ff13-2. i still think it's tough to find another developer that can rival square's production values and art design. square can fix some of the design choices they have made. as long as the kill tubes are out and there is some exploration along with the traditional elememts we have come love in the ff games i'll be happy.

we'll soon find out if square has any intention of addressing its fans concerns. if they do, that will take a lot of the heat off of them.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

EA has remained relatively quiet, and it has served them well, they also made great efforts to improve their PS3 output about a year before other 3rd parties even realized that they might need to.

A2K78
A2K78
9 years ago

"Squaresoft during the first PlayStation generation, and everything Square touched turned to gold."

Even in their day Squaresoft/SE put out some crap, much of it you had to import. Other than that I don't know how you can say everything the company put out turned to gold given the crappy nature of a title like Driving Emotion Type S.

As for will gamers like Square Enix or Activison again, gamers already like them and you can see in the fact games like COD, FF, Dragon Quest, WOW, Starcraft continue to sell in droves.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Nitpicking doesn't somehow erase the overwhelming truth of the whole.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

I really don't think Activision cares if people like them as long as they make money…and that says it all.

Drake_RB3
Drake_RB3
9 years ago

I'm tired of seeing customizable characters justifying a game being an RPG. My hat's off to Bioware and similar game makers but let's have some traditional JRPGs on next-gen systems.

My patience is running out with Square Enix.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

customizable characters
Role…Playing…Game

If you aren't *playing* a role in some meaningful way, it's not a role playing game.

Bioware's games are RPGs because you control the decisions of your character. Well, some of them at least.

I'm not sure which aspect of JRPGs you think makes them role playing games, but I can't think of one that makes them *more* "justified" than western RPGs.

I'm all for more (any) JRPGs this gen, though.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 6/24/2011 3:47:14 AM

Drake_RB3
Drake_RB3
9 years ago

True. Guess I'm just old-fashioned.

tes37
tes37
9 years ago

I think Activision would have a harder time gaining the favor of gamers because they're in a better position financially and less likely to make any concessions.

Square Enix is sitting on a mountain of great franchises. There are a lot of fans that I believe are willing to forgive and forget, if Square would deliver a game that's true to their roots. Square Enix has a better chance of being liked by gamers than Activision does, in my opinion.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

In a word, 'No.'

But, for the heck of it, I'll consider what it would take…

It'd take a real AAA JRPG from SE to regain any respect from me. Activision would have an easier time because Although I think they are a perfect example of a money grubbing corporate, their biggest perceived offense is distorting the gaming world with CoD. If they were to start being more creative with new IPs that were not dependent on shooter style action, gore or horror, then I could actually see them regain some respect quite readily – Assuming that Bobby Kotick stops speaking to the media.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 6/23/2011 10:21:39 PM

AnonymousPoster
AnonymousPoster
9 years ago

It's always possible for a company to turn things around. I remember a while back, EA was seen as being about as terrible a game company as there could be; perceived as obsessed only with cash flow, and treating employees badly. But they've turned it around, and they did it by sponsoring original and innovative games, like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space. There was even an almost literal "passing of the hate" moment, when EA rescued Brutal Legend from being killed by Activision. Now EA's not such a stink in the room, and all within only a few years.

Can Activision do the same thing? That's up to them.

I doubt SquareEnix will ever be an RPG powerhouse again. They've made it clear enough that they want to go in another direction. But that direction might not be so bad. The new Tomb Raider is looking fantastic, for starters, and I never cared about that series 'til now. I'd say they have to choose either one way or the other, not both. Quit half-assing the RPG side, and leave it to people who know what they're doing. They clearly don't know what that fan base wants any more.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I still love SE. It's going to take making one mediocre game in a fantastic long running series for me to jump ship. I'm enjoying their support of the PSP and hoping for to see them turnaround.

oldmike
oldmike
9 years ago

the last 3 FF were sub par to me
X-2 and the dress up girls
XII the the chore it was to play thou(it was not fun at all)
XIII 20 hours in then you get to play the game but its all speed baced game play

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

X-2's job system was great. Reminded me of FFV and I loved the gameplay, sure the storyline was a mess and it could be girly but I loved battling.

FXII to this day is my favorite FF in terms of grinding. I love the gambit system and I enjoy tinkering with it and refining it more and more. I also enjoyed the setting and the characters.

FFXIII had abysmal gameplay but I kept wanting to play to get the entire story and it had amazing production value.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

X-2 – I was expecting to dislike this game and I did. Once again I will refer towhen I chucked the disk out of my window after the poopie line…

XII – The biggest disapointment for me in gaming history the 1st proper FF title to let me down, Which I am still heavily bitter about >:(

XIII – A thrill ride, I simple loved it from start to finish, but since I platinumed the game I have not replayed it.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Indeed Limited. They have released some gems on the PSP this generation.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

For sure, LV. PSP games have been great.

FFX-2: I agree. Although I hated the dialogue (despite a decent story for a sequel), that battle system may have been the best battle system of the entire FF series. It was excellent, and that's something too many people overlook just because the often girly dialogue made their insecurities come to the forefront.

FFXII – Although I was unsure about the MMO feel of the battle system, I actually felt it lent itself to a high degree of customization and strategy. Most people played that game making everyone above average at everything instead of giving each character a job and bringing the strengths of that job to the forefront. Most people struggle against a boss at level 50 with their sub-par strategies that I would own easily at level 35 because I understand the importance of having differing jobs between healers, damage dealers, support jobs, and tanks.

And you're right. Grinding was actually fun!

FFXIII: I enjoyed it very much as well and also platinumed it. (also haven't touched it since. lol) But I didn't enjoy it for the gameplay. I'm a sucker for impressive HD graphics. More often than not I found myself stopping and just moving the camera around to look at the view! But gameplay wise… it completely lacked the variety and opportunity for personal strategy both of the other 2 mentioned games had in abundance. (Although, I did appreciate the passive abilities associated with having all 3 party members the same class. ie. Tortoise (all damage cut in half))

Anyways, SE has only had one big let down for me. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried.

Lenoxseer
Lenoxseer
9 years ago

I dont care what any of you all say because its all our own personal opinion and prefrences, but Final Fantasy XII was the funnest FF since FFVI on the SNES.

Im done here. lol

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

With an intro like that, what makes you think any of us are invested into considering your reasoning? I mean…what did you like about FFXII and FFVI besides the fact that it's the most fun (or "funnest", in your language). Perhaps we don't care what you think either.

So lemme get this straight. You don't care what we think because it's personal preference. So… logically… the next step is to then tell us what your personal preference is?

allDFlavors
allDFlavors
9 years ago

X-2: I have to disagree. I wanted to like it, but the fighting system besides what they took from X was a bit of a pain with having to switch jobs in battle. The story was a mess, and pretty bland from what I remember. It was also the first final fantasy I didn't try to bother finishing.

XII: The story never delivered on the potential it showed in the first 10 hours or so, but that was easily the most addicting battle system I've seen in an FF game. I did more grinding and put more hours into one play through of that game (around 130-140) than I put into any game in one play through. Everything was going great until I accidentally had a full-heal reflected off of one of my guys and onto Yiazmat…. yeah, wasting 2 hours and failing a battle kind of ended the fun.

XIII: I still feel disappointed in this one. I can't even bring myself to boot it up again after I beat it the first time. I tried once, and then I remembered that I didn't like it and it felt more like an obligation to play than fun.

Lenoxseer
Lenoxseer
9 years ago

To Underdog15,
Its all just fun and games. Me and most of everyone else are here to have a good time and read some great articles. There is really no need for you to get like that. Just have fun and don't take everything so seriously. Thank You and remember have fun.

P.S. Me saying funnest is poking fun. I don't actually talk like that. Maybe, you never saw the 'lol' at the end. Oh and 'lemme' is not a word. lol 🙂


Last edited by Lenoxseer on 6/25/2011 3:08:14 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

"So, lemme get this straight." is a pretty famous saying all the way back to 1950's television. No shit "lemme" is not a word…

Face it, you came on here and weren't just joking around. You said you don't care what anyone says. Man up. Dick thing to say in a comments section. I assumed it wasn't a joke because it wasn't funny.

Please don't try to start a debate with me.

Most of us are here to have a good time, read some articles, and comment with one another. We don't appreciate people telling us our thoughts are irrelevant. Somehow placing an "lol" at the end of a comment doesn't make it any less rude or abrasive. That's extremely elementary thinking.

Face it. I called you out on a stupid thing to say. Either apologize or give me a legitimate reason about how I mis-read what you wrote. If I read it wrong, I'll apologize.

And if you don't mind… this time… try to actually respond to the things I wrote. You didn't even say anything, really, in your reply.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/27/2011 10:22:48 AM

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

Well I never had anything against either one of these companies. Activision doesn't make games, they support them to make profit. Nothing against that. Never been a fan of Square since I don't care for FF like that (not sure what else they make), but I'm guessing the fans hate them and people like me don't even care about them. Either way, no one cares about them…lmao

And I'm pretty sure people like CoD so Activision isn't really hated. Funny thing, most people who play CoD know nothing about the company behind the game. It's pretty obvious and they don't care. Personally I hate Activision and CoD's DLC overpricing, but in the long haul…they make games people love and play forever. That in itself is very positive for gamers. Everyone so negative to CoD, but CoD is the game the will expose casual gamers to other games like GTA did to casual gamers in the PS2 days. I was one of them.

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

I really hope SE can return to their former glory. I think we will find out when some of upcoming projects are released. To see if they have actually listened to the fans like they claim.
As for Activision they will never change. They been doing the same thing since Tony Hawk and are now the biggest publisher in the world. I guess there doing something right even if many of us hate it.

Off topic, I was wondering if we could expect a review for the new Transformers game Ben.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

PS: Square, can you please bring Dragon Quest to an f-ing Sony platform? What are you worried about, appeasing us and selling a ton? =>.>=

Lenoxseer
Lenoxseer
9 years ago

I couldn't have said it better myself.

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

SE, gimme FFVII remake and I'll think about it. Make FFXV exclusive, and I'll definitely forgive you.

Lenoxseer
Lenoxseer
9 years ago

I am with you on FFXV being exclusive, but I dont really want a FFVII remake. Sure I'll take it if they do make it, but its not high on my list. Its actually not even one of my favorites. Dont get me wrong FFVII is still an amazing game, but I guess after playing FFVI on SNES nothing can trump the experience I had with that gem of a game. I kind of go back and forth between wanting a remake and not wanting one for FFVI. I want to see it made for the current generation of gamers to see, but I am afraid of it being tarnished.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

Ben,

for tour next psxe show, could you walk us through your favourite rpg's of all time? you could talk about what makes them great, and maybe hit on the topic of square's glory days.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Maybe.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

I second this 🙂

Bloodedge
Bloodedge
9 years ago

I too would like to see that on the show. I'm sure FF Tactics would get a mention.

556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

As I mentioned in the Call of Duty article, I really want to like Activision again, but they haven't done anything to make that happen. They just keep making the same mistakes over and over. They had a hit with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, so what did they do? They released a new title every year and slowly beat it to death. Once Guitar Hero became a hit, they bought it, and beat it to death 3x as fast. Now they're doing the same with Call of Duty. They're so obsessed with making money, they destroy the games which I would like them for in the first place.

As for SE, I was never that into RPGs during their heyday, but have recently discovered such gems as FFVII, Xenogears, and Parasite Eve (all pre-Square Enix, btw.) Though I find it hard to devote the time to actually get into the games, once I do, I have a hard time stopping. The stories are so ENGAGING! I haven't played any of their newer games, but judging from the negative reaction, I think I'll remain in the glory years, thank you very much.

I hope these companies can recover their image. SE should be producing great games, and Activision does, they just don't know that the cow needs some rest between milkings.


Last edited by 556pineapple on 6/23/2011 11:55:44 PM

Mog
Mog
9 years ago

"Every story must have an ending" Auron, FFX. I have lost faith in square enix….. They were once great but no more.

Bloodysilence19
Bloodysilence19
9 years ago

i have no hate for both companies really just don't like what activision is doing by relying so much on cod that there's hardly any new ip from them. Squarnix needs to go back to their roots and make a real ff with real depth story like ff7,8, and 10 was. Give us a actual open world ff like its always been really and last make kingdom hearts 3 already


Last edited by Bloodysilence19 on 6/24/2011 1:32:27 AM

Russell Burrows
Russell Burrows
9 years ago

Call of Noob: Yawn Ops???
Not buying that garbage!! ever!!

Garbage in, garbage out.
Square-Enix, garbage out.
GIGO!! not buying any more GIGO!!!!!

JDC80
JDC80
9 years ago

The only games I ever get from Activison are the Spider-Man games can't help it big fan of Spidey. And the last S-E game I brought for me(gf is a big kingdom hearts freak)was FF 10-2.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

That is unfortunate…