Square Enix president says ‘time has stood still’ for game production due to COVID

Square Enix present Yosuke Matsuda game production time has stood still COVID-19 delay Bravely Default II Nintendo Switch

The number of video games that have been delayed out of 2020 due largely to COVID-19 novel coronavirus is staggering, yet video game software and hardware sales have simultaneously spiked thanks to people being stuck at home. As such, developers have been taking the good with the bad and learning to develop games almost entirely remotely. However, despite the company’s size and pedigree, it turns out Square Enix game production has been hit harder by COVID-19 than most would have expected. Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda explained as much in an interview with the Financial Times, as relayed by ResetEra.

“There is also a considerable impact on the production side,” said Matsuda. “It will resonate in the future. What we are selling now may have provided some positive aspects, but on the negative side time has stood still in terms of production. We couldn’t develop anything. That is where the impact will come.”

Seemingly no elaboration on what precisely that means was given, but it could mean we will be waiting longer than anticipated for Bravely Default II and other Square Enix games currently in development. How COVID-19 could have triggered such an extreme halt to development while other similar-size companies seem to be weathering the storm is unclear without more context. There is idle speculation that the work culture of Square Enix may not have been as prepared for a remote work model. In any case, the company has annual revenues of $2.5B, so the ramifications of production delays could be costly.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!