Update: Square Enix issued an official statement. The story has been modified to reflect that.
A year ago, Square Enix set up an Indian branch with the intention of developing mobile games for the Indian market, while also partnering up with Indian developers. Unfortunately, the main brass at Square Enix has decided to pull the plug. [Update] The company told e27.co the following:
“We have made a long-term commitment to serving the Indian market, and it means there always will be a possibility that we make necessary changes in the strategy from time to time in order to take the best strategic option. It is true that we are considerably reducing the size of our Mumbai office, however, it does not mean we plan to withdraw from India.”
According to a report on MCV India, six employees from the office were laid off. The division’s former Vice President Atul Vibhandik confirmed this. Throughout its lifespan, the division did not release a single game.
Previously, the company had plans to reach out beyond Japan and US markets by hosting a Square Enix Game Development Contest in India. The winners of the event however had their entries turned down for publishing.
The odd thing about this is that the idea was championed by Square Enix Honorary Chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima. He had previously said that the company was looking for promising talent in India that could work with it in the long term. “I envision that three years from now, there will be hit titles coming out of India that the world will enjoy, and five years from now, top Indian developers will be well known on the global stage,” he had stated.
Furthermore, former company President Yoichi Wada had outlined the company’s plans for India to make the genre as big as the Bollywood industry.
In related news, Square Enix’s Latin America branch may also be in a possible shutdown situation as multiple projects have been cancelled. Would this have anything to do with Square Enix’s recent change of heart?