Square Enix Los Angeles Lays Off Staff in Several Departments

Video game news site Joystiq reported that Square Enix's Los Angeles office laid off half of its marketing staff and around 20 in accounting, IT, and events. Five to 10 in community and support staff reportedly left last week. According to two former employees who spoke to Joystiq, Square Enix will be laying off seven public relations staff members and head of marketing after June's E3 event. Joystiq's sources were informed that layoffs will also occur at the company's European and Japanese offices as the company restructures.

Joystiq further reported that Square Enix of America would be letting go of president and CEO Mike Fischer sometime in May. Square Enix only formally confirmed that the Los Angeles office eliminated an unspecified "number of positions as part of the corporate restructuring announced last week."

The parent company Square Enix Holdings reported a loss of 5.7 billion yen (about US$61 million) for the 2012 April-December period. This was the first time the company has dropped into the red since it was launched in 2003. It now expects an "extraordinary loss" of 13 billion yen (about US$140 million) for the fiscal year that just ended on March 31, mainly due to slow console sales in the West and "sluggish" arcade machine sales.

President and Representative Director Youichi Wada will be stepping down. Yōsuke Matsuda, who was just promoted to representative director last month, will replace Wada.