Following the likely unsuccessful launch of Forspoken, Square Enix decided to disband its Luminous Productions subsidiary. The studio will merge with the Japanese company five years after its formation.
- On February 28, Square Enix announced what it called a “reorganization” within the company. As a result, Luminous Productions will cease to exist as a seperate studio and brand on May 1, 2023.
- After that, the team will merge with Square Enix, and its employees will be distributed to other projects and divisions. According to the official statement, it is part of the company’s “efforts to further bolster the competitive prowess of [its] development studios.”
- Square Enix noted that Luminous’ experience and its expertise in game engine development bolster the development of other AAA games that are currently in production within the company.
- The reasons behind this decision remain undisclosed, but the merger probably happened due to the failed launch of Forspoken, which came out to mixed reviews from both critics and players.
- The Japanese publisher hasn’t disclosed sales figures, but they are likely disappointing, especially considering the game’s budget and $70 price tag. As Benji Sales pointed out on Twitter, Forspoken had worse launch sales on Steam than Tango Gameworks’ $30 surprise hit Hi-Fi Rush.
- Luminous Productions released its own statement, saying that the studio looks forward “to continuing to create new entertainment and experiences as a part of the Square Enix family.”
An Update from Luminous Productions pic.twitter.com/fbDENflRhj
— Luminous Productions (@LumiPro_EN) February 28, 2023
Who are Luminous Productions?
- Square Enix established Luminous Productions in 2018, with the original team consisting of Final Fantasy XV developers.
- The studio focused not only on game development, but also on R&D and work on its in-house engine called Luminous Engine.
- Luminous Productions was initially led by Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata, who left Square Enix soon after the establishment of the studio.
- Forspoken, originally codenamed Project Athia, was officially announced in 2021 as Luminous’ full-fledge debut game. However, it probably didn’t live up to Square Enix’s expectations, resulting in the reorganization of the studio.