Joint Interview with Yoichi Wada, President of Square Enix Holdings and Eidos CEO, Phil Rogers
Town Hall Meeting at Eidos HQ
Eidos held a town hall meeting on April 23 in Wimbledon and Mr. Wada and Mr. Rogers explained to Eidos employees about the integration of Eidos and Square Enix Group. Could you share with us what your main message is and how they are responding so far?
- Phil Rogers CEO
My main message to the whole of Eidos that day was that this integration with the Square Enix Group was a combination that would raise the ambition of our company to a new level.
It was a very exciting meeting; we were able to gather the entire company together for the first time in our history, using video conference, webcam and conference call facilities. Approximately 800 people across nine different countries all together for a symbolic occasion. This is a partnership I feel very strongly about. When I learned more about the Square Enix Group, its goals and vision, I found it exciting and compelling. That vision, married with the goals we have set ourselves really can make for an incredible organization and an exciting future.
How are the employees at Eidos responding to this news? I would say that they sense that it feels very right, that it fits well strategically and right now there is a great deal of excitement around the business.
And, Mr. Wada? What has been the reaction of the Group's employees and people in the industry to Eidos becoming part of the Group?
They seem to feel a mixture of both excitement and anxiety. We recently established a joint steering committee comprising members of the boards of both Square Enix Holdings and Eidos. This committee will decide the nature of the ongoing cooperation between the two. The first meeting was in the second week of May, in Tokyo. I will repeat here some of the details of the combined global management framework we discussed at that meeting.
Basically, our aim is to implement a hybrid management framework which avoids the extremes of being either too global or too local. The Group's management and administration divisions will be integrated, while our product and service delivery divisions will be established locally in each territory to maximize our business opportunities through better understanding of local customers' tastes and commercial practices. While promoting shared technology and expertise among our studios, we will also develop products which reflect the unique identity of each studio, regardless of locality. This will enable us to provide customers worldwide with a first-class entertainment experience making full use of the character of our three core brands - SQUARE ENIX, TAITO and EIDOS.
Please explain overview and progress of the reform which you have been driving forward since your appointment as CEO in January 2008.
- Phil Rogers CEO
I am pleased with the progress we have made as a company since my appointment as CEO in January 2008. Eidos was a business which did well in a number of different areas, my belief is that you have to be excellent at one thing before you can be excellent at something else, and so we had to re-evaluate what we wanted to achieve as a group.
We identified a single-minded vision which could become a part of our culture, something that employees could embrace and a vision that could influence product decisions and sales and marketing decisions. That vision is to create innovative, high-quality character driven games and gameplay experiences.
Getting that right vision was of prime importance and then keeping to that becomes part of your core decision making. The vision has been a good driver, a good focus for us; it has helped to get people's mindsets changed internally because we have gone from a broader portfolio to more of a content-creation business with supreme sales and marketing talent around that. That's a different operating model.
I was clear early on that we had put in place a multi-year programme and internally we talk about 2008 as the first year of three. And so Eidos has set out with a clear direction, whereas we have had different directions in the past, but when you bore back to the common direction it's about absolute gameplay and games with character. We saw the core DNA of our business and tried to really build around it. The positives we have achieved have been built around that core DNA.