How many RPGs did Square-Enix release this year, exactly?

If you read our weekly new release round-ups, you’ve likely noticed that Square-Enix releasing a new RPG almost every week has become a running joke. The joke being most RPGs tend to be vastly timing consuming, while aimed at a certain audience. It’s a mystery how anybody could possibly find the time to play them all. Or even half, for that matter.  

How many RPGs did Square-Enix release this year, exactly? Let’s find out.

This role-playing rabbit hole takes us back to February, with the arrival of Kingdom Hearts on Switch. Not just a single game in the series, we should note, but the entire mainline catalogue – cloud versions of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind (DLC). That’s a lot of Disney action to get stuck into. A good job Square-Enix provided ample time to play through all four titles. Oh, wait…

The tabletop-style RPG Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden also launched in February, being an indirect (standalone) sequel to The Isle Dragon Roars. Reviews were generally positive. The end of the month saw Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster for PC and Mobile. Again, it was well received.

Into March, and the much-maligned Babylon’s Fall arrived. This wasn’t an RPG, but rather a hack ‘n slash adventure. Just a day later, however, Triangle Strategy debuted on Switch to glowing reviews. The same couldn’t be said for the Final Fantasy racing spin-off Chocobo GP, which launched a week later. March also gave us arguably Square-Enix’s first major release of 2022 – the Team Ninja developed Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, garnering mixed reviews.

April was one of the quieter months, giving us just Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition – a revival of a cult classic – and Echoes of Mana for mobile. The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story launched too, although this took the form of an FMV adventure – one apparently worth checking out.

May was quieter still, with only a mobile release of Dragon Quest Builders to prevent thumbs from becoming idle. June and July saw Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent on iOS and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin DLC, along with a couple of non-RPG titles – including the offbeat PowerWash Simulator – and the Switch sleeper hit Live A Live, a remake of a SNES role-player.

Nothing could quite prepare us for the next couple of months. Various Daylife leaped from mobile to Switch and PS4, Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden launched – again to positive reviews – turn-based affair The DioField Chronicle hit all formats, while Valkyrie Elysium arrived on PS4 and PS5 without much in the way of promotion.

October then gave us the well-received NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition on Switch, Triangle Strategy on PC, more Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin DLC, and the anticipated Star Ocean: The Divine Force on all formats. This was followed a couple of weeks later with the farming RPG hybrid Harvestella on Switch and PC, the anticipated Tactics Ogre: Reborn, Valkyrie Elysium on PC, and the outsourced Front Mission: 1st Remake on Switch and PC.

A mere day after Front Mission’s launch came Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song Remastered on all formats. The beginning of December also saw the Switch exclusive Dragon Quest Treasures, the multiformat Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion – Square-Enix’s biggest winter release – and lastly, a PS4 conversion of the PSP’s Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth.

This gives us a total of 27 RPGs. Or if you remove the belated PC conversions of Valykrie and Triangle Strategy, 25 unique RPGs – roughly one a fortnight. If we count non-RPG titles, the publisher’s output exceeds 35 titles across different formats.

It’s difficult to say whether this hectic release strategy works for the publisher without having sales figures at hand, but it does seem to have been detrimental to certain releases. The DioField Chronicle reviewed reasonably well but left the UK chart after just one week. Valkyrie Elysium and Harvestella also left the public’s eye quickly despite being major releases. Live A Live arguably deserved to perform better commercially too, while Front Mission: 1st Remake had so little promotion that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was yet to launch.

Metacritic scores suggest that Square-Enix’s output is ‘good’ – in the sense that the majority of games receive review scores in the 70% vicinity. This isn’t great. Neither is it bad. They aren’t putting out rubbish to fill a quota, but it does seem that there’s a lot of room for improvement on a game-to-game basis.

While it’s pleasing to see a big publisher release dozens upon dozens of games, including several key smaller titles, at a time when big publishers such as EA and Activision knuckle down on their annual yearly franchises and just a handful of titles outside of that, with a release schedule this hectic, nobody really ‘wins’ – especially gamers who are short on spare time. Which, we’d argue, is the majority nowadays.

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

Post navigation