Yoichi Wada

Last updated
Yoichi Wada
Born (1959-05-28) May 28, 1959 (age 59)
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Residence Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Education University of Tokyo
Occupation Outside director of Metaps
Salary ¥240 million (2010) [1]
Board member of Metaps
Yoichi Wada signature.svg

Yoichi Wada(和田 洋一,Wada Yōichi) (born May 28, 1959 in Nagoya, Japan) is a former president and representative director of the Japanese video game and publishing company Square Enix as well as its subsidiary Taito. He is also the former chairman of the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA), the former chairman of the Digital Content Use Promotion Conference, former president of Shinra Technologies and a former member of Japanese Brand and Contents Council.

Nagoya Designated city in Chūbu, Japan

Nagoya (名古屋) is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is Japan's fourth-largest incorporated city and the third-most-populous urban area. It is located on the Pacific coast on central Honshu. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Kitakyushu. It is also the center of Japan's third-largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō metropolitan area. As of 2015, 2.28 million people lived in the city, part of Chūkyō Metropolitan Area's 10.11 million people. It is also one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.


He is a current outside director of Metaps.


Pre-Square years

Wada was born on May 28, 1959 in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. [2] As a student, Wada wanted to become the president of a company as a profession, rather than gradually working his way up in a company through his entire career. He set for himself the objective of becoming a president by the age of 40. [3] After receiving a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Tokyo, he went through an apprenticeship in the financial services group and global investment bank Nomura Securities in order to build a track record. [3] [4] Starting in 1984, he served in the group as part of the corporate strategy division, the investment banking division, and finally the controller division. [4] He also worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in Warsaw, Poland. [5] In 2000, he decided to join "a company with a 'theme'", and, thinking that one of the themes of the 21st century was "creating society", chose the video game company Square. [3]

Aichi Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Aichi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō metropolitan area.

Bachelors degree Undergraduate academic degree

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

University of Tokyo national research university in Tokyo, Japan

The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877 as the first imperial university, it is one of Japan's most prestigious universities.

Square and Square Enix

Wada joined Square in April 2000. He became an executive director and chief financial officer in June, the representative director and chief operating officer in September, and finally the president and chief executive officer in December. [6] He helped reform the company's management system. [4] When Square merged with Enix, he became the new company's president and representative director. [6] Under his presidency, Square Enix acquired the video game companies Taito, in 2005, and the British video game publisher Eidos Interactive, in 2009. Wada also became the president and representative director of Taito following the subsidiary's restructuring in July 2006. [6] Wada has stated that consolidation has been "part of [his] plan" since 2000, as he had foreseen "the first phase of a major reformation of the industry" and had concluded that "there was a limit to what [Square Enix] could do with the wholly independent business culture [the company] worked within". [7] On March 26, 2013, Yoichi Wada announced his resignation as CEO of Square Enix, and that he will be replaced by former company director Yosuke Matsuda. The change was expected to go into effect in June 2013. [8] [9] [10]

Square Co., Ltd. was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. The company also used SquareSoft as a brand name to refer to their games, and the term is occasionally used to refer to the company itself. In addition, "Square Soft, Inc" was the name of the company's American arm before the merger, after which it was renamed to "Square Enix, Inc".

An executive director is a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. The title is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title president or CEO.

The chief financial officer (CFO) is the officer of a company that has primary responsibility for managing the company's finances, including financial planning, management of financial risks, record-keeping, and financial reporting. In some sectors, the CFO is also responsible for analysis of data. Some CFOs have the title CFOO for chief financial and operating officer. In the United Kingdom, the typical term for a CFO is finance director (FD). The CFO typically reports to the chief executive officer (CEO) and the board of directors and may additionally have a seat on the board. The CFO supervises the finance unit and is the chief financial spokesperson for the organization. The CFO directly assists the chief operating officer (COO) on all strategic and tactical matters relating to budget management, cost–benefit analysis, forecasting needs, and securing of new funding.

Square Enix revealed that Wada resigned from his post in May 2013 and as of June 2013 took up his new post as Chairman of the Board of Square Enix Co., Ltd. however he did not hold the right of representation for the company. [11] In June 2015, Wada left Square Enix after the end of his contractual term, the final day of which was June 16, 2015. [12] [13]

Other positions

Wada became the chairman of the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) in May 2006. The aim of the association is to promote the computer entertainment industry through research activities and exhibitions, including the annual Tokyo Game Show. In March 2012, it was announced that he would step down from his position at CESA formally in May 2012. He was replaced by Namco Bandai's Vice President Shin Unozawa. [14] [15] He had also held the position of Chairman of the Digital Content Use Promotion Conference of the Keidanren and was also a member of the Japanese Brand and Contents Council. [16]

Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) is a Japanese organization that was established in 1996 to "promote the computer entertainment industry [...] with the aim of contributing to the strengthening of Japanese industry as well as to the further enrichment of people's lifestyles." It organizes the annual Tokyo Game Show and Japan Game Awards.

Tokyo Game Show game convention in Japan

Tokyo Game Show, commonly known as TGS, is a video game expo / convention held annually in September in the Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, Japan. It is presented by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) and Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. The main focus of the show is on Japanese games, but some international video game developers use it to showcase upcoming releases/related hardware. The duration of the event is four days. The first two days of Tokyo Game Show are open only to industry attendees (business) and the general public can attend during the final two days.

In September 2014, Square Enix announced the establishment of Shinra Technologies, an autonomous subsidiary offering cloud-based gaming services. Wada, the founder of Shinra Technologies served as its President. In an interview with GameSpot in March 2015, Wada said the goal of the company was to offer the cloud-based gaming service as a platform with new and exclusive content instead of pre-existing content like other. He also said that their cloud-based gaming service would utilise supercomputers which will allow developers to create games of a higher quality than what is possible for modern consoles and personal computers. [17] [18] On January 6, 2016, Square Enix announced that they would be dissolving Shinra Technologies due to lack of investment. [19] On May 11, 2015, Metaps, an application analysis and marketing company, announced that Wada had joined their company as an outside director. [16] [20]

GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information on video games. The site was launched on May 1, 1996, created by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which purchased CNET Networks in 2008, is the current owner of GameSpot.

A non-executive director, independent director or external director is a member of the board of directors of a company or organisation, but not a member of the executive management team. They are not employees of the company or affiliated with it in any other way and are differentiated from executive directors, who are members of the board who also serve, or previously served, as executive managers of the company. However they do have the same legal duties, responsibilities and potential liabilities as their executive counterparts.

Views on the industry

Final Fantasy

In January 2010, Wada, asked about his opinion on "big-budget, long-in-development" Square Enix games such as Final Fantasy XIII , noted: "[W]hether we are going to continue to internally create this type of game remains to be seen, because I actually feel that the team that was involved with Final Fantasy XIII should next move on to create and generate some 'next generation' forms of play. Internally and externally I feel there's an expectation of Square Enix to offer something new, and I really think that the Final Fantasy team could create something completely different, but at the moment they're strictly catering to the particular audience they have now." [3]


Wada considers that video game piracy "does a lot of damage" to the industry, especially, in Japan, with R4 cards for the Nintendo DS. The R4 was banned in Japan after Nintendo, Square Enix and Capcom brought the issue to court in 2009. [3] [21] Nevertheless, Wada noted that "no matter what happens, what can be copied will be copied", and that Square Enix thus needs to base its business on "something that cannot be copied"; he cited personalized saves and "the worth of the human relationships in the communities that build around the games" as possible solutions. [3]

Online distribution

In November 2009, Wada stated: "In ten years' time, a lot of what we call 'console games' won't exist". According to him, the main strategy of console manufacturers has switched from hardware to network starting in 2005, with "any kind of terminal becom[ing] a potential platform". He claimed that "all distributors and sales firms will suffer a big negative impact", that format holders such as Sony and Microsoft are already prepared, while third-party companies must adapt. Square Enix has increased its production of social and browser games in anticipation for this change, though Wada stressed that "there is no way Square Enix will relax its attitude towards" traditional brands such as Final Fantasy, noting that "there will always be a co-existence of something old and new". [22]

Personal life

As a teenager and young student, Wada was a fan of Pong , Space Invaders , Donkey Kong and Xevious . When he lived in Warsaw, he also enjoyed games from the Nobunaga's Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms computer game series. [5] He considers that, before joining Square, he was an "uneducated consumer", as he was a "big fan" of Final Fantasy but did not know that the company was responsible for the series. He particularly liked early 3D games, including D and titles from the Myst , Resident Evil and Metal Gear series. Nowadays, Wada proactively tries to play as many Western games as possible — for example, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — and provides comments about these games to Square Enix's staff. [3] Wada has a Twitter account. [23] [24]

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