VGMdb
Go Back   VGMdb Forums > Discussion > Video Game Music Discussion
Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old Mar 2, 2010, 09:23 AM
Chris Chris is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 516
Default Square Enix Axes Sound Team

SEMO has revealed that Square Enix have axed their sound team.

http://www.squareenixmusic.com/music..._from=&ucat=2&

They'll instead adopt the Western approach of outsourcing to external talent rather than relying on internal staff. At present, it's unclear whether the entire sound team is affected or just the six composers (Nakano, Hamauzu, Sekito, Tanioka, Mizuta, Ishimoto). Either way, it's certainly the end of an era and a very sad fate for so many long-term employees.

Your thoughts? Is there still a future for sound teams in general or will this become the general trend?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Mar 2, 2010, 09:46 AM
Razakin's Avatar
Razakin Razakin is offline
Trusted Editor
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hämeenlinna, Finland
Posts: 602
Default

Well, Tanioka already joined GE-ON-DAN, so hopefully the rest will follow up.

Sad news, but same time interesting news. Hope to see the guys getting somewhat refreshed and doing some nice freelancing stuff. Would clearly help Tanioka.
__________________
vgmdb - serious business, only.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Mar 2, 2010, 12:09 PM
Blitz Lunar's Avatar
Blitz Lunar Blitz Lunar is online now
Trusted Editor
VGM Artist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 774
Default

since Nakano and Hamauzu had already left this doesn't bother me, though it's still pretty sad.

Quote:
The company made the decision at the end of 2009 for budget reasons.
That was going to be my next question :P the only other reason I could conceive was that they wanted to branch out into more highly bespoke/specialised audio.

Quote:
Is there still a future for sound teams in general or will this become the general trend?
Seems like there's less and less in-house positions around. I reckon it'll all eventually be freelance... it's a shame, I'm rather fond of the in-house approach to audio... I feel that it helps create an identity for game devs and their games. Back in the day, Konami games sounded like Konami, Nintendo sounded like Nintendo, Rare sounded like Rare, etc. I think that's valuable. Also keeping all the staff in-house means the same people are always working together, and get to know each-others strengths, creative visions and desires... I reckon in-house music staff are sure to have a more innate understanding of their companies games than freelancers, I'm certain that gives them an edge when it comes to writing soundtracks.

I guess the positive side is that contracting freelancers gives companies more freedom to have whatever audio they want. Companies can hire very specialised individuals suited to projects requiring specific types of music/sound. But I guess like most things, sadly, it's ultimately all about the dinero.
__________________
iridescentaudio.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Mar 2, 2010, 02:02 PM
Kaleb.G's Avatar
Kaleb.G Kaleb.G is offline
VGMdb Staff
VGM Artist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California, USA
Posts: 1,024
Default

While I hope they can all find work suitable for them, I think this provides a chance for these composers to branch out more. Hopefully we'll hear them compose for projects and collaborate with composers that were previously impossible. I'd love to hear Masashi Hamauzu work on a Cave arrange album or hear Junya Nakano compose for a prominent title.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Mar 2, 2010, 07:44 PM
Jormungand's Avatar
Jormungand Jormungand is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 938
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleb.G View Post
I'd love to hear Masashi Hamauzu work on a Cave arrange album or hear Junya Nakano compose for something.
Fix'd.

It's a bit surprising, but I guess it will be best for the composers. The problem I foresee is Square Enix relying too much on particular composers. It seems like particular individuals in that company can't get enough of that Uematsu/Ito sound.

Plus, it seems like they've mostly forgotten about the other amazing composers who gained notoriety first through Square--I'm thinking Mitsuda and Kikuta, in particular.

Why oh why can't the people in charge just think the way I do?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Mar 3, 2010, 10:07 AM
jdkluv jdkluv is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 186
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz Lunar View Post
I reckon in-house music staff are sure to have a more innate understanding of their companies games than freelancers, I'm certain that gives them an edge when it comes to writing soundtracks.
cough Falcom cough!

So will they recruit more and more Western freelance talent also? Like they did with Schyman?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 02:10 AM
Zanasea's Avatar
Zanasea Zanasea is offline
VGMdb Staff
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: France
Posts: 625
Default

Her message is unfortunately very short, but Kumi Tanioka refers to that news as "misinformation" on Twitter. I wonder if she is writing about the whole news or just part of it.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 03:27 AM
Cedille Cedille is offline
Trusted Editor
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 2,027
Default

Several more people also seem to say it's flat out a false rumor (Hidenori Iwasaki, Yasunori Mitsuda, Rieko Tanaka, and Shohei Ttsuchiya)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 03:55 AM
Nisto's Avatar
Nisto Nisto is online now
VGMdb Staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,163
Default

There goes one of my favorite composers, Junya Nakano
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 04:41 AM
Chris Chris is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 516
Default

The news was confirmed to me through three independent industry sources, so it's very unlikely to be flat-out misinformation. However, I will contact Kumi Tanioka for a statement.

Last edited by Chris; Mar 4, 2010 at 04:43 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 04:52 AM
Razakin's Avatar
Razakin Razakin is offline
Trusted Editor
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hämeenlinna, Finland
Posts: 602
Default

I also wonder why it would be misinformation when GE-ON-DAN's blog (link in my first post) and the site themselves have both Nakano and Tanioka names up.

Maybe GE-ON-DAN jumped the gun and shouldn't have published those names yet, maybe Tanioka and Nakano had still some contract stuff with SE. But hopefully Chris can inquire more information.
__________________
vgmdb - serious business, only.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 04:55 AM
Cedille Cedille is offline
Trusted Editor
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 2,027
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razakin View Post
I also wonder why it would be misinformation when GE-ON-DAN's blog (link in my first post) and the site themselves have both Nakano and Tanioka names up.
To clarify, what Iwasaki calls misinformation is the disbandment of the SQEX's in house sound team, not the departure of some indivisuals. Tanioka's departure was revealed, or at least implied by herself.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 05:05 AM
Chris Chris is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 516
Default

So the cuts likely affect just the team's composers, not the entire sound team. And maybe one or two composers might stay on to complete projects? We'll find out soon enough, hopefully.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 05:26 AM
seanne's Avatar
seanne seanne is offline
VGMdb Staff
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,205
Default

It seems more logical that it's a case of some of the more prolific composers leaving to pursue a freelance career than SE completely abolishing their sound department, as they'll surely still need people to do everyday sound related work.

And it really seems like a natural development that when a certain individual gains sufficient notoriety to realistically work (full-time) as a freelance artist, that he or she would choose to do so as the freedom and economical benefits could be hard to overlook after spending 10, 15, 20 years grunting away for a company. A man might want to start his own company and a woman might want to spend more time with the kids (generalizations yay.)
__________________
VGMdb group on last.fm
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 05:30 AM
Blitz Lunar's Avatar
Blitz Lunar Blitz Lunar is online now
Trusted Editor
VGM Artist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 774
Default

haha, even though in reality it often works the other way around, where you have to chug away at freelancing for years before you have a shot at an in-house day job.
__________________
iridescentaudio.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 05:47 AM
Chris Chris is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 516
Default

Exactly, and life as a freelancer really isn't as glamorous as some think. I was told very explicitly by three industry people (including one of the composers) that most composers were cut for budget reasons, not because they chose to leave, and that this extends to the whole composer department.

Last edited by Chris; Mar 4, 2010 at 09:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Mar 4, 2010, 09:56 AM
seanne's Avatar
seanne seanne is offline
VGMdb Staff
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,205
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Exactly, and life as a freelancer really isn't as glamorous as some think. I was told very explicitly by three industry people (including one of the composers) that most composers were cut for budget reasons, not because they chose to leave, and that this extends to the whole composer department.
By "sufficient notoriety to realistically work (full-time) as a freelance artist" I was referring to people such as Uematsu, Sakimoto, Shimomura, etc. I'm sure they have no problems making ends meet =)
__________________
VGMdb group on last.fm
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Mar 8, 2010, 08:43 AM
Chris Chris is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 516
Default

Clarifications about the departures:

http://squareenixmusic.com/musicnews..._from=&ucat=2&

Seems more like a mutual decision (voluntaries redundancies, I guess) and there are two composers remaining at least for the timebeing. However, a lot of secrecy still shrouds what's happening so I suspect there will be future developments in the story later.

Apologies for misleading initial article. It seemed completely legit given it was confirmed by three very reliable people, but I guess there were a future subtleties after all.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:19 AM
Cedille Cedille is offline
Trusted Editor
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 2,027
Default

I think Sekito is still employed by Square Enix as he and Sakimoto laughed off his alleged departure on twitter.

Quote:
Apologies for misleading initial article. It seemed completely legit given it was confirmed by three very reliable people, but I guess there were a future subtleties after all.
And if you ever took our posting feedbacks on this news from composers personally, please don't. That was more ''for somebody's interest'' than anything else. Hopefully more detailed stories will be revealed in the future.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Apr 13, 2010, 12:39 PM
Kaleb.G's Avatar
Kaleb.G Kaleb.G is offline
VGMdb Staff
VGM Artist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California, USA
Posts: 1,024
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleb.G View Post
I'd love to hear Masashi Hamauzu work on a Cave arrange album or hear Junya Nakano compose for a prominent title.
http://vgmdb.net/album/18668
Quote:
07: Junya Nakano
Well, close enough, right?
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old Apr 13, 2010, 04:41 PM
Blitz Lunar's Avatar
Blitz Lunar Blitz Lunar is online now
Trusted Editor
VGM Artist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 774
Default

Quote:
http://vgmdb.net/album/18668

Hiroki Kikuta, Soyo Oka, Junya Nakano, Yasuhisa Watanabe ... Eriko Imura
someone please pinch me, this has to be a dream.
__________________
iridescentaudio.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old Apr 13, 2010, 04:55 PM
Don Don is offline
Trusted Editor
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 914
Default

Nope! It's not a dream. But you forgot a few names, unless that ... incorporated the likes of Kenji Ito and Yuzo Koshiro, among others!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old Apr 13, 2010, 06:30 PM
Jormungand's Avatar
Jormungand Jormungand is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 938
Default

Instead of hiring these guys and gals to do arrangements... why don't they just hire them to compose the music for the game in the first place? :\
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old Apr 14, 2010, 01:28 AM
Blitz Lunar's Avatar
Blitz Lunar Blitz Lunar is online now
Trusted Editor
VGM Artist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 774
Default

Quote:
unless that ... incorporated the likes of Kenji Ito and Yuzo Koshiro, among others!
nah, i was just excited by those five names, which are all big favourites of mine. i'm indifferent about the rest, though i'm sure their arrangements will be good all the same. i like these Namiki arrange albums a lot.
__________________
iridescentaudio.co.uk
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SQEX-10463: SQUARE ENIX Sound Effect Collection Ø James O Album Discussions 2 Jan 9, 2015 01:54 PM
SQEX-10372: SQUARE ENIX Sound Effects Collection ARTNIA LIMITED EDITION Carl Album Discussions 8 May 20, 2013 02:15 PM
SQEX-10200: SQUARE ENIX BATTLE TRACKS Vol.2 SQUARE 1996-1998 Ramza Album Discussions 3 Dec 14, 2010 11:57 PM
UD-2008: SQUARE ENIX × Xbox 360 Sound Collections Gigablah Album Discussions 1 Nov 24, 2008 07:10 AM
SQEX-10097: SQUARE ENIX BATTLE TRACKS Vol.1 SQUARE 1987-1996 Kaleb.G Album Discussions 1 Aug 23, 2008 04:07 AM