GRIN founders blame Square Enix for studio closure
posted on 05.29.11 at 08:39 AM EDT by (@salromano)

GRIN, a Stockholm-based game developer formed in 1997, closed its doors to bankruptcy in 2009. A Aftonbladet interview with founders Bo and Ulf Andersson blames Square Enix as the reason for the studio’s demise.

GRIN was developing a Final Fantasy spin-off codenamed Fortress before the studio shut shop. According to the Andersson brothers, Square Enix made ridiculous demands for the project, including that GRIN fax its code and music files.

“It is as silly as it sounds,” said Bo Andersson. “It is an impossible requirement, you can not send ASCII or binary codes on the fax. It is backward. Really retarded. It was almost a criminal activity.”

Square also claimed the developer was sending its work to the wrong department, and claimed it didn’t like its Nordic style that they had specifically requested from the start.

The brothers knew something was up, so to test whether or not Square was paying attention, they sent their next status update in the form of artwork taken directly from Final Fantasy XII.

“It does not look like Final Fantasy,” the brothers were told.

“Then we realized that whatever we do … they have decided,” Bo Andersson said. “We wanted to come in and revolutionize Final Fantasy, which is exactly what they need. The latest version sucks of course.”

Thanks, VG247.

  • milramyah

    This is really saddening to hear, if true. I was really looking forward to Fortress.

  • Andrew Smith

    Same here. One of the images showing an environment resembling a taiga looks pretty decent (of course they’d have to plant some crystal stacks in there with jittery particles).

  • Zero

    I read about this yesterday and it was also very disappointing to me.

    That sounds like some really poor communication from Square, and a lack of respect.

    We don’t know exactly who was in charge, but they didn’t have the right to treat GRIN like that, if this is all true.

  • FAUNA

    Japanese games need to be DEVELOPED IN JAPAN, & NOT ‘WESTERNIZED’. FF 13 is one of the best games ever created. PERIOD. & I bow to the Crystal Tools tech..

    • milramyah

      Calm down, man. Not all western games are bad. In many ways, FFXII was similar to wrpgs. From the artwork GRIN had up, it seemed like they were sticking close to the source material and adding an interesting twist. I love Ivalice games and having one outsourced worried me a bit. But then again, Matsuno is no longer working at Square, and that’s what really matters; the developers, not the location of development. If Square truly felt that GRIN’s work wasn’t doing the series justice, they would have pulled the plug like they did. However, Square screwing GRIN over without even checking their work is unforgivable.

  • xMCXx

    Well, SE was telling the truth. FFXII doesn’t look like a Final Fantasy xD

  • DarthXehanort

    Eh, I don’t really care for GRIN. I don’t really trust the claims entirely because I realise that we’re hearing them from upset studio founders. I’m not saying that it’s false. I’m just pointing out that I refuse to act as if it is true.

  • Zohar127

    This is why the Japanese game industry is falling apart.