Square Enix's Android Software Failure

Taken from the Google Play reviews of Square Enix's Chrono Trigger:

John Heffernan, July 30, 2013: Not working on 4.3 A fantastic game which has unfortunately stopped working after updating to Android version 4.3. Please resolve the issues.

J Limbo, August 3, 2013: No support for android 4.3 Ran fine but after upgrade to operating system no longer opens even after uninstalling and reinstalling the app

Donald James, September 6, 2013: $15 is expensive for this level of support. Still hasn't been updated to support 4.3. Why and when will this be fixed ? $15 is expensive for an app on here and if paying we deserve better upkeep than this.

Lenon Lopez, September 23, 2013: BROKEN Very disappointed that the game is still unplayable (doesn't even launch). I will make sure never to purchase a game from this developer again.

John Sanders, October 9, 2013: It has been several months now !! Why have you allowed this to go on for so long either give us our money back or fix this app sincerely your most disappointed customer.

Conner Anshutz, November 3, 2013: Most expensive icon I am a huge square Enix fan but having paid the huge price tag for a game that doesn't even work really puts me off buying anymore of their products I have the note 3 which would make this a perfect platform for playing it......but since I can't play it I wish the company would ether give me a compensation for a game that doesn't work or a free game please get back to me - sincerely Conner the disappointed customer

John Dulong, December 17, 2013: I want a refund. Honestly, it's been months. There's been another upgrade to Android. Square seems to have made no effort to make the game compatible.

I bought Chrono Trigger on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 back in May, my first game purchase on my first smartphone. The game was put on the backburner as I was sucked into The Simpsons Tapped Out and I ignored it up until about a month ago, when, unemployed for the first time in three years, I found myself with an abundance of free time and decided to play through it.

Coincidentally, I'd just downloaded the Android 4.3 update. From what I can discover reading reviews of the game on Google Play,

Chrono Trigger

stopped working with the 4.3 update, as early as July. The game's page on the store warns consumers that it "may not perform as intended on the latest version of Android." The game hasn't worked for six months now, and yet the very next sentence is "We ask for your patience and understanding as we work to address this issue in the coming days." Gamers can be a patient bunch, but with no word from Square Enix about a possible re-launch date and with absolutely no offer to refund a user's purchase or even to offer credit for another Square Enix game on Android, gamers have naturally started to get angry.

I tried to go straight to the source and e-mailed Square Enix directly. An early response from Square Enix suggested that I jailbreak my phone to get some software on it that would allow me to play

Chrono Trigger

:

"... check with one of the online mod communities to see if they have discovered a way to have this title run on your OS. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for contacting the SQUARE ENIX Support Center."

Continued inquiries to the company accusing them of dodging my requests for information or a refund resulted in this response:

"Thank you for contacting SQUARE ENIX support,

We apologize for the delay in response regarding your issue. The issue is still under investigation and you will be contacted once we have further information regarding this matter. We apologize however we will be unable to provide any ETA regarding a possible resolution/fix for this issue nor can we guarantee the desired result you are looking for. We appreciate your patience while we attempt to resolve this issue for you.

Thank you for contacting the SQUARE ENIX Support Center."

My next accusation was that the company was only sending me generic responses and not actually concerned with my inquiries, and more importantly for the well-being of its customers:

"Thank you for contacting SQUARE ENIX support,

We apologize for the response as may seem generic. The issue must be forwarded to the development team for a resolution. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any additional information regarding this matter. We appreciate your patience and a response will given once a resolution from the development team has been provided.

Thank you for contacting the SQUARE ENIX Support Center."

Naturally, I've received that exact same e-mail three times now.

The conclusion that I've come to is that I've been screwed by Square Enix. Every single person who has bought Chrono Trigger on Android has been screwed by Square Enix. Google has done nothing to put a stop to this; they're just as much at fault for allowing a broken game to exist on their platform as Square Enix is, because six months of terrible reviews and reports of the game being broken have gone ignored by both companies.

I'm extremely sympathetic to Square Enix's dilemma. After all, Android is an ever-evolving software system that is stretched out over many platforms, as opposed to the iOs and home consoles that only have to worry about one (or, in Apple's case, one evolving) platform. But the moment I gave my $15.99 to Square Enix for this game, I assumed that they were committed to providing me with a working game on the same platform I bought it on for as long as I had it. I plan to have my Note 2 for many years to come, but this game didn't last me seven months.

It's extremely frustrating to me, considering that Square Enix has long been my favorite developer. Final Fantasy VIII was my first RPG, and the Kingdom Hearts games are, if not my favorite series of games, at least right up there. If the Square Enix logo is on a game, I'm interested in it. To be treated so poorly by a company that I've loved and been a devoted fan of for fifteen years now is heartbreaking.

My requests aren't outrageous. Fix Chrono Trigger. If that's not possible, I'd rather receive credit for the Google Play store more than a refund, and I'd just use it to purchase the latest Final Fantasy game on the system as opposed to buying anything else with it. I'm that devoted to this company; if they reached out and made amends to their fans, I wouldn't hold this incident against them for a moment. But that's apparently not going to happen, because Square Enix has made it clear that the fans are not their priority here, once they've taken our money.

But hey, on the bright side, the game has dropped in price since I bought it to only $9.99. Thanks, Square Enix.

13 Comments
13 Comments
Edited by RuddyMysterious

It's broken on the iPhone 5s as well, the graphics are all messed up. Their other games seem to work well though regardless of platform.

I feel your pain though, when I tried getting a refund from Square Enix for the android version they denied there was even a problem. There's a section on the play store where you can get refunds by going straight to Google. I think you have to select the "Report a Problem" option in your order list.

Edited by TyCobb

Holy shit, they charged $15.99 for Chrono Trigger?

Doing a Google search landed me on a reddit page saying that 4.3 changed a lot of unofficial native functions. If Chrono Trigger was harnessing a lot of these, then there is a good chance that a lot of methods are just flat out gone. No clue what those could be, but usually undocumented API methods are undocumented for a reason.

From what I just read, Chrono Trigger was Square's first attempt at porting so get ready to continue to wait because they probably have 1 programmer assigned to it and who knows how mucked up it is from a coding standpoint.

Posted by Blu3V3nom07

You know, I don't know who's fault is it more at this point. Square's or Android/Apple? Hm.

The upcoming Dragon Quest 1-8 on mobile and the promise of high happiness, coupled with this problematic future, makes me chortle a bit.

Edited by Brodehouse

You can argue that EA or Ubisoft are tone deaf and arrogant, to their own folly and I'd probably agree. But Square Enix seems like they are actively attempting to destroy whatever credibility and brand reputation they had.

Posted by GrantHeaslip

I don't know much about Android development, but I can't imagine 4.3 changed so much that it couldn't be fixed. This may just be a manifestation of the way a game publisher like Square Enix is used to putting out games and closing the book on their development, as they have on consoles for decades. There may just not be an obvious go-to guy for dealing with stuff like this. That doesn't excuse it, but it might at least explain it.

That said, suggesting you "check with one of the online mod communities to see if they have discovered a way to have this title run on your OS" is straight-up insulting, especially since they're sort of saying "hey, thanks for spending $16 on our game, maybe some pirates can help you fix it." It would be barely understandable if we were talking about a tiny company, but this is one of the biggest game developers in the world. Come on.

And speaking of the price tag, how in the hell are they charging $16 for the game when you can get the real Chrono Trigger for $8 on Virtual Console?

Posted by NoctisLucisCaelum

YEAH! FUCK YOU! SQUARE ENIX!

Join me brothers in my crusade against Square Enix's bastardizing some of the best JRPGs into crappy phone ports!

Square Enix you have made some of my favorite games ever! please, Please, PLEASE! stop ruining your legacy by making worse version of your amazing games.

Posted by VILLHAVER

I've got an update for you: Square Enix is offering me a way to get a refund. It sounds like I'll have to jump through hoops, but it's a possibility now, as opposed to when I wrote this blog yesterday when it seemed like it was out of the question. I'll let all of you know if I receive my refund or not.

Thanks, by the way, to all of you commenting on this. Knowing that you share some of my pain and/or are sympathetic to my situation is more satisfying than any refund I'll get.

Posted by MB

I can't believe the first support response was to refer to you an "online mod community" to get the game working.

Moderator
Edited by guanophobic

That said, suggesting you "check with one of the online mod communities to see if they have discovered a way to have this title run on your OS" is straight-up insulting, especially since they're sort of saying "hey, thanks for spending $16 on our game, maybe some pirates can help you fix it." It would be barely understandable if we were talking about a tiny company, but this is one of the biggest game developers in the world. Come on.

@mb said:

I can't believe the first support response was to refer to you an "online mod community" to get the game working.

Agreed, but that said. It was probably some support tech just desperately trying to be helpful.

Posted by VILLHAVER

I agree, @guanophobic; I'm not talking to any decision makers here, I'm talking to some low-level HR employee who knows I'm pissed and desperately wants to avoid any further complications. That, however, might not be possible.

I sent my info to Square Enix to receive the refund after contacting Google to get the order number for my purchase which I know occurred back in either April or May, I don't have that info in front of me right now. Thinking that the refund was taken care of and I'd have to now bend over backwards to get the refund itself, I was shocked when told that, because I made my purchase so long ago, the development team had been unable to process the refund. I've been asked to remain patient in regards to the matter, but I said in my last e-mail that, no, I'm done being patient; I noticed the game was broken a month ago, the earliest comment I could find about the game being broken was in July, Square Enix has had enough time to fix the game or refund my purchase.

I really would settle for codes to download the Final Fantasy games on Android. I'm not sure how that would work monetarily for Square Enix, but I thought it would be easier for them to send those to me than to refund my money. At this point, I just want the situation resolved so I can stop contacting this filthy company. The Kingdom Hearts games from the PS2 were amazing, and Final Fantasy 8 made me fall in love with RPG's, but the company has completely ruined my image of them and I feel like I'm no longer dealing with my favorite company, but rather a bunch of disgusting, money-grubbing, heartless bastard thieves.

This is the emotional email I sent to Square Enix when told my refund couldn't be processed yet:

I want a time frame for when I'm going to see one of three things: a refund, at least ten dollars in Google Play credit, or a working copy of Chrono Trigger.

Also, by offering me a refund, is Square Enix admitting that Chrono Trigger is broken and won't be fixed? Or is the company just trying to get me to shut up? If the game is broken and you aren't going to fix it, you should stop selling it in Google Play.

I've got a blog up on Giant Bomb about this issue and I'd love to let everyone following it know the status of the game.

As a side note, as a longtime Square Enix fan and Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts fan, I was stoked when Kingdom Hearts 3 was finally announced. But the company's absolutely awful handling of my complaint, the complete lack of communication with its fan base over this issue, the unethical decision to continue to sell the broken game on Google Play, and general disregard for the company's public image and legacy has me so absolutely disgusted with Square Enix that the thought of paying you my hard-earned money for a game I've eagerly anticipated for close to a decade disgusts me. Hats off to the low level employee in Square Enix's public relations department reading my emails who has remained totally professional (albeit too generic for my tastes) with me and hasn't completely destroyed the last of my goodwill that I have for Square Enix, but shame on the executives making decisions at the company.

Edited by JNeam

I feel for you. :(

Man, hearing that Square Enix is messing up on both platforms is like wtf.


However, why do you say its Google's fault? It is an open platform. Square Enix is responsible for their product.

Edited by PufferFiz

here is my blog post about it

deving for android sucks, a lot, there are a lot of different things that break or are not compatible on one of 4000 phones.

Get a refund but be mind full that the way games are made for android is royally fucked.

Posted by VILLHAVER

@jneam said:

I feel for you. :(

Man, hearing that Square Enix is messing up on both platforms is like wtf.

However, why do you say its Google's fault? It is an open platform. Square Enix is responsible for their product.

Google is aware that a product being sold on its service is broken. By refusing to remove it, I would think Google is as responsible as Square Enix.

here is my blog post about it

deving for android sucks, a lot, there are a lot of different things that break or are not compatible on one of 4000 phones.

Get a refund but be mind full that the way games are made for android is royally fucked.

I'm now convinced that I'm no longer dealing with a gaming company and, rather, a group full of complete fucking idiots.