The past year hasn’t been kind to Square Enix, from significant declines in operating income and net sales to the arrest of former Sonic creator and SE employee Yuji Naka. Just Cause Mobile, an adaptation of the popular PC and console series, was discontinued ahead of launch, and last month’s financials revealed that even Dragon Quest Champions hasn’t yet bolstered Square Enix’s overall mobile performance.
While we’re hopeful for a turnaround - and $2.5 billion in net sales last fiscal year is nothing to scoff at, even if it is a decline - the negative trend is continuing for now: The global version of SinoAlice is shutting down this November.
First released in 2017 in Japan, and worldwide almost exactly three years later, SinoAlice is an RPG and gacha game for Android and iOS. Developed by Square Enix and Pokelabo, the former was responsible for Japanese distribution and the latter its global release.
End of service is only two months away, scheduled for November 15. In-app currency purchases have been discontinued effective immediately and refunds for unused Twilight Crystals already bought by players will be available when the game closes.
"To all our valued users who've supported SinoAlice and enjoyed playing thus far, we deeply apologise for this sudden announcement. We thank you for your understanding," the SinoAlice management team posted.
"We are incredibly grateful to our many users, as it is thanks to your overwhelming support since the start of service that we have been able to continue operations up until now. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude once again from all of us here in the management team."
With Square Enix’s habit of releasing mobile games exclusively in Japan - even when it comes to international series on console - at least SinoAlice had its time in the sun with Western players.
Despite this recent wobble, Square Enix's impact on the industry still earned the company a place on our Top 50 Mobile Game Makers 2023 list, with Final Fantasy XV: War for Eos and Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis giving cause for optimism that Square Enix will climb out of this slump and see a return to form by 2024.