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That is a loaded question, but I would say both. Growing up and nostalgia have played a part in this rift, but SE's incompetence in developing games this gen and public relations have played a big role as well.
Here is an all time view of their stock performance, aka, what inventors and the public think of them without the fanboy/news paper bull crap.
As you can see, Square-Enix did extremely well during the PS2 era. Following the global economic crash in 2008, they never recovered. I'm no stock expert, but I've made money off companies I believe in (namely, Activision Blizzard).
In my opinion, Square-Enix's decisions reek of arrogance. While Final Fantasy XIII and XII-2 weren't completely abysmal, Final Fantasy XIV was. I remember getting into the game's beta and seeing the flop before it even occurred. It doesn't take a system analyst or systems engineer to see what was wrong with the game. Many gamers were screaming doom and giving good reasons for Square-Enix to not push their product out but with no official way to communicate with them (aka forums), the product was pushed and millions of dollars lost.
Now, Square-Enix is doing the complete reverse, listening to everything the fans are saying. I don't know if this is a better approach because Blizzard, while known for listening to fans, doesn't listen to every single whine, if they did we'd have a FOTM class every month in World of Warcraft.
Square-Enix clearly has lost huge amounts of money otherwise they would have not been forced to reuse Final Fantasy XIII assets three times and renamed Versus XV. I really do hope that they get themselves out of this ditch because no matter what the fanboys say, the inventors have the final word, no money invested == no games for us and the charts show constant drops =(