Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. (株式会社スクウェア・エニックス・ホールディングス, Sukuwea Enikkusu Hōrudingusu?) is a Japanese producer of video games and manga. Square Enix is best known for its computer role-playing game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy series and the Dragon Quest series (previously known as Dragon Warrior in North America). Square Enix was formed as the result of a merger between Square Co., Ltd. and Enix that took effect in 2003. Enix officially absorbed Square, with Square stockholders receiving only 0.81 shares of stock in the new company compared to Enix stockholders receiving a one-to-one trade. Despite this, many top officials within Square assumed leadership roles in the new corporate hierarchy, including Square president Yoichi Wada, who was appointed president of the new corporation.
Square Enix has regional operations, including Square Enix, Inc. (for all of North America, with headquarters in El Segundo, California, United States) and Square Enix Europe Ltd. (for Europe, Australia, and other PAL standard areas, with headquarters in London, England), which act as localization departments. On August 22, 2005, Square Enix announced their acquisition of Taito Corporation, renowned for their arcade hits, Space Invaders and the Bubble Bobble series. By September 2005, Square Enix had wholly acquired Taito. On April 22nd, 2009, Square Enix acquired Eidos plc in a takeover deal worth £84.3 million (32p per share). Eidos plc is the holding company for Eidos Interactive, the UK-based publisher of the Tomb Raider and Hitman franchises. Eidos plc was renamed and merged with Square Enix Ltd. (Square Enix's original European division) and is now known as Square Enix Europe.
Computer and video gamesEdit
By far, Square Enix's video gaming properties are its most valued assets. Square Enix's Dragon Quest franchise, which originally belonged to Enix before the merger, is considered the most popular game series in Japan, and each new installment of the series routinely breaks Japanese sales records. The Dragon Quest franchise has sold over 60 million units worldwide to date, with about 90% of it from Japan, making it the most popular franchise domestically in Japan, but not very popular abroad.
Internationally, however, the Final Fantasy franchise has been considered Square Enix's most important asset, and is the best selling Square Enix (or Square Soft) franchise worldwide, selling over 100 million units to date. More recently, Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series (developed in collaboration with Disney's Buena Vista Games) has become massively popular worldwide, adding another valuable asset to the company.
Square Enix game franchisesEdit
- Final Fantasy - from Square, established on the Famicom in 1987.
- Chrono - from Square, established on the Super Famicom in 1995.
- Parasite Eve - from Square, established on the PlayStation in 1998.
- Front Mission - from Square, established on the Super Famicom in 1995.
- SaGa - from Square, established on the Game Boy in 1989.
- Mana - from Square, established on the Game Boy in 1991.
- Kingdom Hearts - from Square with Disney, established on the PlayStation 2 in 2002.
- The World Ends With You - from Square Enix, established on the Nintendo DS in 2008.
- The Last Remnant - from Square Enix, established on the Xbox 360 in 2008.
- Dragon Quest - from Enix, established on the Famicom in 1986.
- Star Ocean - from Enix, established on the Super Famicom in 1997.
- Valkyrie Profile - from Enix, established on the PlayStation in 1999.
- Drakengard - from Enix but published as Square Enix, established on the PlayStation 2 in 2003.
- Itadaki Street (Japan-only) - from Enix, established on the Famicom in 1988.
- Tomb Raider - from Eidos, established on the PlayStation in 1996.
- Hitman - from Eidos, established originally on the PC in 2000 with future games being multi-platform.
- Deus Ex - from Eidos, established on the PC, Mac, and PlayStation 2 in 2000.
- Thief - from Eidos, established on the PC in 1998 with future games being multi-platform.
- Legacy of Kain - from Eidos, originally established on the PlayStation in 1996 without Eidos's involvement, later games being published by Eidos.
- Just Cause - from Eidos, established on the PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360 in 2006, with a sequel released in 2010, also for multi-platform.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a CGI-animation movie based on Squaresoft's successful PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII which is set two years after the events of the game. Previously, before Square merged with Enix, Square released another Final Fantasy movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which managed to single-handedly bankrupt Square Pictures.
The company also has a manga publishing division in Japan (from Enix) called Gangan Comics. It publishes manga for the Japanese market only. It also publishes a popular Japanese manga anthology called Monthly Shonen Gangan. Titles published by Gangan Comics include Papua, Spiral, and Fullmetal Alchemist. Also contains manga adaptations of diverse Enix, and later Square Enix games, like Kingdom Hearts.
Fullmetal Alchemist was licensed for release in North America by Viz Media, while Kingdom Hearts and Spiral were licensed by Tokyopop.