Square and Enix together

The company is suppose to be completly merged by April 2003. This brings up two question for me:

  1. From the company statement, it seems Square will gain “control” over Enix. Could this mean Final Fantasy on the Xbox?

  2. Even if a company does merge, does each entity keep there IP?

The fact that this merge has happened just blows my mind. Here is the article:

  1. From the company statement, it seems Square will gain “control” over Enix. Could this mean Final Fantasy on the Xbox?

  2. Even if a company does merge, does each entity keep there IP?

It’ll be one company. Why on earth would you wonder if it would mean Final Fantasy on Xbox? Neither company is doing anything on Xbox today and both are releasing PS2 titles and Square has a single GC title and the GBA stuff.

When they merge, it means just what it sounds like, they’re going to become one. All that IP is under one roof. So Star Ocean/Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy, etc. are all published and developed under one company banner.

Enix and Square announced early today that, effective November 26, they will begin to merge operations and form Square Enix, a brand-new company created to compete in the world marketplace on the same level as America and Europe’s large third parties.

It says it right there in the first paragraph of the headline you linked to… merge to form Square Enix.

It’s certainly a huge deal and one that’s not unexpected. It probably means continuing strong PS2 development with the odd GC/GBA title from the subsidiary Square set up for that purpose.

–Dave

I think people are confusing Square with Rare. Rare = Microsoft purchase.

“Square Enix” is a horrible name, though. It sounds like the nickname for the nerdy kid down the road from the Duke cousins. I vote for calling them “Squenix” instead. That sounds like the new company is rising like a phoenix from the husk of the parts being squeezed together.

What about Eniquare? Or American McGee’s RPGs?

Enix^2 - d

(Enix squared minus d)

Sounds too much like squeegee. Enix is just a funny name to my ears. Sounds like something you would have surgically removed. Yeah, just got my enix taken out!

That’s interesting news are there any other big console rpg devolopers after those two? Also I hope this means more of Enix stuff will be making it overseas I remember being disapointed when I was a kid when I found out DWIV would be the last too reach are shores.

That’s interesting news are there any other big console rpg devolopers after those two?

I think Namco is probably the next biggest one, with their Tales series and the Xenosaga stuff. I don’t know… Capcom just has Breath of Fire really and Konami has Sudeoken. Maybe Koei with their stuff, or even SCEJ. Their’s a pretty big fall off after Enix and Square.

I actually read that Enix had a higher amalgamation ratio so they assumed control. Enix’s president becomes the Chairman of the new company. The new vice president is a Square guy.

I can’t figure out why they did this, though. I think their rivalry was good for the industry. Maybe Enix felt they could exploit Square’s recent financial troubles. In whatever case Square and Enix just became a lot harder to buy out…

Sony had a say in this, they’re a major shareholder after the Final Fantasy movie. This will work in their favor.

from today’s WSJ. sounds like this isn’t good news for the Xbox.

Japan’s Square , Enix
Plan to Merge in April

By ROBERT A. GUTH
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

TOKYO – Square Co. and Enix Corp., two of Japan’s largest videogame makers, agreed to merge in a deal that could further frustrate Microsoft Corp.'s efforts to make its Xbox game machine popular world-wide.

Under the plan, Square shareholders would receive 0.81 of a share in Enix and ¥30 (25 cents) in cash for each Square share. The deal would be valued at around ¥90 billion ($737 million). Yoichi Wada, Square president, will head the merged company, which will be called Square Enix Co.

The deal is part of a broader consolidation of the global videogame industry, which, thanks to the increasing technical sophistication of videogame machines, has seen a sharp increase in the cost of developing game software. Square and Enix are the leading makers of “role playing” games, action games with involved story lines that can take tens of hours to complete.

The Square-Enix merger could set hurdles for Microsoft, which has been striving to expand its game business in Japan’s competitive market. The two companies’ role-playing games, “Final Fantasy” from Square and “Dragon Quest” from Enix, have a huge following in Japan, making them crucial for any game console to succeed there. Sales of Sony’s original PlayStation, for instance, soared in the mid-1990s when Sony Corp. won “Final Fantasy” off of Nintendo Co.'s game console.

Microsoft has doggedly pursued both Enix and Square in hopes of getting them to write Xbox games. But the two remain firm supporters of Sony’s PlayStation 2 machine, the world’s best-selling video-game console. Sony, in part as a defensive measure, bought an 18.6% stake in Square last year. Sony will hold a minority stake in the merged company.

While the year-old Xbox has fared well in the U.S., Microsoft’s lack of games exclusive to the Xbox has stifled shipments of the machine in Europe and in Japan. People familiar with Microsoft’s discussions say that while talks with Square have stalled, Microsoft, before the acquisition announcement, expected it would sign on several Enix games sometime next year. Now, it is unclear how the deal would affect Microsoft’s plans, according to one person familiar with the negotiations.

But Square Enix may eventually have to support the Xbox. The U.S., the largest and fastest-growing videogame market, is becoming increasingly important for Japanese game makers at a time when their home market is shrinking. That eventually could pressure the company to back the Xbox, which counts its largest user base in the U.S.

Following the announcement, Enix shares jumped 16%, or ¥300, to close at ¥2,175 each in Tokyo on Tuesday. Square shares rose 6.4%, or ¥12, to close at ¥2,005 apiece.

Write to Robert A. Guth at [email protected]

Updated November 27, 2002

But Square Enix may eventually have to support the Xbox. The U.S., the largest and fastest-growing videogame market, is becoming increasingly important for Japanese game makers at a time when their home market is shrinking. That eventually could pressure the company to back the Xbox, which counts its largest user base in the U.S.

The US has been characterized as a “sleeping giant” wrt videogames. Our culture isn’t saturated with them like Japan has been for the last 8-10 years-- we’ve had explosive double-digit year to year growth in the industry, despite a near-recession.

Do you think Japan is Sony’s biggest market for televisions? Expect that trend to intensify.

-wumpus

Microsoft’s lack of games exclusive to the Xbox has stifled shipments of the machine in Europe and in Japan.

ahem

Yeah, I’m being a prick, so sue me. :twisted:

Anyway, was this the only article about the merger in the WSJ? Is that how they report all their news on the console industry, relating it all to how it will affect Microsoft?

–Dave

How much does this really mean to the US market? How big is Final Fantasy in the US? Do the US sales stack up on a per-capita basis with sales in Japan? The Final Fantasy movie was a huge belly-flop, grossing only $32 million, and second week box office dropped 68%. That shows the lack of deep fan support in the US for that franchise. Dragon Warrior is going to be even smaller in the US cultural mind. Why does Microsoft really care? The Japanese console RPG scene is not repeating itself very well outside Japan. If it were up to me, I’d focus on finding big hits in the US, and treat Japan as a secondary market. It worked for GTA3.

7, 8, 9, and 10 have all sold over a million copies, and 7 has sold over 2.4 million. 10 has sold around 1.3 million so far.

Even FF Tactics has sold over 600K, way more than Tactics Ogre or Front Mission or any of the RotTK games, all of which sold under 100K.

Microsoft’s lack of games exclusive to the Xbox has stifled shipments of the machine in Europe and in Japan.

Hmm, I don’t think that’s true. Pricing stifled sales in Europe more than anything else-- Xbox was WAY too expensive over there, until MS came to their senses and repriced it. Now that the pricing is in line, there’s quite a bit of enthusiasm for Xbox on the European console sites I’ve read. Once the new bundle goes online there, I’d expect sales to pick up even more and mirror the US. Then there’s the European Live! launch for next year, too.

Japan, of course, is a total loss for Xbox. Sadly, it’s not a whole heck of a lot better for the Gamecube, either-- and that’s Nintendo’s home turf.

-wumpus

The Final Fantasy movie was a huge belly-flop, grossing only $32 million, and second week box office dropped 68%. That shows the lack of deep fan support in the US for that franchise

Actually, it simply shows that gamers want to play games in their favorite franchises, not go to movies about them. Tomb Raider did well at theatres because it wasn’t just a video game and it had the star power. Game movies that do well are anomalies. FF: TSW was simply following the trend of all other game related properties, but you know what, I really enjoyed that film.

–Dave

Japan, of course, is a total loss for Xbox. Sadly, it’s not a whole heck of a lot better for the Gamecube, either-- and that’s Nintendo’s home turf.

With Nintendo still reaching the top of the sales charts in software in Japan on a regular basis, this is simply untrue. Yes the PS2 is the top system in all markets, but in Japan, Nintendo is already far beyond where Microsoft is and they haven’t even gotten Zelda yet which as an RPG is clearly their biggest title since Super Smash Brothers Melee over there. Stop trying to distort the facts wumpus. Microsoft doesn’t even register in Japan, being outsold by the PSOne. Gamecube consistently sells well enough to be a going concern in all markets, particularly Japan.

–Dave

Even FF Tactics has sold over 600K, way more than Tactics Ogre or Front Mission or any of the RotTK games, all of which sold under 100K.

Check the spreadsheet, but what you’re saying is true with one caveat–

FF Tactics 700k
FF Anthology 361k
FF Chronicles 260k
FF 10 - 1.4m
FF 9 - 1.3m
FF 8 - 1.9m
FF 7 - 2.4m

Caveat: there’s a definite downward trend at work here. Each release sells consistently less.

-wumpus

Apparently I need a wider circle of gamer friends. Part of the reason I wonder about the sales of the FF games in the US is that I literally do not know anyone that owns one. Lots of friends & relatives have consoles, but none of them buy the Japanese RPGs. Go figure.

When I was visiting my in-laws recently, I spent about an hour talking to my 14-year-old nephew about games & the games he and his friends play. They are all about the Xbox, and huge fans of Dead to Rights (again, I thought nobody liked that game). This likely is a side effect of being a teenage boy, but he openly questioned the sexual orientation of the people that played FF. He said he and his friends all have run out to buy Xbox Live kits, and he was very happy with Mech Assault (which I find boring).

This confirms my old and jaded status. You durn rascals git offa my propity!

Gamecube consistently sells well enough to be a going concern in all markets, particularly Japan.

I don’t dispute that Xbox is doing abysmally bad in Japan, however, it’s doing great in its home country. Gamecube isn’t-- unless you qualify these figures as “great”:

http://www.evilavatar.com/EA/News/M41966/

YTD 2002 hardware sales

PS2 – 3.1m
GBA – 2.1m
GCN – 886k
XBX – 272k
PS1 – 204k

Note that on this page, only one gamecube title is in the Japanese top 10, too.