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, Kabushikigaisha 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 Co., Ltd. (for Japan, with headquarters in Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan), Square Enix, Inc. (for all of North America, with headquarters in El Segundo, California, United States), and Square Enix Ltd. (for Europe, Australia, and other PAL standard areas, with headquarters in London, England). Square Enix, Inc. and Square Enix Ltd. also 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 subsidiary) and is now known as Square Enix Europe.
Computer and video games
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 franchises
- 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.
- Fortune Street - from Enix, established on the Famicom in 1988.
- Tomb Raider - from Eidos, established on the PC in 1996. (sale pending to Embracer).
- Deus Ex - from Eidos, established on the PC, Mac, and PlayStation 2 in 2000 (sale pending to Embracer).
- Thief - from Eidos, established on the PC in 1998 with future games being multi-platform (sale pending to Embracer).
- Legacy of Kain - from Eidos, originally established on the PlayStation in 1996 without Eidos's involvement, later games being published by Eidos (sale pending to Embracer).
- 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.
- Bravely - from Square Enix, established on the Nintendo 3DS in 2012.
- Chaos Rings - From Square Enix, established on iOS in 2010 (franchise closed).
- Hitman - No longer owns IP. From IO Interactive, established originally on the PC in 2000 with future games being multi-platform. IO became an independent developer in 2017.
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. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV was the next Final Fantasy film released to tie in with Final Fantasy XV.
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.
Square Enix publish guide books and artbooks relating to their franchises in Japan. They also publish novelizations of existing media and new novels that expand the stories of previous works.
Square Enix Manga & Books license and translate a selection of Square Enix books for English audiences.
Square Enix frequently publish soundtracks for their media and also various arrangement series under the Square Enix Music imprint. Square have toured with various concerts featuring musical arrangements including the orchestral Distant Worlds.
Square Enix restructured their development divisions in 2013, divided them into 12 business divisions. Each division operated independently and responsible for titles they developed. In 2017, Business Division 9 was merged into Business Division 8, while Business Divisions 11 and 12 merged to become the new Business Division 9.
- Vice President: Yuu Miyake
- Staffs: Yosuke Saito
- Recently developed games:
- Vice President: Naoki Yoshida
- Recently developed games: Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XVI
- Vice President: Hirokazu Nishikado
- Recently developed games: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
- Executive: Yoshinori Kitase
- Staffs: Motomu Toriyama
- Recently developed games: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, Mobius Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Business Division 2
- Executive: Shinji Hashimoto
- Recently developed games: Final Fantasy III (PC), Final Fantasy IV (PC), Final Fantasy V (PC), Final Fantasy VI (PC), Final Fantasy VII (iOS/Android/PS4), Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, World of Final Fantasy.
- Executive: Ichiro Hazama
- Recently developed games: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
Business Division 5
Business Division 6
Business Division 7
- Executive: Takamasa Shiba
Business Division 8
- Executives: Kei Hirono and Tomohiro Hasegawa
- Recently developed games: Final Fantasy VI (iOS/Android), Final Fantasy Dimensions II, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Business Division 9
- Executives: Joji Yamanaka and Toshinori Mizumachi
Business Division 10
- Executive: Yuki Watanabe
Final Fantasy Committee
Square Enix formed the Final Fantasy Committee in October 2013, to ensure the quality of future Final Fantasy games. The four members of this committee were Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama, Naoki Yoshida, and Hajime Tabata. Tabata later left the company.
Square Enix formed the ethics department in 2019, to oversee and advise the developers.
- Wikipedia article on Square Enix
- Square Enix Global site
- PlayOnline Square Enix's portal for their online titles including Final Fantasy XI & Front Mission Online
- History of Enix and Square (official site)
- The History of Square