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Square Enix President Talks Future
04.01.03 - 2:17 PM

At the day of his company's merger with Enix and the resulting creation of Square Enix, former Square CEO and President and current Square Enix president Youichi Wada spoke with Reuters about the future of the new company. In particular, he has high hopes regarding the future of Kingdom Hearts. Similar to a statement made by Hironobu Sakaguchi roughly two years ago, Wada said he wanted Kingdom Hearts to become the new company's third major franchise along with Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Kingdom Hearts' worldwide sales have surpassed three million units. He said the company was currently still negotiating with Disney, but he also made it clear that there will be a sequel to Kingdom Hearts. As far as the effects of the merger are concerned, he said the company will adjust the number of projects and publish about 20 titles per year. While Wada didn't mention any details regarding those new titles, he stated the company will focus on RPGs which convey an original character through their stories. Enix will continue to work more as a publisher rather than a developer by letting non-affiliated companies handle the development of many projects. The Square Enix president expects the industry to enter a new phase in 2005 or 2006, when the next hardware generation will be introduced and the 1st part companies will change their current business models. According to Wada, this will lead to major changes in the entire industry and force 3rd parties to adjust their business models accordingly. Square and Enix decided to merge in order to be prepared for this new phase. The other more immediate reasons for the merger obviously were risk reduction and an increase in profit ratio. Last but not least, Wada mentioned Square Enix currently had no plans to merge with other companies. As far as Square's former partner, the world's largest 3rd party publisher Electronic Arts is concerned, the Square Enix president expects the Redwood City, California-based company to sooner or later acquire a Japanese company.


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Chris Winkler




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