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Square Enix Chairman Speaks
04.25.03 - 5:09 PM

In an interview with Mainichi Interactive, Square Enix No.1 shareholder and chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima talked about the merger between Square Enix. When asked why the two former rivals joined forces, he explained that it was a necessary step in an industry environment with an extremely strong competition and high developments costs. The merger helped both companies to erase their weak points and become more complete. According to Mr Fukushima, Square's strength lay in its popularity in the overseas markets of North American and Europe, while Enix's strength was its popularity in Japan. Square's main feature was its development division, while Enix was focusing more on the publishing of games and character-related items or mobile communications.

By incorporating those strong points of both companies into Square Enix, Fukushima hopes to increase profits. He admitted that Enix got a late start into the business of online gaming, whereas Square had already amassed a lot of know-how and an userbase of more than 200,000 with Final Fantasy XI. In order to spread online games to other markets (such as North America, Europe, South Korea and China), Square's power will be extremely useful.

Furthermore, he revealed that Enix was interested in merging with Square already three years ago. However, due to the financial trouble caused by Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the company took a wait-and-see approach for the time being. Now that the merger has been completed, the company's financial situation has been strengthened and Square Enix's financial reserves are large. A merger-related increase in profit worth 3 billion yen (25.01 million USD) per year will be used for the development of new software as well as investment in human capital and funds.

Developing interesting games as well as major titles like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are among the key objectives up ahead. Last but not least, the Square Enix chairman aims for sales of more than 100 billion yen (833.61 million USD) and an operating profit of more than 30 billion yen (250.08 million USD) in three years.

For reference, Square and Enix posted combined sales of more than 63 billion yen (525.18 million USD) during the fiscal year ending on March 31st, 2003.


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Chris Winkler





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