Square Enix Shareholders Meeting Report
06.24.03 - 3:17 PM

At the new company's first regular shareholders meeting, Square Enix's top three executives, president Youichi Wada, vice president Keiji Honda and chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima, commented on various hot issues including Hironobu Sakaguchi's current status and the company's relationship with GameArts.

Asked about the Final Fantasy mastermind, who resigned as Square vice president two years ago, Square Enix stated that he was currently serving as an executive producer, but he is not standing behind the screen and giving instructions.

A big topic for shareholders was obviously Star Ocean: Till The End of Time. According to Square Enix, the bug contained in the first Japanese shipment was a direct cause of a problem with a Sony Computer Entertainment middleware tool, used in the game's development. As a result, the two companies will strengthen the cooperation between their debug divisions. Still, Square Enix does not believe the bug was the reason for the highly anticipated title's lower than expected sales. While there is a lot of demand for a complete edition of the game and the company would like to release such a version in Japan, nothing has been decided, as the current focus is on the localization process.

Asked about its relationship with GameArts, the company executives stated that they have invested 99 million yen ($840,693 US) in GameArts, and could confirm the makers of Grandia and Lunar are currently working on a new project. No details regarding this new title were given at this point, however.

In regard to the end of the joint venture with Electronics Arts (Square Electronics Arts LLC) and the subsequent creation of Square Enix USA, the company was optimistic that there will be no negative effects, since right from the beginning of the joint venture in 1998, Square had been responsible for marketing, while EA only handled the distribution.

Not so surprisingly, the company mentioned it had yet to receive any specification of the next generation of hardware from either Sony Computer Entertainment or Nintendo.

As far as the relationship with DigiCube is concerned, it seems like everything remains the same, as DigiCube will continue to publish Square Enix products, such as artbooks and soundtracks.

Last but not least, Youichi Wada mentioned that the North American Final Fantasy XI servers will be set up in Tokyo as well.

Chris Winkler

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