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Youichi Wada Talks Square Enix
02.19.04 - 2:18 PM

In a recent interview with Yomiuri Online, Square Enix president Youichi Wada talked about his vision for the company, which will celebrate the first anniversary of its foundation on April 1st following last year's merger between Square and Enix. At the beginning of the interview, Wada confessed that four years prior to joining the company, he had no idea about Square, despite being a Final Fantasy fan. Also after joining, he did not plan to become company president. Upon succeeding Hisashi Suzuki at the top post, Wada realized that his company was not a paradise. So he thought "let's make this paradise". For the developers, "paradise" obviously means having colleagues with whom one can work on the most innovative content and create titles which become user favorites. For the company itself, it means generating profit. Wada admitted that the market for the current generation of home console software has reached its peak. However, he still saw potential for growth in both the interactive and digital content markets. With the recent arrival of a substantial network base and advanced technology, users would be drawn to play games again online, he predicted. As a big game fan himself, he was playing new online games before their release and if he had time, for 2-3 hours on a free day.

Regarding his company's future, the president again emphasized Square Enix's focus on becoming the most innovative content provider in the industry, while at the same time continuing to increase its profit margin. Comparing Square Enix's current market capitalization of 300 billion yen ($2.814 billion US), which is about a third of the industry's largest companies a la Nintendo, the interviewer asked until when Square Enix would want to see eye to eye with those competitors. Drawing a comparison to his current age, the 45-year old Wada said he would like to see it happen when he has reached the age of 55. At least until then, he would like to remain on his current post and guide Square Enix to become the world's top content provider.


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Chris Winkler





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