Square Enix Announces New Joint Venture
03.22.06 - 10:54 PM

Square Enix today announced a joint venture with Gakushuukenkyuusha (Gakken). The two companies will set up a new company called SG Lab which will develop and publish serious games aimed at education, public relations and more. 60% of company's capital will come from Square Enix, while Gakken will invest the remaining 40%.

At today's press conference in Tokyo, Square Enix president Youichi Wada explained that serious games and games for enterainment purposes are different. Since the developing of such serious games requires knowledge and know-how, an (entertainment) game company like Square Enix could not get involved in this business easily. Hence, the company decided to team up with Gakken. Gakken president Endou for his part mentioned that his company was seeking a powerful partner in the game industry. He cited Square Enix's expertise in the creation of user interfaces, character design, cross platform and online game development as reasons why he thought the tie-up was appealing to Gakken.

SG Lab will specialize in developing software upon accepting orders from clients. Exactly what kind of software that will be, the two presidents could not answer today, since the company will officially open its doors only on May 1st and has only recently begun accepting orders from clients. In addition to software aimed at learning and research, the company will focus on following markets for serious games: Medicine, health care as well as public relations for private enterprises and the government. Wada explained that there is no established global player in this field, hence he hoped SG Lab will become the worldwide market leader.

Chris Winkler

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