Business Spotlight: Square Enix Holdings Part 1

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Many people’s first contact with Japan is through video games, and many of those games were released by Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd., the creator of successful franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. There’s no denying Square Enix’s impact. Square Enix began as two companies: Square and Enix. Enix, the first of the two, began in 1975 publishing brochures of real estate listings. In 1982, it held a game programming contest. Several winners of the contest became Enix’s first video games. Enix’s game department grew rapidly, particularly due to the roleplaying game series Dragon Quest. During this time, Enix outsourced much of its game production. It also founded several other subsidiaries, including Gangan Comics. Square began in 1983 as a division of a power line construction company. After several PC games, it became an independent company in 1986. Unlike Enix, Square produced many of its own games. Square’s Final Fantasy series is hugely popular, and includes Final Fantasy VII, the second-best-selling PlayStation game of all time. At the turn of the century, Square and Enix were rivals but there was already talk of a merger. Nonetheless, Enix was reluctant. Square had suffered game delays and its 2001 computer-animated movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a financial failure. To help it stay afloat, Square asked for money from Sony, which bought 18.6% of the company. (Jasmin Hayward) To be continued… This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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