Square (company)

Square Co., Ltd. (株式会社スクウェア Kabushiki-gaisha Sukuwea) was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 to form Square Enix. The company also used SquareSoft as a brand name to refer to their games,[2] and the term is occasionally used to refer to the company itself. In addition, "Square Soft, Inc" was the name of the company's American arm before the merger, after which it was renamed to "Square Enix, Inc".

Square Co., Ltd.
Public
IndustryInteractive entertainment
Publishing
FateMerged with Enix
SuccessorSquare Enix
FoundedSeptember 1986 [1]
FounderMasafumi Miyamoto
DefunctApril 1, 2003
HeadquartersMeguro, Tokyo, Japan [1]
Key people
Tomoyuki Takechi, Chairman
Hironobu Sakaguchi, EVP (1991-2001)
Hisashi Suzuki, President and CEO (1995-2001)
Yoichi Wada, CFO (June 2000-September 2001), President (December 2001-2003)
ProductsSee complete products listing
Number of employees
888 (September 2002) [1]
SubsidiariesSee subsidiaries and related corporations
Websitewww.square.co.jp

History

Square originated in October 1983 as a computer game software division of Den-Yu-Sha, a power line construction company owned by the father of Masafumi Miyamoto, the eventual founder of Square Co Ltd in 1986. While at the time game development was usually conducted by only one programmer, Masafumi Miyamoto believed that it would be more efficient to have graphic designers, programmers and professional story writers working together on common projects.[3] Square's first two titles were The Death Trap and its sequel Will: The Death Trap II, both designed by part-time employee Hironobu Sakaguchi and released on the NEC PC-8801.[3] Despite an initial reluctance to develop for video game consoles, Square entered the Nintendo Famicom market in December 1985 with the porting of Thexder.[3]

In September 1986, Square spun off from Den-Yu-Sha and became an independent company officially named Square Co., Ltd.[4] Sakaguchi then became a full-time employee as the Director of Planning and Development of the company. After releasing several unsuccessful games for the Famicom, Square relocated to Ueno, Tokyo in 1987 and developed a role-playing video game titled Final Fantasy, inspired by Enix's success with the genre, Dragon Quest (later released in North America as Dragon Warrior).[5] With 400,000 copies sold, Final Fantasy spawned multiple sequels over the years and became Square's main franchise.[3]

Square has also made other widely known games such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Secret of Mana, Legend of Mana, Xenogears, Brave Fencer Musashi, Parasite Eve, Parasite Eve 2, Saga Frontier, Romancing Saga, Vagrant Story, Kingdom Hearts (done in collaboration with Disney Interactive), and Super Mario RPG (done under the guidance of Shigeru Miyamoto).[5] By late 1994 they had developed a reputation as a producer of high quality role-playing video games.[6]

Square was one of the many companies that had planned to develop and publish their games for the Nintendo 64, but with the cheaper costs associated with developing games on CD based consoles such as the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation, Square decided to develop titles for the latter system.[7] Final Fantasy VII was one of these games, and it sold 9.8 million copies, making it the second best selling game for the PlayStation.[5]

On February 8, 2001, due to its first quarterly loss since going public, "the company implemented a restructuring plan for its Japanese corporate staff. Three key figures have been moved around in the company ranks, resigning from their current positions in order to take responsibility for the losses, and have been reassigned to different positions. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of the Final Fantasy series, will no longer be vice president, and will instead be known as an "executive producer." Additionally, company president Tomoyuki Takeshi will become a contractual consultant for the company, with director Masahi Hiramatsu now taking the role of executive consultant.".[8]

A merger between Square and its competitor Enix was in consideration since at least 2000; however, the financial failure of their first movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within made Enix hesitant to join with a company which was losing money.[9] With the company in its second year of financial loss, Square approached Sony for a capital injection and on October, 8th 2001, Sony Corp purchased 18.6% stake in Square to bandage their loss.[10]

In an interview with GIA.com in 2001, when asked "Are you ever worried that Square will become too heavily dependent on the Final Fantasy name?" Hironobu Sakaguchi responded that "Avoiding that has actually been one of Square's goals for a long time. It is our aim to try and develop a few more major franchises for the company; that has always been on our minds."[11]

On November 26, it was reported that Square CEO Hisashi Suzuki was to step down as the company's President and that COO Yoichi Wada was to replace him in December with a restructuring plan for the company.[12]

On May 28, 2002 it was detailed that in Wada's restructuring of the company, that "while Square formally took a development style where teams were formed and dispersed per project, developers will now be fixed into divisions. Source codes and resources will be shared for efficiency, and employees will receive varying bonuses depending on the profit of their division. By settling developers into groups, Square also aims for the developers to re-use the titles they have developed, making game development more cost efficient. Development costs- originally 2-3 Billion yen, are expected to fall to 1 Billion yen." In addition, the company revealed plans to release two Final Fantasy X spinoffs that would later become Final Fantasy X-2.[13][14]

Following the success of both Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts,[15] the company recovered its stability and recorded the highest operating margin in its history in fiscal year 2002.[16] It was announced on November 25, 2002 that Square and Enix's previous plans to merge were to officially proceed. As described by Yoichi Wada "Square has also fully recovered, meaning this merger is occurring at a time when both companies are at their height."[17] Despite this, some shareholders had doubts about the merger, notably Square's original founder and largest shareholder, Masafumi Miyamoto, who would find himself holding significantly less if the two RPG behemoths were to go ahead with the deal.[18] Other criticism came from Takashi Oya of Deutsche Securities who expressed doubts about the benefits of such a merger. "Enix outsources game development and has few in-house creators, while Square does everything by itself. The combination of the two provides no negative factors but would bring little in the way of operational synergies, he said."[19] Masafumi Miyamoto's issue was eventually resolved, by altering the exchange ratio of one Square share for 0.81 Enix shares, thus greenlighting the merger, and on April 1, 2003, Square Enix was formed. [20]

Subsidiaries and related corporations

In Japan

The Disk Original Group (DOG) was a union formed of no less than seven Japanese video game companies: Square Company, Limited, Micro Cabin, Thinking Rabbit, Carry Lab, System Sacom, XTALSOFT, and HummingBirdSoft. Founded July 14, 1986, Square took the lead in this alliance to produce games on the Famicom Disk System. Because Square headed DOG, all DOG titles were published under the name Square. In reality, however, Square only produced four of the eleven games published under the DOG label. Excluding Tobidase Daisakusen (The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner in North America) which sold 500,000 copies, the remaining games were commercial failures.

DigiCube was established in February 1996. It was formed to market and distribute games and related merchandising (toys, books, music, etc.) in Asia. It declared bankruptcy in October 2003.

Escape, Inc. was established in 1998. They developed the racing game Driving Emotion Type-S.

Square Visual Works (CG studio), Square Sounds (sound studio), Squartz (quality assurance) and Square Next were all founded in June 1999. All were subsequently absorbed into Square Co., Ltd. in 2001 and 2002. Once Square merged with Enix, Square Visual Works was renamed Visual Works and produces CG animations for Square Enix and Eidos Interactive intellectual properties.

Quest Corporation
Quest Corporation logo

Quest Corporation was an independent software development studio established in July 1988, best known for the Ogre Battle series. Several team members, including Yasumi Matsuno, Hiroshi Minagawa and Akihiko Yoshida, left Quest in 1997 to join Square, where they worked on several titles for the Sony PlayStation, including Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. In June 2002, Quest was acquired by Square.[21]

The Game Designers Studio, Inc. (株式会社ゲームデザイナーズ・スタジオ kabushiki gaisha Geimudezainaazu Sutajio)

Abroad

Square Soft logo
The logo of Square Soft, Inc.

Square Soft

Square Soft, Inc. was established as the North American subsidiary of Square in March 1989. It was responsible for both the production and distribution of North American localizations of Square titles during the 16-bit era, and continued to produce English language localizations of Square games in the 32-bit era. It has also been responsible for localizing a number of non-Square titles, including Capcom's Breath of Fire for the SNES. It developed the game Secret of Evermore for the SNES.

Unlike its Japanese parent company or other subsidiaries (such as Square USA), Square Soft was never dissolved and is currently known as Square Enix, Inc.[22][23][24] Square Soft's original headquarters were in Redmond, Washington.[25] Square Enix, Inc. is currently located in El Segundo, California. [26]

Square USA

Square USA, Inc. (originally Square L.A., Inc.) was established in August 1995. It operated as a high-end computer-generated imagery research and development studio, and was integral in the production of graphics for Square-produced games since the beginning of the 32-bit era. Its headquarters were in Los Angeles, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. Like sister company, Square Soft, Inc., Square USA was a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Co., Ltd.

Square Europe, Limited was established in December 1998 to localize and market Square-developed games in Europe and Australia. Located in London, UK, Square Europe was granted exclusive publishing rights in Europe and other PAL territories for all interactive entertainment titles developed by Square.

Square Electronic Arts

Square Electronic Arts, LLC, also known as Square EA, was a joint venture between Square and U.S. video game publisher Electronic Arts to distribute each other's games in North America and Japan respectively. Announced on April 27, 1998, Square EA was based in Costa Mesa, California and operated under the supervision of Square president and CEO Jun Iwasaki, and was responsible for publishing and marketing all games produced by Square in North America. Conversely, Electronic Arts Square, K.K., formed at the same time and based in Japan, was responsible for publishing and marketing games produced by Electronic Arts in Asia. Under the terms of the agreement, Electronic Arts owned 30 percent of Square EA, and Square owned 30 percent of EA Square.

Square EA proved to be very successful, and during its five years of existence released a higher proportion of localized Square titles to the American market than ever before. EA Square, on the other hand, was somewhat less successful, and struggled to make an impact on the Asian video game market, which has been traditionally difficult for American game developers to break into. During its five year run, EA Square handled the Japanese releases of games such as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Quake III: Team Arena, SSX and its sequel SSX Tricky, and various video games based on the Star Wars franchise. EA Square had also developed a game, X-Squad, which was released for the PlayStation 2 during its launch.

Following the announcement of the merger between Square and former competitor Enix in 2003, Square purchased back Electronic Arts' stake in Square EA, and folded it back into Square Soft, Inc., its North American subsidiary, which was subsequently renamed Square Enix U.S.A., Inc. (now Square Enix, Inc.) and continues to publish Square Enix's titles in North America. Conversely, EA did the same with Square's stake in EA Square, which was subsequently renamed Electronic Arts K.K., and continues to publish EA's titles in Japan.

Square Pictures

Square Pictures was located in Honolulu, Hawaii and specialized in computer-animated films for Square. They started in 1997,[27] with the goal to eventually "incorporate the movie division's technical advances into its games, spinning a cycle of creativity with games inspiring movies that in turn improve games."[28] In 1998 it was announced that Square was partnering with Sony/Columbia to bring a full-length Final Fantasy movie to theaters "in the ambitious goal to be the first to simulate human emotions and movements through computer graphics."[29] and in 2000, the film was revealed as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Sony released the film on July 11, 2001, but could only muster mixed reviews. Massive cost overruns resulted in the film's worldwide box-office take being just over half of its budget.

They also created a short film for the Wachowski siblings that was a prequel to The Matrix Reloaded titled the Final Flight of the Osiris. The short featured photo realistic characters, just as The Spirits Within, performing acrobatic moves in action sequences. The film was shown in theaters alongside Dreamcatcher and was meant to set the stage for the two Matrix sequels. The short was released on DVD on June 3, 2003 as part of The Animatrix. Square Pictures is now a consolidated subsidiary of Square Enix.[30]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c https://web.archive.org/web/20030410002227/http://ir.square.co.jp/index_kaisha.html
  2. ^ "Nvidia and Square Partner to Bring Final Fantasy XI to the PC". Nvidia Corporation. September 19, 2002. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Fujii, Daiji (January 2006). "Entrepreneurial choices of strategic options in Japan's RPG development" (PDF). Faculty of Economics, Okayama University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
  4. ^ "Corporate History". Square Enix. Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
  5. ^ a b c "Square Enix Company Timeline". Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  6. ^ "Chrono Trigger". Electronic Gaming Monthly (66): 22. January 1995.
  7. ^ IGN staff (December 11, 1996). "Sony Officially Announces Alignment With Square". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  8. ^ "IGN > Square Does the Management Reshuffling". IGN. February 9, 2001. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  9. ^ "RPGamer > Square-Enix Gives Chrono Break Trademark Some Playmates". Rpgamer.com. Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  10. ^ "IGN> Sony buys stake in Square". IGN.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  11. ^ "Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi>Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi". GIA.com. October 4, 2001. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  12. ^ "RPGamer> Square's President Bows Out". RPGamer. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
  13. ^ "Square Announces Final Fantasy X Spinoffs, Company Restructure to take place". Mad Man's Cafe.com. May 28, 2002. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  14. ^ Bramwell, Tom (30 May 2002). "Square Announces Final Fantasy X Spinoffs, Company Restructure to take place". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  15. ^ "Square Expects Strong Financial Results". RPG Fan. 2002. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  16. ^ "Square Enix Financial data" (PDF). Square Enix. July 30, 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  17. ^ "Square and Enix to merge". IGN.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  18. ^ "Trouble in paradise". RPGamer. January 11, 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  19. ^ "Japan Game Software Firms Square, Enix to Merge". GameCubicle.com. November 26, 2002. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  20. ^ "Square Enix Merger gets greenlight". RPGFan. January 14, 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  21. ^ "Square Completes Acquisition of Quest". IGN. 2002-06-19. Archived from the original on 2006-02-26. Retrieved 2005-01-18.
  22. ^ http://www.hd.square-enix.com/eng/ir/library/pdf/ar_2014_11corporate.pdf
  23. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=6843095
  24. ^ "Square Enix Annual Report for 2004" (PDF). Square Enix. 2004. p. 67. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  25. ^ Gurka, John (May 1995). "A Day in the Life of Square". Electronic Gaming Monthly (70): 72–74.
  26. ^ http://www.hd.square-enix.com/eng/company/group.html
  27. ^ Cruz, Cathy S. (July 2001). "Finally, The Fantasy". Hawaii Business Magazine. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  28. ^ "Wired.com". Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  29. ^ "Gamespot". Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  30. ^ "Square-Enix Co, LTD. Annual Report 2007" (PDF). pp. 29, 30, 53. Retrieved 2009-03-05.

Further reading

Chun, Michelle (March 18, 2002). "SquareSoft: What's Behind the Hype? A Case History" (PDF). Stanford University. Retrieved September 2, 2011.

External links

All Star Pro-Wrestling

All Star Pro-Wrestling (オールスター・プロレスリング) is a Japan-exclusive professional wrestling video game developed and published by Square on June 8, 2000 for the PlayStation 2. It was the first wrestling game published on this platform.All Star Pro-Wrestling was released in a period in which Square sought to diversify its catalog by producing various non-role-playing games for the PlayStation 2. The game's control relied entirely on the DualShock 2's analog sticks, although a second mode using the normal buttons was also available.

While the quality of the game's graphics was lauded and sales were good during its month of release, the control was received negatively by critics, who felt it was awkward and unintuitive. Nevertheless, the game spawned two sequels, released in 2001 and 2003.

Brave Fencer Musashi

Brave Fencer Musashi (ブレイヴフェンサー 武蔵伝, Bureivu Fensā Musashiden, "Brave Fencer: The Legend of Musashi") is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1998 for the PlayStation home console. The game involves real-time sword-based combat in a 3D environment; it also features segments of voiced over dialogue and role-playing game elements such as a day-night cycle and resting to restore energy.

The story follows Musashi, a young swordsman who is summoned to a parallel world to defend Allucanet Kingdom from the Thirstquencher Empire. He searches for the Five Scrolls, which can enhance the powers of his sword, while interacting with people from Allucanet and a nearby village.

Development began in early 1997, and was directed by Yoichi Yoshimoto, produced by Yusuke Hirata, and scored by Tsuyoshi Sekito. The game was a departure from Square's previous role-playing video games, which brought the team several difficulties during development. The game received positive critical response; reviewers praised the graphics in comparison to other similar games of the time, and found the gameplay, especially the action elements, very compelling. Musashi received a sequel in 2005 for the PlayStation 2 under the name of Musashi: Samurai Legend.

Bushido Blade (video game)

Bushido Blade (ブシドーブレード, Bushidō Burēdo) is a 3D fighting video game developed by Light Weight and published by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The game features one-on-one armed combat. Its name refers to the Japanese warrior code of honor Bushidō.

Upon its release, the realistic fighting engine in Bushido Blade was seen as innovative, particularly the game's unique Body Damage System. A direct sequel, Bushido Blade 2, was released on the PlayStation a year later. Another game with a related title and gameplay, Kengo: Master of Bushido, was also developed by Light Weight for the PlayStation 2.

DigiCube

DigiCube Co., Ltd. (株式会社デジキューブ; Kabushiki-gaisha Dejikyūbu) was a Japanese company established as a subsidiary of software developer Square on February 6, 1996 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The primary purpose of DigiCube was to market and distribute Square products, most notably video games and related merchandise, including toys, books, and music soundtracks. DigiCube served as a wholesaler to distributors, and was noteworthy for pioneering the sale of video games in Japanese convenience stores and vending machine kiosks.

Ehrgeiz

Ehrgeiz (エアガイツ, Eagaitsu, German: [ˈeːɐ̯ɡaɪ̯ts] "Ambition"), fully titled Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring, is a 3D fighting video game developed by DreamFactory and published by Namco in 1998 for the arcade platform. It was first ported to the PlayStation and published by Square Co. in 1998, then to Japan's PlayStation Network by Square Enix in 2008.

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the game is the inclusion of characters from Final Fantasy VII. Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart are playable in the arcade and the PlayStation versions; in addition, Sephiroth, Yuffie Kisaragi, Vincent Valentine, Red XIII, and Zack Fair were added to the PlayStation version's roster.

Einhänder

Einhänder is a scrolling shooter developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It was released in Japan on November 20, 1997 and in North America on May 5, 1998. It was also re-released for the Japanese PlayStation Network on June 25, 2008. The name Einhänder is German and denotes a type of sword that is wielded with one hand, here used to refer to the single manipulator arm possessed by the player's spacecraft.The game is based on the story of Endymion and Selene and set in a fictional future during a war between the Earth and the Moon. The player is part of the Moon's forces and must invade enemy territories to gather reconnaissance and enemy weapons. The music of the game was composed in electro/techno style by Kenichiro Fukui and was published in Japan as a soundtrack album. The game received positive reviews from critics, who praised its gameplay and graphics, but felt the game's short duration and lack of two-player mode were minor flaws.

Hanjuku Hero

Hanjuku Hero (半熟英雄, Hanjuku Hīrō, "Soft-Boiled Hero") is a Japan-exclusive series of real-time strategy video games. It is directed by Takashi Tokita and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). The series contains four main titles and a spinoff game. The main titles are Hanjuku Hero (1988), Hanjuku Hero: Aa, Sekaiyo Hanjukunare...! (1992), Hanjuku Hero Tai 3D (2003), and Hanjuku Hero 4: 7-Jin no Hanjuku Hero (2005). The spinoff is a Nintendo DS game called Egg Monster Hero (2005), which is a role-playing game with an emphasis on touch-based gameplay. The series is known for its humor and is centered on Lord Almamoon, the protagonist who must save his country from danger in each game.

Kazushige Nojima

Kazushige Nojima (野島 一成, Nojima Kazushige, born January 20, 1964 in Sapporo) is a Japanese video game writer and is the founder of Stellavista Ltd. He is best known for writing several installments of Square Enix's Final Fantasy video game series—namely Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the Kingdom Hearts series. Nojima also wrote the original lyrics of Liberi Fatali for Final Fantasy VIII and both Suteki da Ne and the Hymn of the Fayth for Final Fantasy X.

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts (Japanese: キングダム ハーツ, Hepburn: Kingudamu Hātsu) is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix (originally by Square). It is a collaboration between Disney Interactive and Square Enix, and is under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura, a longtime Square Enix character designer.

Kingdom Hearts is a crossover of various Disney properties based in a fictional universe. The series centers on the main character, Sora, and his journey and experiences with various Disney, Final Fantasy, The World Ends with You and Pixar characters. The heroes of the series clash against the multiple incarnations of the primary antagonist, Xehanort, throughout the series. The Walt Disney Company owns almost all characters and worlds of the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

The series consists of thirteen games available for multiple platforms, and future titles are planned. Most of the games in the series have been positively received and commercially successful. As of February 2019, the Kingdom Hearts series has shipped more than 30 million copies worldwide. A wide variety of related merchandise has been released along with the games, including soundtracks, figurines, companion books, light novels, cards, and comic series.

List of Square Enix companion books

Dozens of Square Enix companion books have been produced since 1998, when video game developer Square began to produce books that focused on artwork, developer interviews, and background information on the fictional worlds and characters in its games rather than on gameplay details. The first series of these books was the Perfect Works series, written and published by Square subsidiary DigiCube. They produced three books between 1998 and 1999 before the line was stopped in favor of the Ultimania (アルティマニア, Arutimania) series, a portmanteau of ultimate and mania. This series of books is written by Studio BentStuff, which had previously written game guides for Square for Final Fantasy VII. They were published by DigiCube until the company was dissolved in 2003. Square merged with video game publisher Enix on April 1, 2003 to form Square Enix, which resumed publication of the companion books.

Both the Perfect Works and Ultimania books have focused primarily on Square and Square Enix's role-playing video game franchises, such as the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series; over 45 of the 75 books are for games related to the Final Fantasy series. Sometimes, multiple books have been written per game or revised editions have been published years afterwards. One of the books, Final Fantasy IX Ultimania Online, was solely published online as part of an experiment by Square Enix with online content delivery; another for Final Fantasy XI was planned, but the idea was abandoned as unsuccessful and all subsequent books have been published traditionally. The Ultimania series had sold over 10 million books by July 2007. All of the books have been released solely in Japanese, but in October 2017 Dark Horse Books announced that they would be publishing English translations of the three-volume 2012 Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania as Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive, for release starting in June 2018.

List of Square Enix video game franchises

Square Enix is a Japanese video game development and publishing company formed from the merger of video game publisher Enix absorbing developer Square on April 1, 2003. The company is best known for its role-playing video game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts series. Since its inception, the company has developed or published hundreds of titles in various video game franchises on numerous gaming systems. Of its properties, the Final Fantasy franchise is the best-selling, with a total worldwide sales of over 130 million units. The Dragon Quest series has shipped over 71 million units worldwide and is one of the most popular video game series in Japan, while the Kingdom Hearts series has shipped over 24 million copies worldwide.Square Enix has owned Taito, which continues to publish its own video games, since September 2005, and acquired game publisher Eidos Interactive in April 2009, which was merged with Square Enix's European publishing wing and renamed as Square Enix Europe. This list includes franchises in which Square Enix, or its original components Enix and Square, or its subsidiaries, were the primary developer or publisher, even if the series was begun prior to the subsidiary's acquisition. Franchises are defined as any set of interconnected media consisting of more than one release, and video game franchises are defined as franchises which were initially created as a video game or series of video games.

For a list of all individual games developed or published by Square Enix, see the list of Square Enix video games and mobile games. For games released before the merger, see the Square and Enix video games. For games released by Taito, both before and after the acquisition, see the list of Taito games, and for games published by Eidos prior to acquisition see the List of Eidos Interactive games.

PlayOnline

PlayOnline is an online gaming service created by Square (now Square Enix) on January 28, 2000, and has been the launcher application and Internet service for many of the online PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 games the company publishes. Games hosted included Front Mission Online, Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion, Tetra Master, and the Japanese releases of EverQuest II, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and JongHoLo. As of 2018, the PC version of Final Fantasy XI is the only remaining game supported by the service.

PlayOnline was one of the first cross-platform gaming services and hosted hundreds of thousands of players at its peak. It was shut down for twelve days during the 2011 earthquake in Japan. The platform was also subjected to denial of service attacks and players attempting to cheat were subsequently banned. Starting with Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix began moving their online games off the service as membership declined. The termination date for Final Fantasy XI and PlayOnline on PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 was March 2016, with only the PC version of Final Fantasy XI still supported.

Quake III Arena

Quake III Arena is a multiplayer-focused first-person shooter video game released in December 1999. The game was developed by id Software and featured music composed by Sonic Mayhem and Front Line Assembly founder, Bill Leeb. Quake III Arena is the third game in the Quake series and differs from previous games by excluding a traditional single-player element, instead focusing on multiplayer action. The single-player mode is played against computer-controlled bots.

Notable features of Quake III Arena include the minimalist design, lacking rarely used items and features, the extensive customizability of player settings such as field of view, texture detail and enemy model, and advanced movement features such as strafe-jumping and rocket-jumping.

Quake III Arena is available on a number of platforms and contains mature content. The game was highly praised by reviewers who, for the most part, described the gameplay as fun and engaging. Many liked the crisp graphics and focus on multiplayer.

Quake III Arena has also been used extensively in professional electronic sports tournaments such as QuakeCon, Cyberathlete Professional League, Dreamhack, and the Electronic Sports World Cup.

Quest Corporation

Quest Corporation (株式会社クエスト, Kabushiki gaisha Kuesuto) was a Japanese video game company founded in 1988. They were originally known as Bothtec, which had developed The Scheme, a Metroidvania-style open world action role-playing game featuring music by Yuzo Koshiro, that same year. Quest is best known for its critically acclaimed tactical role-playing game series Ogre Battle.

In 1995, key members Yasumi Matsuno, Hiroshi Minagawa, and Akihiko Yoshida left Quest to join Square, where they developed Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, and have worked on Final Fantasy XII as part of Square Enix. In 2002, Quest was purchased by Square; and the acquisition reunited some of Quest's developers with their former colleagues. These former Quest staff continued to work on the Final Fantasy Tactics sequels Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, while the Ogre Saga creator Yasumi Matsuno left the company in 2005. Matsuno later reunited with his former team to help design and direct the PSP remake of Tactics Ogre on a freelance basis.

Rad Racer

Rad Racer, originally released in Japan as Highway Star (ハイウェイスター, Haiuei Sutā), is a racing game developed and published by Square for the Family Computer in 1987. In this game, players drive a Ferrari 328 or a generic Formula One racing machine through a race course.

The game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America and Europe months after its debut on Family Computer. The game was part of an attempt by Square to make 3-D games, and was followed by several other games using the same technology.

The game sold almost 2 million copies, and is considered one of the best racing games on the NES, but was also criticized as being derivative of other racing games from the period.

Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is a role-playing video game (RPG) developed by Square and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1996. It is the first RPG in the Mario franchise, with major elements drawn from Square's RPG franchises and action-based gameplay reminiscent of the Super Mario series.

Super Mario RPG was directed by Yoshihiko Maekawa and Chihiro Fujioka and produced by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto. Yoko Shimomura composed the score, which was released on a soundtrack album in Japan. The story focuses on Mario and his party as they seek to eliminate Smithy, who has stolen the seven star pieces of Star Road. The game features five playable characters. It was not released in PAL regions such as Europe.

Super Mario RPG was well-received and particularly praised for its humor and 3D-rendered graphics; it appears on lists of the greatest video games of all time. It was followed by the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series, spiritual sequels which reuse some gameplay elements. Nintendo published Super Mario RPG to the Wii Virtual Console service in 2008 and the Wii U Virtual Console service in 2016. It was also re-released with the Super NES Classic Edition in 2017.

The Death Trap

The Death Trap (ザ・デストラップ) is a text adventure video game developed and published by Square for the NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, and Fujitsu FM-7 in 1984. The game and its supporting computer platforms were only released in Japan.

The Death Trap is the first game developed by Square, created before they were even an independent company. At the time, Square was a software branch of Den-Yu-Sha, a Japanese power line manufacturing firm; it was not until 1986 that Square Co., Ltd. was independently established. Square followed up with a sequel to The Death Trap in 1985 called Will: The Death Trap II. Square's third and final text adventure game was called Alpha, released in 1986, and tells a science fiction story in the same style as The Death Trap. The company's next game, Suishō no Dragon, was an early point-and-click adventure game and their subsequent games were in a variety of other genres before settling on the role-playing video game with Final Fantasy. Project EGG, a licensed emulator for home computer games, included The Death Trap, Will, and Alpha together in its limited edition "Classic PC-Game Collection" on September 8, 2013, alongside Cruise Chaser Blassty and Genesis—other Square games released between 1984 and 1987.

Tobal No. 1

Tobal No. 1 (トバル ナンバーワン, Tobaru Nanbā Wan) is a fighting video game for the PlayStation developed by DreamFactory and published by Square in 1996. The game was DreamFactory's first release, as well as Square's first release on the CD-based console.Tobal No. 1 marks Square's first incursion into the fighting game genre, although an adventure-like quest mode is part of the game. The game's mechanics were designed with the aid of fighter game designer Seiichi Ishii, while all the characters were designed by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame. The sequel, Tobal 2, was never released in North America and Europe.

Packaged with both the North American and Japanese version of the game was a sampler disc featuring a pre-release demo of Final Fantasy VII and video previews of Final Fantasy Tactics, Bushido Blade, and SaGa Frontier.

Xenogears

Xenogears is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation video game console. The debut entry in the wider Xeno franchise, it was released in Japan in February 1998, and in North America in October the same year. The gameplay of Xenogears revolves around navigating 3D environments both on-foot and using humanoid mecha dubbed "Gears". Combat is governed by a version of the turn-based "Active Time Battle" system. The story follows protagonist Fei Fong Wong and several others as they journey across the world to overthrow the all-powerful rule of Deus. The story incorporates themes of Jungian psychology, Freudian thought, and religious symbolism.

Created by Tetsuya Takahashi and his wife Kaori Tanaka as a proposal for Final Fantasy VII, it was allowed to be developed as its own project, first as a sequel to Chrono Trigger and then as a wholly original game with a science fiction premise. It was developed under the working title "Project Noah". The characters and mecha were designed by Kunihiko Tanaka, whose designs were portrayed during in-game cinematics through the use of anime cutscenes. Due to time constraints and the team's general inexperience, the second half of the game's plot was primarily told through cutscenes.

The game was nearly left unlocalized due to its religious content; its localization was handled entirely by Square Electronic Arts staff and translator Richard Honeywood, who described it as one of the most troublesome games of his career. The game received critical acclaim, with praise particularly going towards the storyline, gameplay, characters, and psychological and religious themes, but received criticism for the rushed pace of the second disc, due to a lack of gameplay and excessive narration. By 2003, the game had shipped over a million copies worldwide. It has since gained a cult following. While a direct sequel was never developed, Takahashi would later found Monolith Soft and develop the Xenosaga trilogy as a spiritual successor.

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