Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.
The original Square Enix Co., Ltd. was formed as the result of a merger between Enix Corporation and Square Co., Ltd. in April 2003, with Enix as the surviving company. Each share of Square's common stock was exchanged for 0.85 shares of Enix's common stock. At the time, 80% of Square Enix staff were made up of former Square employees. As part of the merger, former Square president Yoichi Wada was appointed president of the new corporation, while former Enix president Keiji Honda was named its vice president, and the founder of Enix, Yasuhiro Fukushima, the largest shareholder of the combined corporation, became its honorary chairman.
In October 2008, Square Enix conducted a company split between its corporate business and video game operations. Square Enix re-branded itself as Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd., a holding company, while its internally domestic video game operations were formed as a new subsidiary called Square Enix Co., Ltd. During the 2014 fiscal year, the company made over ¥150 billion in revenue (US$1.36 billion).
In addition to its flagship subsidiary, Square Enix Holdings owns the arcade gaming corporation Taito, known for games such as Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, and Darius. Square Enix also owned British game publisher Eidos Interactive, which was absorbed into Square Enix Europe in order to publish Eidos Interactive titles such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Hitman under the Square Enix brand.
|Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.|
Square Enix's headquarters in Shinjuku Eastside Square, Tokyo
|Kabushiki gaisha Sukūea Enikkusu Hōrudingusu|
|Square Enix Co., Ltd.|
|Traded as||TYO: 9684|
|Founded||September 22, 1975|
|Headquarters||Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan|
|Revenue||¥256.824 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Business Division 1 through Business Division 11|
Enix was founded on September 22, 1975, as Eidansha Boshu Service Center by Japanese architect-turned-entrepreneur Yasuhiro Fukushima. Enix focused on publishing games, often by companies who exclusively partnered with the company, and is perhaps most famous for publishing the Dragon Quest series of console games developed by Chunsoft. Key members of the developer's staff consisted of director Koichi Nakamura, writer Yuuji Horii, artist Akira Toriyama, and composer Koichi Sugiyama, among others. The first game in the Famicom-based RPG series was released in 1986, and would eventually sell 1.5 million copies in Japan, establishing Dragon Quest as the company's most profitable franchise. Despite the announcement that Enix's long-time competitor Square would develop exclusively for Sony PlayStation, Enix announced in January 1997 that it would release games for both Nintendo and Sony consoles. This caused a significant rise in stock for both Enix and Sony. By November 1999, Enix was listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 1st section, indicating it as a "large company".
Square was started in October 1983 by Masafumi Miyamoto as a computer game software division of Den-Yu-Sha, a power line construction company owned by his father. While at the time game development was usually conducted by only one programmer, Miyamoto believed that it would be more efficient to have graphic designers, programmers and professional story writers working together on common projects.
In September 1986, the division was spun off into an independent company led by Miyamoto officially named Square Co., Ltd. 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, which was inspired by Enix's success in the genre with the 1986 Dragon Quest. Final Fantasy was a success with over 400,000 copies sold, and it became Square's main franchise, spawning dozens of games in a series that continues to the present.
Buoyed by the success of their Final Fantasy franchise, Square developed many other widely known games such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Secret of Mana, Legend of Mana, Xenogears, Brave Fencer Musashi, Parasite Eve, 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). By late 1994 they had developed a reputation as a producer of high quality role-playing video games. 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. 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.
A merger between Square and Enix was in consideration since at least 2000; the financial failure in 2001 of Square's first movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, made Enix reluctant to proceed while Square was losing money. With the company facing its second year of financial losses, Square approached Sony for a capital injection and on October 8, 2001, Sony Corp purchased 18.6% stake in Square. Following the success of both Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts, the company's finances stabilized, and it recorded the highest operating margin in its history in fiscal year 2002. It was announced on November 25, 2002, that Square and Enix's previous plans to merge were to officially proceed, with the goal to mutually decrease development costs and to compete with foreign developers. As described by Yoichi Wada, Square's president and CEO: "Square has also fully recovered, meaning this merger is occurring at a time when both companies are at their height."
Some shareholders expressed concerns about the merger, notably Square's original founder and largest shareholder Miyamoto, who would find himself holding a significantly smaller percentage of the combined companies. 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." Miyamoto's concerns were eventually resolved by altering the exchange ratio of the merger so that each Square share would be exchanged for 0.85 Enix shares rather than 0.81 shares, and the merger was greenlit. The merger was set for April 1, 2003, on which date the newly merged entity Square Enix came into being. At the time of the merger, 80% of Square Enix staff were made up of former Square employees. As part of the merger, former Square president Yoichi Wada was appointed president of the new corporation, while former Enix president Keiji Honda became its vice president. The founder of Enix and the largest shareholder of the newly combined corporation, Yasuhiro Fukushima, was made its honorary chairman.
As a result of the merger, Enix was the surviving company and Square Co., Ltd. was dissolved. In July of that year, the Square Enix headquarters were moved to Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, as part of the process of combining the two companies.
Since the merger in 2003, Square Enix has acquired a number of companies, as well as creating several subsidiary companies. To strengthen its wireless market, Square Enix acquired mobile application developer UIEvolution in March 2004, though it was sold in December 2007, and the company instead founded its own Square Enix MobileStudio in January 2008 to focus on mobile products. In January 2005 Square Enix founded Square Enix China, expanding their interests in the People's Republic of China.
In September of that year Square Enix bought the gaming developer and publisher Taito, renowned for their arcade hits such as Space Invaders and the Bubble Bobble series; Taito's home and portable console games divisions were merged into Square Enix itself by March 2010. In August 2008, Square Enix made plans for a similar expansion by way of a friendly takeover of video game developer Tecmo by purchasing shares at a 30 percent premium, but Tecmo rejected the proposed takeover.
Instead, in February 2009, Square Enix announced a takeover deal for Eidos plc, the holding company for Eidos Interactive, the UK-based publisher of the Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex, Thief and Legacy of Kain franchises, along with its multiple subsidiary development studios that developed the games The acquisition of Eidos was completed in April 2009, and in November the publisher was merged with Square Enix's European publishing organization to form Square Enix Europe.
In March 2011 Square Enix founded another mobile development studio, Hippos Lab, followed by another in 2012, Square Enix Montréal. A third mobile studio was founded in Indonesia in June 2013, Smileworks, but was closed in January 2015. The latest subsidiary company to be created was Shinra Technologies, a cloud gaming company, but it was only in existence from September 2014 to January 2016. In 2015, Square created a new studio known as Tokyo RPG Factory to develop what was then dubbed Project Setsuna. On February 21, 2017, the formation of new studio Studio Istolia was announced. The studio, headed by Hideo Baba, would be working on the new RPG Project Prelude Rune.
On October 1, 2008, Square Enix transformed into a holding company and was renamed to Square Enix Holdings. At the same time the gaming, contents and publishing businesses were transferred to a spin-off named Square Enix, sharing the same corporate leadership and offices with the holding. The primary offices for Square Enix and Square Enix Holdings are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
After the merger in 2003, Square Enix's development department was organized into eight Square and two Enix Product Development Divisions (開発事業部 kaihatsu jigyōbu), each focused on different groupings of games. The divisions were spread around different offices; for example, Product Development Division 5 had offices both in Osaka and Tokyo.
According to Yoichi Wada, the development department was reorganized away from the Product Development Division System by March 2007 into a project-based system. Until 2013, the teams in charge of the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series were still collectively referred to as the 1st Production Department (第1制作部 dai-ichi seisakubu). The 1st Production Department was formed from the fall 2010 combination of Square Enix's Tokyo and Osaka development studios, with Shinji Hashimoto as its corporate executive.
During December 2013, Square Enix's development was restructured into 12 Business Divisions. The former Twitter account of the 1st Production Department is now used to distribute information on the games developed by Business Divisions 1 to 4. Yoshinori Kitase is the Head of Business Division 1, Hajime Tabata is the Head of Business Division 2, Shinji Hashimoto is the Head of Business Division 3, Ichiro Hazama is the Head of Business Division 4, Naoki Yoshida is the Head of Business Division 5, Yu Miyake is the Head of Business Division 6, Takamasa Shiba is the Head of Business Division 7, Kei Hirono and Tomohiro Hasegawa are the Heads of Business Division 8, Joji Yamanaka and Toshinori Mizumachi are the Heads of Business Division 9, Yuki Watanabe is the Head of Business Division 10 and Tomoya Asano is the Head of Business Division 11.
The business model of Square Enix is centered on the idea of "polymorphic content", which consists of developing franchises on multiple potential hardware or media rather than being restricted by a single gaming platform. An early example of this strategy is Enix's Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, which has been adapted into two anime television series, two movies, and several novels and video games. Other polymorphic projects include Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Code Age, World of Mana, Ivalice Alliance and as of 2016 the ongoing Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy series. According to Yoichi Wada, "It's very difficult to hit the jackpot, as it were. Once we've hit it, we have to get all the juice possible out of it". Similar to Sony's Greatest Hits program, Square Enix also re-releases their best selling games at a reduced price under a label designated "Ultimate Hits".
The standard game design model Square Enix employs is to establish the plot, characters and art of the game first. Battle systems, field maps and cutscenes are created next. According to Taku Murata, this process became the company's model for development after the success of Square's Final Fantasy VII in 1997. The team size for Final Fantasy XIII peaked at 180 artists, 30 programmers, and 36 game designers, but analysis and restructuring were done to outsource large-scale development in the future.
Square Enix's main concentration is on video gaming, and it is primarily known for its role-playing video game franchises. Of its properties, the Final Fantasy franchise, begun in 1987, is the best-selling, with a total worldwide sales of over 110 million units as of June 2014. The Dragon Quest franchise, begun in 1986, is also high-selling; it is considered one of the most popular game series in Japan and new installments regularly outsell other games at the times of their release, with a total worldwide sales of over 71 million units. More recently, the Kingdom Hearts series (developed in collaboration with Disney's Buena Vista Games beginning in 2002) has become popular, with over 20 million units sold as of March 2014. Other popular series developed by Square Enix include the SaGa series with nearly 10 million copies sold since 1989, the Mana series with over 6 million sales since 1991, and the Chrono series with over 5 million sold since 1995. In addition to their sales numbers, many Square Enix games have been highly reviewed; 27 Square Enix games were included in Famitsu magazine's 2006 "Top 100 Games Ever", with 7 in the top 10 and Final Fantasy X claiming the number 1 position. The company also won IGN's award for Best Developer of 2006 for the PlayStation 2.
Square and Enix initially targeted Nintendo home consoles with their games, but Square Enix currently develops games for a wide variety of systems. In the seventh generation of video game consoles, Square Enix released new installments from its major series across all three major systems, including Final Fantasy XIII on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and Dragon Quest X on the Wii. Square Enix has also developed titles for handheld game consoles, including the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. In addition, they have published games for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers, and for various models of mobile phones and modern smartphones. Square Enix mobile phone games became available in 2004 on the Vodafone network in some European countries, including Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.
Before its launch, Michihiro Sasaki, senior vice president of Square Enix, spoke about the PlayStation 3, saying "We don't want the PlayStation 3 to be the overwhelming loser, so we want to support them, but we don't want them to be the overwhelming winner either, so we can't support them too much." Square Enix continued to reiterate their devotion to multi-platform publishing in 2007, promising more support for the North American and European gaming markets where console pluralism is generally more prevalent than in Japan. Their interest in multi-platform development was made clear in 2008 when the previously PlayStation 3-exclusive game Final Fantasy XIII was announced for release on the Xbox 360.
In 2008, Square Enix released their first game for the iPod, Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes. Square Enix made a new brand for younger children gaming that same year, known as Pure Dreams. Pure Dreams' first two games, Snoopy DS: Let's Go Meet Snoopy and His Friends! and Pingu's Wonderful Carnival were released that year. After acquiring Eidos in 2009, Square Enix combined it with its European publishing wing to create Square Enix Europe, which continues to publish Eidos franchises such as Tomb Raider (63 million sales), Hitman (15 million), Deus Ex (4 million), Thief (2.5 million) and Legacy of Kain (3.5 million). Square Enix has also served as the Japanese publisher for Ubisoft games since 2009.
Square Enix has developed two notable in-house game engines. In 2004, Square Enix began to work on a "common 3D format" that would allow the entire company to develop titles without being restricted to a specific platform: this led to the creation of a game engine named Crystal Tools, which is compatible with the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, Windows-based PCs and to some extent the Wii. It was first shown off at a tech demo shown off at E3 2005, and was later used for Final Fantasy XIII based on the demo's reception. Crystal Tools was also used for Final Fantasy Versus XIII before its re-branding as Final Fantasy XV and shift onto next-gen platforms. Refinement of the engine continued through the development of Final Fantasy XIII-2, and it underwent a major overhaul for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. No new titles have been announced for the engine, and it is believed that development of the engine has halted permanently in favor of the Square Enix Luminous Studio engine.
The second major in-house engine is Luminous Studio, intended for eighth-generation consoles, which was originally unveiled at E3 2012 through a tech demo titled Agni's Philosophy. The first major console title to be developed with Luminous Studio was Final Fantasy XV; the engine's development was done in tandem with the game, and the game's development helped the programming team optimize the engine.
In addition to Luminous Studio and custom engines made for individual games and platforms before and since, Square Enix often uses other companies' engines and programming languages for their video game properties. Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 was used for games such as The Last Remnant and more recently Unreal Engine 4 has been used for projects including Dragon Quest XI and Kingdom Hearts 3. Unity has also been used internally for titles including I Am Setsuna, Lost Sphear and SaGa: Scarlet Grace. The Squirrel language had also been used for the WiiWare title Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King.
Before the merger, Enix published its first online game Cross Gate in Japan, mainland China, and Taiwan in 2001, and Square released Final Fantasy XI in Japan in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and later the personal computer. With the huge success of Final Fantasy XI, the game was ported to the Xbox 360 two years later, and was the first MMORPG on the console. All versions of the game used PlayOnline, a cross-platform internet gaming platform and internet service developed by Square Enix. The platform was used as the online service for many games Square Enix developed and published throughout the decade. Due to the success of their MMORPG, Square Enix began a new project called Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion. GamePot, a Japanese game portal, got the license to publish Fantasy Earth in Japan and it was released in Japan as "Fantasy Earth ZERO." In 2006, however, Square Enix dropped the Fantasy Earth Zero project, and sold it to GamePot. Square Enix released Concerto Gate, the sequel to Cross Gate, in 2007.
A next-gen MMORPG code named Rapture was developed by the Final Fantasy XI team using the company's Crystal Tools engine. It was unveiled at E3 2009 that the MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, for PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows, would be released on September 30, 2010. Dragon Quest X was announced in September 2011 as an MMORPG being developed for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U consoles, which released on August 2, 2012, and March 30, 2013, respectively. Like XIV, it used Crystal Tools.
Square Enix also made browser games and Facebook games, like Legend World, Chocobo's Crystal Tower and Knights of the Crystals, and online games for Yahoo! Japan, such as Monster x Dragon, Sengoku Ixa, Bravely Default: Praying Brage, Star Galaxy and Crystal Conquest.
On May 8, 2012, Square Enix announced a collaboration with Bigpoint Games to create a free-to-play cloud gaming platform that "throws players into 'limitless game worlds' directly through their web browser". The service was launched under the name CoreOnline in August 2012. Claiming "limited commercial take-up", the service was cancelled on November 29, 2013. Square Enix launched another online game service in Japan called Dive In on October 9, 2014, that allowed players to stream console games to their iOS or Android devices. The service was monetized by the amount of time players spent playing, with each game offered for free for thirty minutes. The service was cancelled on September 13, 2015.
With the merger of Taito businesses into Square Enix, the company gained possession of Taito's arcade infrastructure and facilities, and entered the arcade market in 2005. In 2010 Taito revealed NESiCAxLive, a cloud-based system of storing games and changing them through the internet instead of acquiring physical copies. This system was added to its many arcade gaming locations. The company continues to cater to the arcade audience in Japan with arcade-only titles, with game producers in 2015 stating that Square Enix as it has a loyal fan base that values the arcade gaming experience.
The company has made three forays into the film industry. The first, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), was produced by Square subsidiary Square Pictures prior to the merger with Enix; Square Pictures is now a consolidated subsidiary of Square Enix. Its box-office failure caused Enix to delay the merger, which was already under consideration before the creation of the film, until Square became profitable once again. In 2005, Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, a CGI-animation movie based on the PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII, set two years after the events of the game. A Deus Ex film is currently in pre-production and as of 2014 is undergoing rewrites. In 2016 Square Enix revealed a new movie called Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV based in the world of Final Fantasy XV and a new web series released on YouTube and Crunchyroll entitled Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.
The company has a manga publishing division in Japan (originally from Enix) called Gangan Comics, which publishes content for the Japanese market only. In 2010, however, Square Enix launched a digital manga store for North American audiences via its Members services, which contains several notable series published in Gangan anthologies. Titles published by Gangan Comics include Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and many others. Other titles include manga adaptations of various Square Enix games, like Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts and Star Ocean. Some of these titles have also been adapted into anime series. Fullmetal Alchemist is the most successful title of Square Enix's manga branch, with more than 64 million volumes sold worldwide. It is licensed in North America by Viz Media, while its two anime adaptations were licensed by Funimation Entertainment in the United States.
Square Enix has created merchandise for virtually all of their video game franchises, though many items are available only in Japan. Square Enix's former online gaming portal PlayOnline sold merchandise from game franchises including Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story, Chocobo Racing, Front Mission, Chrono Cross, and Final Fantasy. Mascots from game franchises are a popular focus for merchandise, such as the Chocobo from Final Fantasy, which has been seen as a rubber duck, a plush baby Chocobo, and on coffee mugs. Square Enix also designed a Chocobo character costume for the release of Chocobo Tales. The Slime character from Dragon Quest has also been frequently used in Square Enix merchandise, especially in Japan. On the Japanese Square Enix shopping website there is also a Slime-focused section called "Smile Slime". Slime merchandise includes plush toys, pencil cases, keychains, game controllers, a stylus, and several boardgames including one titled Dragon Quest Slime Racing. In Japan, pork filled steam buns shaped like slimes have been sold. For Dragon Quest's 25th anniversary, special items were sold including business cards, tote bags, and crystal figurines. Rabites from the Mana series have appeared in several pieces of Square Enix merchandise, including plush dolls, cushions, lighters, mouse pads, straps, telephone cards, and T-shirts. Square Enix has also made merchandise for series they do not own, including figures Mass Effect and Halo.
|Square Enix, Inc. (previously Square Soft Inc.)||March 1989||El Segundo, California, United States||American publishing and Japanese Intellectual Property localization. Founded as Square Soft, Inc. and merged in 2003 with sister subsidiaries Square USA and Square Electronic Arts to become Square Enix USA. Renamed to its current name in July 2004.|||
|Gangan Comics||March 12, 1991||Tokyo, Japan||Manga and Magazine publishing division.|||
|Square Enix Europe||December 1998||Blackfriars, London, United Kingdom||Flagship western subsidiary, European publishing, Tomb Raider series, Deus Ex series, Just Cause series.|||
|Visual Works (previously Square Visual Works)||June 1999||Tokyo, Japan||CGI movie production division.|||
|PlayOnline||January 28, 2000||Tokyo, Japan||Online gaming services division.|||
|Square Enix (China) Co., Ltd.||February 28, 2005||Haidian District, Beijing, People's Republic of China||Chinese publishing. The successor to Square Enix Webstar Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.|||
|Taito Corporation||September 28, 2005||Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan||Square Enix Holdings arcade gaming subsidiary, Space Invaders series, Bubble Bobble series, Groove Coaster series.|||
|Square Enix Mobile Studio||January 2008||Sapporo, Japan||Mobile games development and publishing division.|||
|Square Enix Co., Ltd.||October 1, 2008||Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan||Flagship game development with Business Division 1 to 11 and publishing company, Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest series, Kingdom Hearts series.|||
|Beautiful Game Studios||April 22, 2009||London, United Kingdom||Square Enix Europe game development subsidiary, Championship Manager series.|||
|Crystal Dynamics||April 22, 2009||Redwood City, California, United States||Square Enix Europe game development subsidiary.|||
|Eidos Montréal||April 22, 2009||Montréal, Quebec, Canada||Square Enix Europe game development subsidiary.|||
|Eidos Shanghai||April 22, 2009||Shanghai, People's Republic of China||Square Enix Europe subsidiary, Outsourcing support.|||
|Hippos Lab||March 7, 2011||Tokyo, Japan||Square Enix Co., Ltd. Smartphone gaming subsidiary.|||
|Square Enix Montréal||2012||Montréal, Quebec, Canada||Square Enix Europe Mobile game development subsidiary.|||
|Tokyo RPG Factory||2015||Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan||Square Enix Co., Ltd. game development subsidiary.|||
|Square Enix Collective||2016||Blackfriars, London, United Kingdom||Service provider for indie developers.|||
|Studio Istolia||February 21, 2017||Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan||Square Enix Co., Ltd. game development subsidiary.|||
|Luminous Productions||March 27, 2018||Tokyo, Japan||Square Enix Co., Ltd. game development subsidiary.|||
|Name||Became subsidiary||Closed or sold||Location||Purpose||Ref.|
|Enix America Corporation Inc.||1990||November 1995||Redmond, Washington, United States||Enix's first American subsidiary.|||
|Square USA, Inc (previously Square L.A., Inc.)||August 1995||April 1, 2003||Costa Mesa, California, United States||Square Co. Ltd's American research and development studio.|||
|DigiCube||February 6, 1996||November 26, 2003||Tokyo, Japan||Square Co. Ltd. marketing and distribution subsidiary in Japan.|||
|Square Electronic Arts||April 27, 1998||April 1, 2003||Costa Mesa, California, United States||Joint venture with Electronic Arts for American publishing.|||
|Taito Soft Corporation (originally The Game Designers Studio)||June 22, 1999||March 11, 2010||Hirakawa-cho, 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan||Square Enix Co., Ltd. game development brand.|||
|Enix America Inc.||1999||April 1, 2003||Seattle, King County, Washington, United States||A joint venture between Enix and Eidos Interactive to publish Enix games for Western markets.|||
|Square Enix Webstar Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (previously Enix Webstar Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.)||2001||February 28, 2005||Beijing, China||Enix Chinese publishing division.|||
|Eidos Hungary||2002 (Eidos Interactive)||April 19, 2010||Budapest, Hungary||Square Enix Europe game development subsidiary.|||
|UIEvolution||March 2004||December 17, 2007||Bellevue, Washington, United States||Square Enix mobile software development division.|||
|Taito Art Corporation||September 28, 2005||July 28, 2008||Tokyo, Japan||Travel and insurance agency division for Taito.|||
|Taito Tech Co., Ltd.||September 28, 2005||July 28, 2008||Tokyo, Japan||Maintenance and transportation of amusement equipment for Taito.|||
|Square Enix of Europe Holdings||December 4, 2008||April 26, 2016||London, England||Holding company for the group's operations in Europe|||
|Eidos Interactive (originally SCi Games)||April 22, 2009||November 10, 2009||Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom||Western intellectual properties publishing subsidiary.|||
|IO Interactive||April 22, 2009||June 16, 2017||Copenhagen, Denmark||Square Enix Europe game development subsidiary.|||
|SPC‐NO.1 Co., Ltd||June 1, 2009||February 1, 2010||Tokyo, Japan||The parent shell company of ES1 Corporation that merged with Taito Corporation.|||
|Smileworks||June 17, 2013||January 14, 2015||Jakarta, Indonesia||iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphones.|||
|Shinra Technologies||September 18, 2014||January 2016||New York City, United States||Cloud services.|||
Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). It is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios. Kingdom Hearts is a crossover of various Disney settings based in a universe made specifically for the series. The series features a mixture of familiar Disney, Final Fantasy, The World Ends with You and Pixar characters, as well as several new characters designed by Tetsuya Nomura. In addition, it has an all-star voice cast which includes many of the Disney characters' official voice actors.
The series centers on Sora's search for his friends and his encounters with various Disney and Final Fantasy characters along the way. Players primarily control Sora, though there are numerous characters that join Sora's party as computer controlled members. The majority of the characters were introduced in the original game Kingdom Hearts. Subsequent installments have featured several new original, Disney, and Final Fantasy characters, Dream Drop Distance introduces characters from Square Enix's The World Ends with You, while Kingdom Hearts III introduces characters from Pixar's Toy Story series and Monsters, Inc..Various types of merchandise modeled after the characters' likeness have been produced, including figurines and jewelry. The characters have garnered praise from several video game websites and magazines for the quality of their voice acting and visual style. Comments have focused on the accurate presentation of Disney characters, the unique visual style of Square Enix characters, how well all the characters blend together, and the consistent quality performances from voice actors.Cloud Strife
Cloud Strife (Japanese: クラウド・ストライフ, Hepburn: Kuraudo Sutoraifu) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Square's (now Square Enix's) 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary claiming to be formerly of SOLDIER, a group of elite supersoldiers employed by the Shinra Electric Power Company, a megacorporation responsible for draining the life from the planet. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group AVALANCHE, and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth, Cloud learns to accept his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud reappears as the protagonist in the 2005 computer-animated sequel film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in which he fights a new threat to the world while dealing with a sickness that infected his body. He acts in a supporting role in other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, and is featured in several other games outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Additionally, he has been featured in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, and the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix.
Cloud was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a character artist for the Final Fantasy series, whose role expanded during the title's development to include supervision over Cloud's personality. Yoshinori Kitase, director of VII, and Kazushige Nojima, one of the game's event planners, developed the story and wanted to create a mysterious character who acted atypically for a hero. After VII, Nomura assumed greater responsibility over Cloud's development, and his design was revised to better conform with the series' shift to a more realistic style.
Cloud has garnered a primarily positive reception from critics. Described as "iconic", Cloud has been cited favorably as an example of complex character writing in video games and as one of its first unreliable narrators. He has ranked highly in various character lists compiled by video game publications, and remains popular among fans, continuing to place highly in popularity polls conducted by Famitsu, Guinness, and other organizations. His characterization and design have also served as trope for other characters, most notably Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. He has also become the basis for a variety of merchandise, such as action figures and jewelry.Enix
Enix Corporation (株式会社エニックス, Kabushiki-gaisha Enikkusu) was a Japanese video game publisher that produced video games, anime and manga. Enix is known for publishing the Dragon Quest series of role-playing video games.
The company was founded by Yasuhiro Fukushima on September 22, 1975, as Eidansha Boshu Service Center (株式会社営団社募集サービスセンター, Kabushiki Gaisha Eidansha Boshū Sābisu Sentā) . The name "Enix" is a play on the words "phoenix", a mythical bird that is reborn from its own ashes, and "ENIAC", the world's first digital computer.The company merged with its competitor Square in 2003 to form Square Enix.Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Square). The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.
Final Fantasy installments are generally stand-alone stories, each with different settings, plots and main characters, however, as a corpus they feature some identical elements that help to define the franchise. These recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Each plot centers on a particular group of heroes who are battling a great evil, but also explores the characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are frequently derived from the history, languages, pop culture, and mythologies of cultures worldwide. The mechanics of each game involve similar battle systems and maps.
The Final Fantasy video game series has been both critically and commercially successful, selling more than 142 million games worldwide, making it one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full-motion videos (FMVs), photorealistic character models, and music by Nobuo Uematsu. It has been a driving force in the video game industry, and the series has affected Square Enix's business practices and its relationships with other video game developers. It has popularized many features now common in role-playing games, also popularizing the genre as a whole in markets outside Japan.Final Fantasy XII
Final Fantasy XII is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 home video console. A part of the Final Fantasy series, the game was released in 2006. It introduced several innovations to the series: an open world, a seamless battle system, a controllable camera, a customizable "gambit" system, which lets the player control the artificial intelligence (AI) of characters in battle, a "license" system, which determines what abilities and equipment can be used by characters, and a hunting side quest, which allows the player to find and defeat increasingly difficult monsters in the game's open world. Final Fantasy XII also includes elements from previous games in the series, such as Chocobos and Moogles.
The game takes place in the fictional land of Ivalice, where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are waging an endless war. Dalmasca, a small kingdom, is caught between the warring nations. When Dalmasca is annexed by Archadia, its princess, Ashe, creates a resistance movement. During the struggle, she meets Vaan, a young adventurer who dreams of becoming a sky pirate in command of an airship. They are quickly joined by a band of allies; together, they rally against the tyranny of the Archadian Empire.
Final Fantasy XII received critical acclaim, earning numerous Game of the Year awards. As of November 2009, the game sold over six million copies worldwide on PlayStation 2. A sequel, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007. A high-definition remaster of the International Zodiac Job System version, subtitled The Zodiac Age, was released for the PlayStation 4 in July 2017, Windows in February 2018, and will be released for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One in April 2019.Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII is a science fiction role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles and later for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Released in Japan in December 2009 and worldwide in March 2010, it is the thirteenth title in the mainline Final Fantasy series. The game includes fast-paced combat, a new system for the series for determining which abilities are developed for the characters called "Crystarium", and a customizable "Paradigm" system to control which abilities are used by the characters. Final Fantasy XIII includes elements from the previous games in the series, such as summoned monsters, chocobos, and airships.
The game takes place in the fictional floating world of Cocoon, whose government, the Sanctum, is ordering a purge of civilians who have supposedly come into contact with Pulse, the much-feared world below. The former soldier Lightning begins her fight against the government in order to save her sister who has been branded as an unwilling servant to a god-like being from Pulse, making her an enemy of Cocoon. Lightning is soon joined by a band of allies, and together the group also become marked by the same Pulse creature. They rally against the Sanctum while trying to discover their assigned task and whether they can avoid being turned into monsters or crystals at the completion.
Development began in 2004, and the game was first announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2006. Final Fantasy XIII is the flagship title of the Fabula Nova Crystallis collection of Final Fantasy games and is the first game to use Square Enix's Crystal Tools engine. Final Fantasy XIII received mostly positive reviews from video game publications, which praised the game's graphics, presentation, and battle system. The game's story received a mixed response from reviewers, and its linearity compared to previous games in the series was mostly criticized. Selling 1.7 million copies in Japan in 2009, Final Fantasy XIII became the fastest-selling title in the history of the series. As of 2017, the game has sold over 7 million copies worldwide on consoles. The Microsoft Windows version has sold over 746,000 copies according to SteamSpy. A sequel, titled Final Fantasy XIII-2, was released in December 2011 in Japan and in February 2012 in North America and PAL regions. A second sequel, titled Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, which concludes Lightning's story and the Final Fantasy XIII series, was released in November 2013 in Japan and in February 2014 in North America and PAL regions. In September 2014, Square Enix announced the Final Fantasy XIII series has been widely successful and has shipped over 11 million copies worldwide. In November, 2018, the series was added to Xbox One backwards compatibility.Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix as part of the long-running Final Fantasy series. It was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016, and for Microsoft Windows in 2018. The game features an open world environment and action-based battle system, incorporating quick-switching weapons, elemental magic, and other features such as vehicle travel and camping. The base campaign was later expanded with downloadable content (DLC), adding further gameplay options such as additional playable characters and multiplayer.
Final Fantasy XV takes place on the fictional world of Eos; aside from the capital of Lucis, all the world is dominated by the empire of Niflheim, who seek control of the magical Crystal protected by Lucis's royal family. On the eve of peace negotiations, Niflheim attacks the capital and steals the Crystal. Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the Lucian throne, goes on a quest to rescue the Crystal and defeat Niflheim. He later learns his full role as the "True King", destined to use the Crystal's powers to save Eos from eternal darkness. The game shares a thematic connection with Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a subseries of games linked by a common mythos which includes Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0.
The game's development began in 2006 as a PlayStation 3 spin-off titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Tetsuya Nomura served as the original director and character designer. After a development period of six years, it was changed to the next mainline title in the series in 2012; Nomura was replaced as director by Hajime Tabata, and the game shifted to eighth generation platforms. Due to the changes, the story needed to be rewritten and some scenes and characters were repurposed or removed. The setting of Final Fantasy XV was "a fantasy based on reality", with locations and creatures based on elements from the real world.
To supplement the game, Square Enix created a multimedia project called the "Final Fantasy XV Universe", which includes a few spin-off games, as well as an anime series and feature film. Gameplay and story-based DLC is also set for release up until early 2019. Upon release, Final Fantasy XV was well received by journalists. Praise was given for its gameplay, visuals, and emotional weight, while reception towards its story and presentation was mixed. By November 2018, the game had sold over 8.4 million copies worldwide.Hitman (franchise)
Hitman is a stealth video game series developed by the Danish company IO Interactive, previously published by Eidos Interactive and Square Enix. IO Interactive remained a subsidiary of Square Enix until 2017, when Square Enix started seeking sellers for the studio, IO Interactive completed a management buyout, regaining their independent status and retaining the rights for Hitman, in June 2017. The series is available on Microsoft Windows as well as several video game consoles, including the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The franchise also includes two novels and a graphic novel: Hitman: Enemy Within written by William C. Dietz, followed by Hitman: Damnation written by Raymond Benson, as well as a comic prequel Agent 47: Birth Of A Hitman.
A film adaptation in 2007, which is loosely based on the storyline of the games, was negatively received, but became a financial success. Another film, Hitman: Agent 47 was released in 2015, to negative reviews.
The story revolves around Agent 47, a cloned assassin-for-hire, whose flawless record places him in high demand among the wealthy and elite. The first original scriptwriter was Morten Iversen, who wrote the scripts for Hitman: Codename 47 and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. He also contributed to Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money. The games feature a mix of orchestral and electronica musical scores, composed by Jesper Kyd. A fifth installment of the series, Hitman: Absolution, was released on 20 November 2012. With it, a spin-off has been released for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 called Hitman: Sniper Challenge. For mobile and tablet, a spin-off game developed by Square Enix Montreal was released as a turn-based strategy game, titled Hitman Go. Another game released for mobile, Hitman: Sniper, consists of first-person sniping gameplay. The sixth game, titled Hitman, was released episodically, the first episode of which released in March 2016, and the last in December 2016. The seventh game, Hitman 2, was released in November 2018.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.Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (Japanese: キングダム ハーツ バース バイ スリープ, Hepburn: Kingudamu Hātsu Bāsu bai Surīpu) is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable, serving as the sixth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series. The game was released on UMD in Japan on January 9, 2010, in North America on September 7, 2010 and in the PAL regions on September 10, 2010. An international version of the game titled Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix was released in Japan in January 2011 featuring the changes made in the non-Japanese versions.
The game utilizes an overhauled battle system different from previous games in the series with new elements. It is a prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts, taking place ten years before. The game centers on the journeys of Terra, Aqua and Ventus, characters briefly featured in Kingdom Hearts II in their quest to locate the missing Master Xehanort, and protect the worlds from creatures known as the Unversed. The player has access to the three characters' different scenarios when playing.
Development of the game began in June 2005 with parts of the game Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix meant to bring clues of Birth by Sleep. The game was directed by Tetsuya Nomura and co-directed by Tai Yasue. Nomura has referred to the game as "Episode 0" (and later "Episode 0.1" following the release of Kingdom Hearts χ) saying that the game is on the same scale and plays as big an importance as Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. The game has been well-received, selling 1.27 million copies worldwide as of November 2010, and receiving positive comments by video game publications. Critics praised the gameplay, graphics, music, and storyline of the game, with criticism reserved for the level design and the characters. A high definition version of the Final Mix edition was released for the PlayStation 3 in 2014 and PlayStation 4 in 2017 as a part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix collection.List of Kingdom Hearts media
Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games developed and published by Square Enix (formerly Square). It is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios, combining characters and elements from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series and multiple Disney franchises. Currently the series includes seven video games released on various platforms, a manga series, a novel series, video game soundtracks released on audio CDs, and a collectible card game.
The video games provide the canonical story of the series. The manga series is adapted by Shiro Amano and the novels are written by Tomoco Kanemaki and illustrated by Shiro Amano. The stories follow the events that take place in the video games with differences to account for the loss of interactivity that a video game provides. The manga and novel series are both divided up into three series based on each of the three main video games. Each series is further broken up into multiple volumes. The manga was originally serialized in Japan by Square's Monthly Shonen Gangan, but has since been released worldwide. The manga was released in the United States by Tokyopop near the end of 2005, but was discontinued in 2008.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.List of Square Enix video games
Square Enix is a Japanese video game development and publishing company formed from the merger on April 1, 2003 of video game developer Square and publisher Enix. The company is best known for its role-playing video game franchises, which include the Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts series. Of its properties, the Final Fantasy franchise is the best-selling, with total worldwide sales of over 130 million units. The Dragon Quest series has sold over 71 million units worldwide and is one of the most popular video game series in Japan, while the Kingdom Hearts series has sold over 24 million copies worldwide. Since its inception, the company has developed or published hundreds of titles in various video game franchises on numerous gaming systems.
Square Enix has owned Taito Corporation, which continues to publish its own video games, since September 2005, and acquired game publisher Eidos Interactive in April 2009, which has been merged with Square Enix's European publishing wing and renamed as Square Enix Europe. This list includes some retail games developed or published by Square Enix after its formation. It does not include games published by Taito, but does include games published by Square Enix Europe. For games released before the merger, see List of Square video games and List of Enix games. For mobile games released by the company, see List of Square Enix mobile games. For games released by Taito, both before and after the acquisition, see List of Taito games, and see List of Eidos Interactive games for games published by Eidos prior to acquisition, and List of Square Enix Europe games for games published afterwards.Organization XIII
Organization XIII (Japanese: XIII機関, Hepburn: Jūsan Kikan) is a fictional group of characters featured in Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios' Kingdom Hearts video game series. The group comprises thirteen beings without hearts called "Nobodies", formed when a person's body fades from existence upon losing their heart and transforming into a "Heartless".
The concept of the Organization was originally introduced in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix within a bonus ending titled "Another Side, Another Story [deep dive]", where their Japanese name was translated as the "Thirteenth Order". The group was later introduced as the "Organization" in the game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, where they serve as the main antagonists, and returns in the same role in Kingdom Hearts II. Organization XIII is prominently featured in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days as characters available for play, along with a new female member named Xion. Several members, prior to becoming Nobodies, appear in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, return following their restoration in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and have returned in Kingdom Hearts III.
The group was moderately well received by reviewers. Comments focused on their difficulty as adversaries and mysterious nature, which fueled expectations of future titles. Roxas specifically received press comments, focusing on his introduction in Kingdom Hearts II.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, 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 Enix Europe
Square Enix Limited (formerly Domark Limited and Eidos Interactive Limited), doing business as Square Enix Europe, is a British video game publisher, acting as the European subsidiary of Square Enix. The company was founded as Domark in 1984, named after the founders Mark Strachan and Dominic Wheatley. In 1995, the company was acquired by Eidos and was merged with two other studios and renamed Eidos Interactive the following year. Eidos was in turn acquired by SCi in 2005, and Eidos Interactive was sold to Square Enix in 2009. On 9 November 2009, Square Enix completed the merger of its existing European branch with Eidos Interactive, renaming the resulting company Square Enix Europe.
Intellectual properties owned by Square Enix Europe include Deus Ex, Tomb Raider and Just Cause, among others.Taito
Taito Corporation (株式会社タイトー, Kabushiki gaisha Taitō) is a Japanese video game developer and publisher of arcade hardware and mobile phones, and an operator of video arcades. It is also a former publisher of home video games. Taito is wholly owned by Square Enix Holdings. Despite being a subsidiary to Square Enix Holdings, the parent company has kept the branding of Taito distinct from Square Enix.Taito is known for producing arcade games, such as Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, and Arkanoid. Its arcade games found success around the world. Taito also imports and distributes American coin-op video games in Japan, where it owns several arcades, known as Taito Stations or Game Taito Stations.
Taito has its headquarters in the Shinjuku Bunka Quint Building in Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, sharing the facility with its parent company. In the past, the company had operated divisions in North America, Brazil, South Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom and China.The World Ends with You
The World Ends with You is an action role-playing game with urban fantasy elements developed by Square Enix and Jupiter for the Nintendo DS. Set in the modern-day Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo, The World Ends with You features a distinctive art style inspired by Shibuya and its youth culture. Development was inspired by elements of Jupiter's previous game, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. It was released in Japan in July 2007, and in PAL regions and North America in April 2008. Later, an enhanced port to accommodate the game for mobile devices ported by h.a.n.d. was released in 2012, while an enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch was released worldwide in 2018 under the title The World Ends with You: Final Remix.
In the game, Neku Sakuraba and his allies are forced to participate in a game that will determine their fate. The battle system uses many of the unique features of the Nintendo DS, including combat that takes place on both screens, and attacks performed by certain motions on the touchscreen or by shouting into the microphone. Elements of Japanese youth culture, such as fashion, food, and cell phones, are key aspects of the missions.
The World Ends with You received positive reviews, praising the graphics, soundtrack, and integration of gameplay into the Shibuya setting. The few common complaints were related to the steep learning curve of the battle system as well as the imprecise touch-screen controls. In the week of its release, the game was the second best-selling DS title in Japan, and the top selling DS title in North America. Shiro Amano, writer and artist of the Kingdom Hearts manga, later created a manga based on the video game.