Credits to square enix, official logo of square enix

A journey of more than 40 years in the gaming market: Square Enix

Case Study Jul 31, 2022

Square Enix is recently seen a lot in the news because of its first NFT Project launch. The Japanese entertainment conglomerate and video Game company are best known for creating its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing Video Game franchises.

In this blog, we'll discuss how Square Enix emerged in not just the gaming market but in multiple fields such as merchandise, manga publication, etc. We'll also discuss the reasons that helped Square Enix to rise up high in the gaming market and make its way through.

Overview

Square Enix is one of the world's most influential providers of digital entertainment content. In their London and LA offices, Square Enix publishes and distributes entertainment content from the Square Enix Group.

The Square Enix Group boasts a valuable portfolio of games including FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 144 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST, which has sold over 78 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER, which has sold over 74 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS. Square Enix Ltd. is a London-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. In the following section, we will take a look at the history of the company and how it came into existence.

History

As mentioned earlier, Enix was never just a video game company. 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. The first game, Dragon Warrior, 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.

Credits to wikimedia commons, square enix HQ

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. 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 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 leading franchise, spawning dozens of games in a series that continues to the present.

A merger between Square and Enix was considered 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 an 18.6% stake in Square. Following the success of Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts, the company's finances stabilized, and it recorded the highest operating margin in its history in the fiscal year 2002.

It was announced on November 25, 2002, that Square and Enix's previous plans to merge were to officially proceed, intending to decrease development costs and compete with foreign developers.

Games by Square Enix

Square Enix has published some of the most loved and highest-selling games. In this section, we'll talk about some of the most famous games published under Square Enix’s name.

Final Fantasy:  Final Fantasy is a single-player role-playing game (RPG) that lets the player control four characters called the "Light Warriors." They begin by rescuing a princess from the Notorious Knight Garland. Soon after, they are given the world-spanning task of collecting four Orbs of Light and defeating four fiends.

Dragon Quest: The Dragon Quest franchise is best described as Japan's most popular RPG franchise, responsible for launching the console RPG industry. It remains immensely popular in Japan. On May 25, 2011, Dragon Quest celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

Tomb Raider Reloaded: A roguelike mobile game with a distinctive art style based on the original Tomb Raider continuity, and featuring all of the original trilogy's voice actresses for Lara.

• Kingdom Hearts: A heart-shaped moon that is able to absorb released hearts and which is the doorway to a world that contains the power of all hearts. It plays a major role in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. The goal of Master Xehanort is to exploit its powers.

Credits to Ars Technica, Games by Square Enix

How Square Enix is going strong in the Esports Market even now?

Square Enix has been in the industry for more than 30 years now and it takes a lot of effort to maintain consistency and raise the benchmark when some of your works have been a hit. The pressure fell on the shoulders of Square Enix too. Using some well-planned strategies, the company has managed to retain its position in the market even after facing a lot of difficult patches. Let us take a look at some of the steps taken by Square Enix:

• The studio has transitioned to free-to-play games, and it has quadrupled its team over the years. This initiative of providing the free-to-play option to gamers helped Square Enix to up its game.

• The business model of post-merger Square Enix is centered on the idea of "polymorphic content", which consists of developing franchises on multiple potential media rather than being restricted by a single gaming platform.

• The company has made three forays into the film industry. Being involved in different fields gives the company better exposure and a chance to connect with the consumer at different levels.

• The company has a manga publishing division in Japan (originally from Enix) called Gangan Comics. Manga is one of the most popular pop-culture phenomena. This has given Square Enix an opportunity to connect with audiences of all age groups.

Square Enix’s average revenue per game is approximately $5.2m which makes the popularity of the brand name evident. Square Enix’s income generated through the games bar has been going up only for the past few years.

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