Square Enix

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Square Enix is the result of a 2003 merger between two video game companies (Square and Enix, natch). They are primarily known for their work on RPGs, and several of their franchises have gone on to sell millions upon millions across the world.

Their merger was a huge event at the time. Square and Enix had been major rivals for years; both were known for their RPGs, with Square being behind the world-dominating Final Fantasy franchise, and Enix responsible for the sales-record-smashing Dragon Quest games. By combining forces, they created a game-industry juggernaut which is a force to be reckoned with, especially in the Japanese market.

Enix was the older of the two merging companies, and it found success earlier. Founded in 1975 as the Eidansha Boshu Service Center, it changed its name to Enix in 1982, just before it entered the video game market. Enix's early games (which included some Eroge) were released principally on the Japanese NEC PC-8801 and Fujitsu FM-7 computers. Though games such as The PORTOPIA Serial Murder Case were quite popular in Japan, Dragon Quest I was Enix's first game to be released internationally, albeit under the Market-Based Title Dragon Warrior (though they had a good reason for this; a very similar trademark already existed).

Square's early years were leaner; they began as a division of the software company Denyusha. In 1984 they released their first game, The Death Trap, whose modest success led them to create a few more original games, as well as technically unimpressive ports of Dragon Slayer for the MSX and Thexder for the NES. After Square Co., Ltd. became independent in 1986, they started putting out a variety of forgettable games for the Famicom Disk System, and were not doing too well when, a year and a half after Dragon Quest, they released an RPG called Final Fantasy I...

After the merger, fans were divided on how to refer to the company, as "Square Enix" was too unwieldy. Although some tried "Squarenix", it's now almost universally referred to as "Squeenix". Square Enix has even gotten in on this with their line "Squex Toys" in Japan, and their katakana Portmanteau Couple Name スクエニ (SukuEni) has appeared in Japanese promotional screenshots as a stand in for a player name.

In 2005, Square Enix acquired Taito Corporation, known for its work on Space Invaders. Taito has mostly remained independent, retaining its games' copyright and self-publishing its games in Japan, though its parent company has recently begun to publish its games (such as Space Invaders Extreme and Arkanoid DS) elsewhere (with the label "Taito - A Square Enix Company" on the cover).

In 2009, Square Enix took over Eidos (best known for Tomb Raider, and also published the PC versions of Square's Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII as well as the first of Enix's Dragon Quest Monsters games for the Game Boy Color in North America). They renamed them "Square Enix Europe". Seems like a rather boring name until you look at the word they were getting at.

Lately, they've been responsible for publishing and even developing gritty, out-of-character shooters such as Kane and Lynch, Just Cause 2 and Mind Jack, and has collaborated with Activision by publishing the Japanese versions of their games. It seems that their strategy for entering the Western market is to publish promising Western-developed titles-- which causes existing fans of those series some trepidation and provides a convenient scapegoat for perceived flaws in the final releases.

They're also known for having a very Unpleasable Fanbase. The article even had its own example displaying the unpleasability of their fanbase, as well as the arrant hatedom that resulted. Similar to Nintendo, they're also criticized for spinoffs and sequels of existing franchises and not coming up with "new" ones. This is despite all of the "new" Intellectual properties they develop or publish, most of which (Think Infinite Undiscovery) are ignored, and they are then called out for not working on the next Final Fantasy. There are some exceptions, such as The World Ends With You, which actually wasn't glossed over.

Square-Enix is also known for having one of the textbook examples of "Quarterback Syndrome", in which the Quarterback is Tetsuya Nomura. Partly reinforced by how he had managed to misblame himself from various interviews, but still played straight when the Internet Backdraft of Final Fantasy XIII somehow treated him like he was the sole person involved in the game design. (For the record, he only designed some characters in Final Fantasy XIII. He wasn't even the art director!)

Pre-Merger Games:

Games originally published/developed by Square:

Games originally published/developed by Enix:

Post-Merger Square Enix Games:

Child Company Games:

Games published by Taito:

Games published by Eidos and its subsidiary labels:

Other Western-developed games ported by Square-Enix:

Manga published by Square Enix's Gangan Comics imprint:

Square Enix provides examples of the following tropes:

You weren't thinking of something naughty, were you? That's right! It's SQUARE ENIX!