Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. (株式会社スクウェア・エニックス・ホールディングス? Kabushiki-gaisha Sukuwea Enikkusu Hōrudingusu) is a video game conglomerate best known for Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Dragon Quest franchises. They are located in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Square Enix was formed in April 2003 as a statutory merger (a corporate merger in which the acquirer company dissolves the target company’s assets into the acquirer company). The merger was between Enix Corporation and Square Co., Ltd. The result of the merger was that Square was dissolved as a legal entity, and that Enix was re-branded as Square Enix.
In October 2008, Square Enix decided to do a company split. Square Enix was split into Square Enix Holdings, which dealt with the holdings and corporate side of the business, whilst Square Enix Co., Ltd. was formed as the division for all internal Square Enix video game development. Square Enix also owns Taito Corporation, an arcade gaming developer and publisher best known for Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble and Darius, and Eidos Interactive, which had its assets dissolved into Square Enix Europe. Square Enix Europe are best known for Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Hitman.
They are the current owners of the Ogre Battle franchise, which was achieved through Square’s acquisition of Quest Corporation. Before Square Enix acquisition of the Ogre Battle trademark and copyright, it's closely affiliated companies was involved with the Ogre Battle franchise in some capacity.
Square is a video game developer and publisher that originated in 1983. It was founded by Masafumi Myamoto as a software division for Den-Yu-Sha, a power line construction company owned by Myamoto’s father. Square’s first title was The Death Trap, designed by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, and released for the NEC PC-8801. Square entered the console market in December of 1985 by porting Thexder to the Nintendo Entertainment System.
In September 1986, Square was separated from Den-Yu-Sha as a division and was formed as an independent company formerly called Square Co, Ltd. After releasing a string of commercial failures for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Square relocated to Ueno, Tokyo in 1987 and developed the first entry of the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy was a commercial success, and with 400,000 copies sold, Final Fantasy became the flagship franchise for Square.
Enix is a video game publisher that originated in 1975 as Eidansha Boshu Service Centre. Founded by Yasuhiro Fukushima, the company started as a tabloid publisher that advertised real estate, however, due to failing to publish nationwide, the company re-branded itself as Enix and changed its business to video game publishing. In order to acquire video game developers, Enix held a computer game programming contest in which video game developers Yuji Horii and Koichi Nakamura were the winners of the competition with their projects Love Match Tennis and Door Door respectively.
Enix published games for various home computer systems, however, unlike most Japanese video game brands which had internal development teams, Enix outsourced its video games to developers such as Chunsoft and ACE Team. In 1986, Enix published Dragon Quest and ended up becoming a national success, and with 1.5 million copies sold in Japan, Dragon Quest became Enix’s flagship franchise.
Enix America Corporation is the North American subsidiary created by Enix in 1990 in order to promote Dragon Quest. Enix America was a key North American publisher for Ogre Battle, with Square Enix re-releases of Ogre Battle using the Enix America localisations. The subsidiary was dissolved in November of 1995 when Enix decided to no longer release products in North America due to poor sales and a lack of international market share.
On June 2001, in order to combat higher video game development costs, Enix had talks with partnering with either Square or Namco in a joint venture. On November 2002, it was announced that Enix would merging with Square in the following year in order to decrease development costs and compete against international publishers.