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Squaresoft and Sony- Is this the future?
"The recent union of these two heavyweights has interesting consequences"
By Tidus


Squaresoft has been undergoing some rough times recently especially due to the lackluster performance of their extremely expensive CGI movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Its rather abysmal performance at the US, European and Asian box offices suggest that the world is not quite ready for CGI movies with deep stories. I was one of the few who actually enjoyed this movie, but it is pretty obvious I am in the minority. Due to all this, Squaresoft has announced again that they will be losing money for only the second quarter in company history, largely due to the fact that the FF movie bombed at the box office.

All this is bad news, but it brings me to the true focus of this article, which is Sony's recent purchase of 19% of Squaresoft's stock holdings, which adds up to 11.2 million shares, for 14.9 billion yen, or $124 million in U.S. currency. This is great news in that it pretty much recovers almost all of Squaresoft's losses, but it is also bad news in that Sony will have a bigger say in Squaresoft's "business".

Sony has said that they will allow Squaresoft to pursue development in other consoles and will give it creative freedom, but this seems highly unlikely. The more likely scenario is that Squaresoft is now going to develop all of their blockbuster games such as the Final Fantasy series and Chrono series exclusively for Sony and its consoles. The one possible exception is Final Fantasy XI which will probably be released on all 3 major consoles, PS2, X-Box, Gamecube and the PC since it is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) designed for a wide range of gamers. Squaresoft will also likely pursue development on Game Boy Advance for remakes of FFV-FFVI, but with the recent announcement of FFIV being developed for Wonder Swan, this isn't a sure bet either.

Now what I'm about to say is my opinion and not everyone will agree with me, so here it goes. I strongly believe that Sony's recent purchase of Squaresoft was a great deal. Sony has always been a HUGE supporter of Squaresoft; heck Sony Pictures even distributed the Final Fantasy movie. Another great thing is that Squaresoft will regain most of its losses and they can concentrate their resources onto one system. I think that the PS2 will win the next system wars and that Squaresoft is making the right decision. One thing that should be cleared up is that Squaresoft approached Sony about the purchase and not the other way around, so Sony wasn't trying to "dominate" or "takeover" Squaresoft by any means. With this recent purchase it seems highly unlikely Squaresoft will be developing on X-Box or Gamecube anytime soon. This is bad news for GC and X-Box fans, but great news for PS2 fans. The console wars have already started and it looks like Sony has secured a very important weapon in Squaresoft.

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