Square Enix setting up shop in LA

Final Fantasy maker establishes California-based development team for "action-oriented original IP" on Xbox 360, possibly Wii.

Square Enix is well aware that the Japanese gaming market simply isn't what it used to be, and president Yoichi Wada has been pushing for some time now to expand the publisher's horizons. Part of that effort has been to lend increasing support to Microsoft's decidedly Western Xbox 360, with games like The Last Remnant, Infinite Undiscovery, and Final Fantasy XIII. Last week, Square Enix made good on its initiative to partner with Western game makers, signing on to publish Redmond, Washington-based Gas Powered Games' Supreme Commander 2.

Beyond just teaming with Western devs, Square Enix also has a mind to set up shop in the US. As revealed by recent job listings, the publisher plans to flesh out its El Segundo, California, operations with a brand-new development team. "Square Enix is building a studio from the ground up," declared one listing. Previously, the office had been Square Enix's administrative hub in North America.

"We are making an action-oriented original IP game here in sunny Los Angeles," reads one job listing. "We are looking for motivated master programmers to lay the foundation for a solid development team." No details were revealed on the unnamed action title, but job listings indicate it will be created for the Xbox 360 and possibly the Wii. The publisher is also hiring for a product manager, associate product manager, 3D artist, QA tester, and QA translator at its LA office.

Square Enix had not responded to requests for further comment on the new development studio as of press time.

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Discussion

182 comments
karateyoyo
karateyoyo

Oh good! I can finally start my career now!!!

solidstein
solidstein

i think this could be a good idea we will see matrix its not about the yen do you know how much money square enix has think of all the american dollars they made of final fantasy its sold 181million copies world wide thats alot # could be a little depending where you get your info from and the gaming market has stayed strong in this horrible economy so going to the far east first is going to do nothing there arent the creative minds or the knowledge of how to dev a WESTERN game i mean hopefully they will make an awesome action game with a great story gears2 showed you can make a great FPS/action game so square bring the story and let someone who knows what there doing do the rest of the work

V-Nine
V-Nine

...hopefully they get this right this time, I do recall the short lived SquareEA and that other studio they made for FF: The spirits within. Guess we'll have to wait and see....

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

Possibly on Wii, but no PS3 version ? Go figure... :?

gringbot
gringbot

haha, squareenix is sooo bad bring back my squareSOFT! what, we've had ONE decent game (ff12) from them since the merge? still waiting for just even SLIGHTLY enjoyable games from this company. hell, i still play ff3 on snes emulators to this day and have more fun on it then any other squareenix title ive ever played. "screw square enix they only money" is right.

yrret876
yrret876

screw Square Enix they only money

mankeyador
mankeyador

this is to be expected. they move from nintendo to sony in an instant now they are moving to microsoft. SE has always been the first to jump into bed with a first-party partner.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

They should hire writers... thier team has had crap stories for almost 10 years now.

matrixman2k
matrixman2k

The readers and responders here seem to always loose the point and go off to some other direction, nearly always and then end up arguing about pointless unrelated things. I hope some people would read the article properly and then make a relevant comment that may be of some use to someone and a pleasure to read... These days i cannot even bring myself to bother enough to read the comments. Due to many sites and wonderful things to read and see elsewhere. And being very short on time. Anyway. On the subject and article now. I think it's a waste of the yen, and especially now when the markets are all suffering - to splash out and form or create anything is probably a risk. The smart people and companies are going to the far East, say India for instance, and these lot are going to setup shop in the US surely the dollar is not cheap against the yen enough to justify the action. I think it's a mistake and a waste of money... Good for the US though, due to their jobless numbers amongst other things. Still. Things are looking up for that NA region but for SE it will cost them big... millions of yen translates to thousands of dollars, so no need to be a science or maths boffin to realise the inevitability.

CureForLiving
CureForLiving

Seems Japanese game dev are trying to get a foot hold in the west. Well it seems to be the natural progression, firstly every exclusive game went multiplatform (except some xbox games but MS probably already paid for them), and now their looking at overseas developers to partner with.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

They're so much better making Japanese targeted games... everyone likes them... ='(

cuddlesofwar
cuddlesofwar

Mac11, that's an opinion. I dislike Monotone nonsense, so i would disagree, and say the American, or rather English voice actors. Also, the two examples you give are rather poor. I never thought Ryu to be menacing, he's a respectful Ninja living my a strict code of honor, and Burst Limit voices were terrible yes, but so were the Japanese. Not being able to understand what they're saying, isn't the really the same as good voice acting.

Mac11_Fanboy
Mac11_Fanboy

I somehow doubt when they say 'action oriented' they mean an fps. I mean really..... action RPG, probably. To those poor PS3 fanboys who say sony gets no love. The reality is Sony clearly gets the 'love.' They just don't wanna pay like Microsoft. I own a 360, and I'm sure I'm gonna want a ps3 in a year or so when the 360's limits shine through. Its not far off now IMO. disk space is moot. But 360's look better on screen, even though they shouldn't really. @cuddlesofwar: It's about playing the developers divine vision not being a J-freak, ninja gaiden 2 has better voice acting all round in Japanese, the greater fiends sound more menacing, ryu hyabusa sounds better, and well, erm Burst Limit, the US voice acting is awful, japanese owns it. Cant think of other examples, that enough? I dont even really like SQENX RPG's. too boring for my taste, and i've never been sucked into one of their plots. Still haven't played chrono trigger yet mind.... Sony can have them all for all I care. Bring on Mass Effect 2. But a bit longer than the first plzthx.

Mystearical
Mystearical

@cuddlesofwar - you sound like an inexperienced young fella NO ONE said you have to put on Japanese voice overs so your comment of "I for one, am glad i dont have to sit through mono toned madness" is so funny and sad that tears are coming out of my eyes. It's an extra option (an addition) - and it should make sense or else why would space be an issue?

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

infinte undiscovery is quality. when it comes to games the 360 is the best at the mo.

Serbine
Serbine

Well that good news hopefully it mean a new "The Bouncer" game, also I hope for some more cool Wii games from them.

macfaelan
macfaelan

this wouldnt have happened if they were still squaresoft, and we woul still have quality jrpg's like days of old

Zombunny
Zombunny

cool kingdom hearts 3 is on the way at last

cuddlesofwar
cuddlesofwar

They said Action, not a shooter. I'd say 13 Versus is an action game, wouldn't you? Don't act like MS has turned the world into FPS heads. developers cater to the masses, not the few whiney kids.

cuddlesofwar
cuddlesofwar

YunalescaFFX ... most people dont care about Japanese voices ... i'm sorry to say, it's mainly anime buffsm and little western kids who wanna be Japanese who care. I for one, am glad i dont have to sit through mono toned madness.

lewis2112
lewis2112

People need to realise square enix is a company, you may live its products, you may love it itself. But you can call them sell outs all you want but the reason square exist is so they can make money, and so far at this time the money is in wii/xbox. When the ps3 becomes the focus of attention square will focus on the ps3. Its not personal its just good business

SonicX_89
SonicX_89

This is great news 360 owners. Square is showing that they are willing to show the Xbox some love, instead of just developing titles exclusively for Playstation. FFXIII, Last Remnant, and all the other non-Square RPGs are proof that the Xbox is good for RPG business.

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

Just more poo flung at at steel bladed fan (referring to the Wii of course).

Ra-Devil
Ra-Devil

Okay. Why's this a bad thing? A good developer (in some eyes) is trying to start development on more action oriented games instead of turn-based RPGs... soooo nobody thought Kingdom Hearts was good? I mean, it's technically an action game. Action does not mean shooter, nor does American established mean "it's all gonna' suck." Why do I even bother, nobody listens or reads on the internet. They just believe what they want and spit on anything that is contrary to their beliefs.

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

bleh, i won't be looking forward to this.

Mystearical
Mystearical

Is Gamespot gonna mention that The Last Remnant on the PS3 is most likely gonna have Japanese voice overs but the 360 not b/c of space issues? Or does this site just love lowering everything do with the PS3 including removing that title under the search bar for the PS3 to simply give the impression to those not fully aware of the title that it's only 360 exclusive? Geez

enix165
enix165

Oh, yay. More 360 action games, probably an FPS, but now they're being developed by Square. Hooray for more monotony.

SeeDStudent
SeeDStudent

Square is just a sell-out kind of company all around. From Nintendo to Sony, Sony to Microsoft, and now even RGPs to shooters. They're always too busy trying to make sure they go where they think the money is instead of focusing on what they do best. Don't get me wrong, Square is responsible for some of my most favorite games of all-time, but those games were, for the most part, during the PSX era and carried the Squaresoft label. Not that SE hasn't made some good ones, just not quite as good. People on here say that Square's golden age is over and that the JRPG scene is long dead, but let me tell you something as someone who's actually been a gamer through that era as well as this one - the success that Square saw back in the day was FAR greater than this ridiculous & sad craze of uninspired, lame FPS games that we are seeing today. The problem is, SE can't seem to realize that themselves because Square today is managed by idiots. This shooter phase is going to eventually pass, just like the RPG genre did - only probably much quicker. Gaming in general is hitting a point where it's hard to create anything THAT original, and thus this process will probably keep recycling itself over time. In my opinion, Square just needs to tough it out quit worrying so much about money and stick to what they do best, which is JRPGs. They don't make good shooters anyways. If Americans aren't buying enough of your games nowadays, try actually making a really good one again like you used to. Don't sell-out and try to make a lame attempt at what's most popular AT THE MOMENT in the US because it will just become another needle in the haystack and when this shooter phase passes, some other developer will have become the new SquareSOFT.

Arch649
Arch649

To everyone that says FFXIII going to 360 is the final nail in the coffin for Sony. Sony isn't going anywhere. The PS3 isn't dead. Far from it. They're adapting to market trends (casual games, downloaded games, all-in-one features). Making JRPGs a dime-a-dozen is no longer a cost effective way for them to make money. The only reason we got all the JRPG shovelware (yeah I said it) on PS2 was because they were cheap enough to make and Sony had their massive fan base that would buy them. Just like the Wii is now. Nintendo has the vast majority of the casual market and they'll produce all that minigame collection shovelware cheaply, and the fans will buy it. Sony can't do this with the PS3. JRPGs would take too long and cost too much and a lot of Sony's fan base has shifted over to Xbox 360. That's why Japanese developers moved to 360. It costs less and sells more. To make up for this Sony is appealing to the technophile crowd (Those who only buy Blu-Rays, have 60" HDTVs top-of-the-line-PCs). That's why they're pushing Blu-Ray as hard as they have been; it makes them money.

zombey1333
zombey1333

If only i'd have gotten offa my butt and gone to college long before this...sounds like fun :D

kytomasi
kytomasi

*reply Gobbo00* I'm not saying the no love on this topic but i can tell you why some people would say "No love for the ps3" Its deeper then just this. On PS3 the Guitar hero and rock band Guitar issue had ALOT of PS3 peoples upset. PS3 users couldnt use GH guitar on rock band. Then the latest Fallout 3 no DLC for PS3. But ya that can be why some people can be upset by this assuming SE makes RPGs for xbox and wii, while leaving PS3 to Final Fantasy every 2 years. But ya that can be why people are like "PS3 gets no love"

gobbo00
gobbo00

I really don't see why there are" no love for PS3 post's" it seems most hear have very short term memory. Was there not another company that square only made RPG's for?....... Nintendo. So will you lot just get over it, ever thought that the reason no PS3 may be down to time constraints. I presume this as all I have ever read on this subject is how it takes longer to produce results due to the internal, arcitecture of the PS3 hardware. And as for being close to japan, we live in a age of jet planes and the internet. I think cheaper tax & cost of living rates would win over some airtime. I think the reason they choose LA is for the sun and little else. Not that it bothers me much.

kytomasi
kytomasi

SE making big bulky guys with guns.. no thanks.. lol just kidding. I'm all for SE expanding and all but for them to say they are only making games for xbox and Wii is sort of an let down. So does that mean us PS3 users will be stuck with an Final Fantasy game every 2-3 years while the rest of their games are xbox/Wii. I really hope they dont make FPS.. the market is soo flooded with FPS its crazy. An SE shooter wouldnt be stand an chance to the well known ones like Gears, Graw, Vegas, Call of duty, and Halo(for those who still play that :P ). Xbox has WAY to many shooters gamers wont take the chance on an SE shooter over the well known ones. Maybe SE would focus more on Wii games. They would be an great idea. Wii lacks good single player games.An few good adventure/rpgs from SE would be great. Making games for the Wii would soooo much more benefit them then trying to get into xbox's flooded FPS market. But way to soon to tell what they are going to make =) dont get me wrong im excited what type of games SE brings but at the same time worried it'll hurt my overall PS3 vs Xbox game library :P

Aurey
Aurey

I used to love Square games in the PS era, most of their games were awesome and a blast to play. When I got the PS2 and the PSP I didn't like any Square game anymore (The bouncer, FFX, FFX2, FFVII DoC, FFVII Crisis Core and Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 were unbearable to me). Maybe this new studio is good news and we'll be able to play a really nice game soon enough... as long as they don't use Dirge or Cerberus as a base for their new action game. Even more important, I hope this news doesn't mean Square Enix is trying to leave behind their old JRPG roots... some of us here still love the old formula and gameplay of the genre. And please, who cares about the platform they're realeasing their games? As long as they are really nice games it doesn't matter what system they're on.

MrClean44
MrClean44

Hummm.... i wonder if this action oriented game they are talkin about could happen to be Kingdom Hearts 3? maybe? eh?

funktacious2
funktacious2

I'm most interested in the fact that the words "Role Playing Game" have not yet appeared with this new studio. It's not very common for Square Enix to to make a completely action-oriented game. I think given the company's track record, there is nothing to worry about. It's quite likely that the game will be very good, whatever it is.

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

i wish i lived in LA and was old (and qualified) enough to get a job there >_>

RageEho
RageEho

The fact that FXIII is no longer a PS3 exclusive speaks volumes about PS3's future (not to mention the fact that SE has 2 more Xbox360 exclusives). FFXIII's release for PS3 would have been a huge boost is sales - similar to MGS4's release. In my opinion it's a sign of things to come. You can't fight Microsoft. I think the problem is that SE and the FF series was such a staple for PS. SE pulled the rug out from under PS's feet and joined up with Xbox. There isn't even going to be a delay in release date for the two systems. I think this is what's bothering people. Not that SE is trying to 'expand'. The day I heard the news about the simultaneous FFXIII release at E3 I made the decision to get an Xbox360 (in addition to my PS3). The release of Fable II just sealed the deal.

seankane
seankane

PikaTx wrote: "I am getting sick of what SE is doing. Showing no love for ps3. I dun mind them going multiplatform" Well obviously you do care. They are showing love for the PS3, too, you just want them to completely focus on that system, and you dont like it that other systems are getting its attention, too. Kind of reminds me of what young kids do when they get a little baby brother/sister. "Waaah, I'm not the center of attention anymore, waaaah".

PikaTx
PikaTx

I am getting sick of what SE is doing. Showing no love for ps3. I dun mind them going multiplatform. From where things are going, i am losing my faith in the company that once created superb RPGS. Hope other companies take over them completely. So much for SE - Final Fantasy - Final !! Sorry for the hate.

toyota22
toyota22

Nice, love Final fantasy:)))

makemeweak
makemeweak

Wow, this is a huge step. Very telling of the general upshift of Western importance (by importance I only mean market share and profitability - nothing against the East) in video game markets.

great_rulo
great_rulo

Seeing the way Square-Enix is going lately, i really don't care about this.

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

SE is taking steps which is making every fan of it's proud. By getting out of their isolated shell...I don't know how well these games will turn out but one thing's for sure SE is taking right steps in terms of establishing a firm foothold in Western publishing market.

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

gobbo LA is the perfect spot for game companies to setup in because it's so close to japan. (compared the the rest of the US). I don't think there's an asian game company with a place in the US that's NOT in california.

gobbo00
gobbo00

well it's not really squaresoft is it, it may as well be some other unknown start up company. As this is a new studio I just wonder why they chosen that location. I for on thought that a certain little place in canada beginnig with M, was now the place to set up shop due to tax issues. Montreal for the dense.

Xdra
Xdra

hmm, I hope that FF picks up again. I still have hope. though this does sound like their leaning back on their previous successful titles to sell the new games.. Blah

Hekynn
Hekynn

Very cool I do hope that the PC version of the Last Remnant sells well since it is listed on SE's site if it does say hello to a FF13 PC version :D