Square Enix to rely more on foreign markets

Within five years, the RPG maker wants three out of every four dollars it earns to come from outside Japan.

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Last week the Financial Times said Japanese role-playing game publisher Square Enix is looking for publishing allies in the US and Europe to help boost the amount of revenues it derives from foreign markets. According to the article, foreign sales accounted for no more than 20 percent of the company's revenues, and the Final Fantasy publisher was hoping to make it 50 percent within three years.

Square Enix president Yoichi Wada today issued a statement contradicting that report. He said that the company already gets half of its revenues internationally, and wants to boost that even more.

"It is crucial for us to expand our businesses on a global basis," Wada said. "Given the fact that the size of overseas markets is now more than three times as large as the domestic market, we recognize numerous growth opportunities. Our strategy to seize such opportunities is two-fold; (i) strengthen our own distribution channels developed by our local subsidiaries in these geographic areas, and (ii) diversify our content in accordance with user preferences in each area. Through these strategic initiatives, our initial goal within a time frame of three to five years is to raise our foreign sales ratio for console/handheld games from its current 50 percent level to approximately 75 percent. We shall continue our effort to better serve overseas markets."

As for enlisting the aid of foreign publishers, such a move would not be entirely unprecedented for the company. Before role-playing game specialists SquareSoft and Enix merged their operations, SquareSoft had a joint venture with Electronic Arts called EA Square, which brought games like Chrono Cross and Parasite Eve 2 to North American shores.

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