Posted on November 17, 2008,

New Studio in Los Angeles Being Opened by Square Enix

Gaming Today

One of Square Enix’s current goals is to broaden its horizons and expand its international portfolio, with one specific mark being to generate 50% of its revenue from outside of Japan (up from the current 10-20%). Senior VP Michihiro Sasaki explained, “We need to seek cooperation with a US publisher — we need local content. Our strength is in role-playing games and fantasy titles, so it is a bit difficult to appeal to the US market.”

Just last week we learned about the bizarre partnership between Square Enix and Gas Powered Games which will have Square Enix publishing Supreme Commander 2 — a game that hardly fits inside the fantasy RPG genre you’d expect from the creator of Final Fantasy.

Today an announcement of another move was made, although this is a far bigger deal than a single publishing deal. Square Enix will be opening a new development studio in Los Angeles, California (El Segundo). The studio will be working on an original action game and is currently seeking to fill various positions, including software engineers with experience developing for the Xbox 360 and Wii.

One of the job postings (via Gamasutra) reads, “How often do you get a chance to make sure that a studio starts off in the right direction? How often do you get to be one of the starting members, but also have medical insurance? This is a rare opportunity to have the creative control of a start-up but the backing and funding of a major publisher.” Listings also mention that Square Enix is seeking “to lay the foundation for a solid development team.”

“We see great opportunities in North American and European markets, both of which are expected to be maintaining sustainable growth over these coming years,” said the company’s President, Yoichi Wada.

If the Supreme Commander 2 announcement didn’t have you convinced (and understandably so), this goes a long way in reaffirming that Square Enix is serious about becoming a more significant player outside of Japan. Anyone want to take a guess at what the game the new studio is developing might be like? My one hope is that it doesn’t star any teenage boys with spiky hair.

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