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Square Co., Ltd., often known as Square, is a Japanese video game company that formed in September 1986 by Masafumi Miyamoto. They are the original creators of the Final Fantasy franchise. In 2003, the company merged with Enix to form Square Enix.
In 1989, Square's North American department, Squaresoft, was founded, and they were responsible for developing Secret of Evermore.
Square started in October 1983 as a computer game software division of Den-Yu-Sha, but would become its own company in September 1986. After several unsuccessful releases for the Famicom, Square relocated to Ueno, Tokyo in 1987 and developed the first Final Fantasy, which was inspired by the success of the first Dragon Quest. The word "final" in Final Fantasy stemmed from Hironobu Sakaguchi's personal situation, as he would have quit the game industry and returned to university had the game sold poorly. Final Fantasy became a success, so Square made it their main franchise. Hironobu Sakaguchi continued working for Square to develop more Final Fantasy games.
The success of Final Fantasy led to several other role-playing games from Square, such as Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Parasite Eve. They would also collaborate with Nintendo to develop an RPG title for the Mario franchise, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, and with Disney Interactive to create Kingdom Hearts.
Square was one of the many companies that had planned to develop and publish their games for the Nintendo 64, but with the cheaper costs associated with developing games on CD-based consoles, Square decided to develop titles for the Sony PlayStation. Final Fantasy VII would become one of the most successful releases for the console.
In 1998, Square's movie production subsidiary, Square Pictures, partnered with Columbia Pictures to produce a Final Fantasy-based film. The film would become Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which was released in theaters in July 2001. Despite high production costs and having an ambitious goal of being the first film to simulate human emotions and movements through computer graphics, the film was a box office failure.
On April 1, 2003, Square and long-time rival Enix made a deal to merge into a single company, Square-Enix.
- Square's article on Wikipedia
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