It was revealed today that Sony Computer Entertainment laid out a whopping 14,900 million Yen to Square (approximately 124 million USD) which will be used to make up for losses incurred on the recent Final Fantasy movie, and to further production on additional games. Sony now has a 19% interest in the company, becoming the second largest shareholder of Square's stock. With this purchase, Sony is assured that any future games made by Square, especially Final Fantasy games, will appear on its systems.
Square noted that by not concentrating on its games, its development had fallen, and with this newfound infusion of wealth, it will be able to once again focus on its software. Considering Final Fantasy VII was one of the games that made the PlayStation such a household name in North America, and the phenomenal success of Final Fantasy X in Japan, Sony would be hard pressed to fill the gap if the Final Fantasy franchise ever left its systems.
Fears that Square would no longer produce for the Game Boy Advance were also addressed. President Hisashi Suzuki of Square stated it had no current plans to cancel any production for the handheld. Square also refused to state that the Final Fantasy series will become PlayStation2 exclusive. However, there is no word so far on what will happen with the Enix/Namco/Square alliance, nor if PlayOnline will become exclusively for the PlayStation2.
Update 10.14.2001: For a complete transcript of the post-announcement press conference, please check out this link at Video Senki.