In a strategy conference today, Square and Enix discussed future plans and financial estimates for the two companies' upcoming merger into Square Enix. Producing quality game products is the main goal of the future company, as Enix chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima put it; network gaming would also be expanded. The merger will eventually result in reduced development costs and increased sales.
Square President Yoichi Wada went on to say that foreign markets would also be affected by the merger. Square and Enix of America and Europe will be combined in order to up sales of flagship series for both companies. He mentioned that Enix had better success overall in Japan, while Square had a hold in North America and Europe.
Both companies also talked about game sales and projections. On the Square side, Final Fantasy XI's total user subscription is steadily increasing, now that the PC version has been released. On average, 130,000 users sign on to PlayOnline everyday. It was stated that network gaming in North America would be critical to the game's success.
As far as Square's future line-up is concerned, the company is focusing its energy on Final Fantasy XII as it prepares for release in Japan during the 2003 fiscal year. Development hasn't begun on Final Fantasy XIII yet, and when asked about the possibility of a Final Fantasy X-3, Wada said it wouldn't be considered until Final Fantasy X-2 has been released. Negotiations have begun with Disney to create a sequel to Kingdom Hearts, the hit PS2 title that has shipped 3 million units world-wide.
Enix also had a say about its own product line-up. Torneko 3 has sold 550,000 units in Japan, while the PS one remake of Dragon Quest Monsters 1 & 2 has racked up sales of 300,000. Star Ocean 3 is expected to sell over 2 million copies world-wide; the series itself has sold 1.8 million units in Japan so far. The company is currently putting 80% of its development resources into the PlayStation 2, with an additional 20% dedicated to Game Boy Advance software and network games.
Both companies expect to have a healthy sell-through of games during the last bit of the 2002 fiscal year, which ends in March, and also ends the companies' nearly 20 year rivalry.