Square Enix, famous for dealing exclusively with Japanese developers, takes the first steps towards becoming a truly global publisher today, announcing a strategic partnership with Seattle-based Gas Powered Games. The partnership also marks Square Enix's first foray into the real-time strategy market as GPG begins officially commences development on Supreme Commander 2, the sequel to their hit RTS game for the PC and Xbox 360.
“We see great opportunities in European and North American markets, both of which are expected to be maintaining sustainable growth over these coming years,” said Yoichi Wada, president and representative director of Square Enix Co., Ltd. “Therefore, it is crucial we create alliances with proven developers such as Gas Powered Games in order to serve these significant markets better by providing products and services in tune with customer tastes.”Wada had previously voiced his concerns over the growth of the Western games industry, most recently at the Tokyo Game Show, where he proposed an alliance of Japanese devs and publishers. I suppose this is an example of the old 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em' strategy.SQUARE ENIX, INC. AND GAS POWERED GAMES ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Development Begins on Real-time Strategy Game SUPREME COMMANDER 2 London (12th November 2008) – Square Enix Ltd., the publisher of Square Enix® interactive entertainment products in Europe and other PAL territories (Square Enix), today announces that Square Enix, Inc., a U.S. sister company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and development house Gas Powered Games Corp., a U.S. company headquartered in Redmond, Washington (Gas Powered Games) have formed a strategic partnership. With the commencement of this strategic partnership, development has begun on SUPREME COMMANDER® 2, a sequel to the award-winning real-time strategy series. This strategic partnership represents one of the first steps Square Enix Co., Ltd., a sister company of Square Enix headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and its affiliates (collectively, Square Enix Group) are taking towards their goal of increasing western development efforts aimed for the global markets. Square Enix Group has previously worked exclusively with Japanese development companies, so the decision to form strategic partnerships with developers located outside of Japan serves as a new cornerstone of its strategy to create games targeted primarily at consumers in Europe and North America. Additionally, Square Enix Group’s foray into the real-time strategy genre is a significant expansion of its product lineup, largely known for its leadership role in the genre of role-playing games. “We see great opportunities in European and North American markets, both of which are expected to be maintaining sustainable growth over these coming years,” said Yoichi Wada, president and representative director of Square Enix Co., Ltd. “Therefore, it is crucial we create alliances with proven developers such as Gas Powered Games in order to serve these significant markets better by providing products and services in tune with customer tastes.” “Gas Powered Games is an accomplished development house that has demonstrated its ability to successfully create and develop intellectual properties,” said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix and Square Enix, Inc.. “We are extremely excited to begin working with Gas Powered Games’ talented personnel and see this strategic partnership as a significant step in our efforts to bring Square Enix titles to a broader global audience.” Creator of hit titles such as Dungeon Siege®, and Supreme Commander, Gas Powered Games® was founded in 1998 by one of the game industry’s most imaginative and dynamic visionaries Chris Taylor, who serves as chief executive officer. "It is truly a great honour to join forces with as renowned a developer and publisher as Square Enix, Inc." said Taylor: "Everyone at Gas Powered Games is thrilled about this collaboration, and the results will surely delight video game fans around the world.” Details on SUPREME COMMANDER 2 including gameplay features, platform(s) and release date will be available at a later time.