.:. n o v e m b e r . 2 7 . w e d n e s d a y .:.

   Final Fantasy I and II Headed for the States ... news | stealthriot

   Squaresoft announced they will release the US version of Final Fantasy I & II for PlayStation in spring 2003. This will be the first time Final Fantasy II hits North America. (Final Fantasy II for SNES is actually Final Fantasy IV Easy Type in Japan).

   source | The Magic Box

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   New Square Enix Merger Details Revealed ... news | stealthriot

   First details regarding the newly created company, Square Enix, have been released. The new company's CEO will be current Square President and CEO Yoichi Wada, while Enix's chairman Yasuhiro Fukushima will continue to serve as chairman of Square Enix. Former Square President and current chairman of Square's board of directors, Hisashi Suzuki will serve as a part-time member of the new company's board of directors. Enix COO and President Keiji Honda will become Square Enix's vice president.
   The merger will not affect Square's close connections to Sony Computer Entertainment, however SCE's stake in the new company will be reduced to 8% (currently SCE holds a 18.6% stake in Square). The new company's headquarters will be housed at Enix's current location, placed conveniently in Tokyo's Shibuya district. There will be no merger-related lay-offs.
   Performance-wise, the new company plans to generate sales totaling 61 billion yen ($499.71 million USD) by the end of the next fiscal year, thereby becoming the world's No.7 game producer (measured by sales).
   There are no plans to merge the two companies' most heralded properties, the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series. The combined sales of both series' amount to a grand total of 72 million copies (Final Fantasy: 42 million copies, Dragon Quest: 30 million copies) worldwide.
   A press conference will be held on November 29th to explain the details of the merge in-depth.

   source | RPGFan

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   Square To Merge With Enix - Yes... Really ... news | joshua

   Japanese game software makers Square Co Ltd and Enix Corp said on Tuesday they planned to merge in April to pool resources and technology to allow them to better compete in the rapidly changing video game industry.
   The deal would be worth about 88.79 billion yen ($727 million) at current share prices.
   Under the deal, one Square share will be exchanged for 0.81 share in Enix. Enix will issue 48.76 million new shares to swap existing outstanding shares in Square.
   Square shares were up 8.28 percent at 2,040 at 0434 GMT. Enix shares were untraded at 1,821 yen with bids at 2,045.
   Japanese video game software makers are facing rising development costs to create new games for advanced gaming systems in a heavily saturated domestic market.
   Enix, known for its blockbuster "Dragon Quest" games, and Square, creator of hit "Final Fantasy" role-playing games, enjoy solid sales from these million-seller titles but they also make profits vulnerable to sudden shifts in demand.
   "In order to defy stiff competition in the game market and to survive for a long term, we thought it would be the best to join our forces," Enix director Tatsuo Tomiyama told Reuters.
   Square, which lost 16.6 billion yen after an unsuccessful foray into movie-making last year, is now owned 18.6 percent by Sony Corp, which makes the powerful PlayStation 2 game system.
   Square spokesman Hideki Tsuchiya said the game creator expected to win approval for the merger from shareholders including Sony as the two companies have little duplication in their operations and the merger was expected to create synergy.
   Enix and Square, along with another gamemaker, Namco, agreed last year to collaborate on operations.
   The company officials said the latest deal would not include Namco.

   We set up discussion on this world-changing event right here in our forums.

   source | Reuters

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   FFT Advance Gameplay Updates ... news | stealthriot

   Square mentioned that the GameBoy Advance SRPG Final Fantasy Tactics Advance will features approximately 300 missions, and the available character classes has been increased to 40+. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is scheduled to release in Japan on February 14.

   source | The Magic Box

   Newest Final Fantasy XI Update Announced ... news | stealthriot

   Square has announced a new update for its PlayStation 2 online RPG Final Fantasy XI. The update will ship on a disc, since it will be fairly large in size. Among the additions made are three new areas, new jobs and the introduction of a new feature, which should be all too familiar to everyone who has played the game's predecessors: summons. Ifrit and Carbuncle will be the first familiar faces to greet the world of Vana d'iel with their might. The three new areas are: Kazam, a fishing village located in the northern part of Elshimo peninsula; Yuntaga, a large, thick jungle with ancient ruins inside; and Rikyua Desert, where only a few stateless villages exist.
   The additions and updates mentioned above only concern the PlayStation 2 version of Final Fantasy XI. It is expected that the version updates for FFXI PC will look similar, however there has been no announcement so far.

   source | RPGFan

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   New Final Fantasy X-2 News ... news | joshua

   New details regarding Final Fantasy X-2 have surfaced in the recent issue of V-Jump. Not only Yuna, but Rikku as well will sport a more candid outfit, compared to Final Fantasy X. So far nothing about the third character is known, except that her name is Pain. Unlike its prequel, Final Fantasy X-2 allows for characters to change their costume. The costume depends on the character's current job, which can be changed even during battles, just like equipment in FFX.
   Yuna and Rikku are confirmed to be members of Kamome, a group searching the world of Spira for spheres and whose rival is the Lubran Clan. Furthermore, it was revealed that a new aircraft named Celsius will appear in the game.
   Final Fantasy X-2 is set to be released in Japan sometime in March 2003. Update: We now have a scan showing off Rikku's new outfit (or lack thereof), courtest of Quiter: http://www.rpgfan.com/news/pictures2002/ffx-2-rikku.jpg

   source | RPGFan

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   Square Expects Strong Financial Results ... news | stealthriot

   Square has released financial data and projections for the current fiscal year. Compared to the previous period, the consolidated ordinary profit is set to rise by 72% to 7 billion yen (58.52 million USD) up from earlier estimates of 4.4 billion yen (36.79 million USD). Yuri Teramoto, from Square President Youichi Wada's office, said that overseas operations are going well, with Kingdom Hearts having sold more than 600,000 copies (compared to an estimated 450,000) in the US and Final Fantasy X breaking the one million mark in Europe. In Japan, the company will release its two biggest titles of the year, Unlimited SaGa and Final Fantasy X-2 for PlayStation 2 next month and March 2003 respectively.

   source | RPGFan

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   Final Fantasy VII-2? ... news | joshua

   Hot on the heels of the formal announcement of Final Fantasy X-2, Japanese site Quiter is reporting that series' producer Yoshinori Kitase mentioned a possible sequel to the series' most popular installment, Final Fantasy VII, in the upcoming issue of Japan's number one game magazine, Famitsu.
   According to Quiter, in an interview in the mag, Kitase says that he would like to make a continuation to FFVII -- and lots of other people do, too, including character designer Tetsuya Nomura (who recently debuted as a director in his own right with Square's immensely popular Kingdom Hearts.) Kitase goes on to say that since there are so many ardent fans of the game, they don't want to make a bad game. Consequently, concrete plans and a schedule for the game have not been decided upon.
   It sounds a bit far-fetched, but so did FFX-2 until it happened. We'll see what develops in the future.

   source | Gamers.com

   Final Fantasy X Vocal Album Announced ... news | stealthriot

   Digicube has announced Final Fantasy X Vocal Album, a mini drama disc featuring the voice actors of Square's highly successful first PlayStation 2 RPG. Among others, Tidus, Yuna, Rikku, Lulu, Wakka, Auron and Kimari are all set to be heard on the disc. The mini drama will tell an episode, which didn't appear in the original game. Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima was responsible for the content. While details regarding story of the drama are still unknown, the possibility that it will have some connection to Final Fantasy X-2 is rather high. The CD will also contain a remix of "Feel", a track from the 'feel/Go Dream' Tidus and Yuna tribute album.
   Final Fantasy X Vocal Collection will be available on December 16th in Japan for 2,667yen (21.90USD).

   source | RPGFan