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Square Enix buys North American mobile developer

Publishing giant Square Enix has given a further signal of its intent to extend its lucrative Japanese mobile gaming business into other markets, with the acquisition of American wireless developer UIEvolution.

Publishing giant Square Enix has given a further signal of its intent to extend its lucrative Japanese mobile gaming business into other markets, with the acquisition of American wireless developer UIEvolution.

The two companies were already working closely together, and Square Enix invested some $6 million into the developer in recent months, but this latest deal will see UIEvolution becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix USA.

The company's Japanese mobile business has grown significantly in the past few years with the introduction of products such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest titles for high-end iMode phones, but so far it has only launched one game product in the USA (vertically scrolling shooter Brave Shot, along with a selection of wallpapers and screensavers) and none in Europe.

UIEvolution produces development software for mobile phones called UIEngine, which could help Square Enix to speed up the roll out of these products in the west by slashing the time taken to convert them to the handsets available in these territories.

In its last financial statement, the company reiterated its desire to roll out its entire product range - including wireless gaming titles and non-games media such as Full Metal Alchemist - in all of the key global territories.

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.