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Square Enix to move into non-gaming markets

Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has revealed that the publisher will be expanding its business into non-gaming markets, having failed to produce enough hit games outside its existing major franchises.

Speaking to Japanese business publication NNI, Wada admitted that the publisher has failed in its strategy to produce a range of hit titles outside of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises.

"It's getting hard to maintain a flow of new game titles. We need a more comprehensive software business to develop synergies," he commented.

"We haven't come up with hit software to follow in the footsteps of Final Fantasy and other major titles, so we will have to alter our strategy."

Part of this strategy will be increased investment in Taito, which Squenix acquired last year.

"As a point of contact between the virtual world and the real world, Taito's game arcades and cell phone operations could be starting points for new businesses," Wada said.

Square Enix also recently signed deals with Gakken Co. to produce educational products and with Nintendo subsidiary Pokemon Co. to develop non-games mobile phone content, starting with a Pokemon-branded mobile email client.

The firm is already using the skills acquired through the development of major gaming franchises in other areas - most notably the production of an acclaimed computer animated movie based on the Final Fantasy VII title.

However, its media ambitions do not end there; Square Enix has also become a notable publisher of novels and manga in Japan, with series such as Fullmetal Alchemist and Spiral appearing on the firm's imprint.

Earlier this week, Square Enix published a new financial report which revealed that operating profit has fallen more than 40 per cent since last year.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.