Square Enix Seeks Partners in U.S., Europe

Square Enix senior VP Michihiro Sasaki has spoken out about the company's need to expand its presence in the US and Europe, broadening its range beyond fantasy and RPG titles, while also expressing that the company is a "little worried" about the future p
According to a new interview, Square Enix is in search of a partner in the US and Europe to help expand its presence in the West. Faced with minimal reception in these markets, the company aims to increase sales outside Asia to 50 percent of its overall revenues within three years. "We need to seek co-operation with a US publisher - we need local content," Square Enix senior VP Michihiro Sasaki told the Financial Times at Tokyo Game Show, stressing the company's focus on increasing its share of the US games market to counter lackluster demand in Japan. Although Square Enix's TGS presentation consisted of Parasite Eve 3, Tobal M, and Kingdom Hearts Coded, Sasaki expressed awareness that the company's heavy focus on these fantasy titles and RPGs pose a challenge in appealing to the US market. According to the Financial Times, only 10 to 20 percent of the company's revenues came from overseas markets in the recent fiscal year. "Within two to three years, we want to make it half," he added. Given the high operating margins for online games -- up to 40 percent as compared with the 20 to 30 percent in traditional retail titles -- Sasaki added that Square Enix is looking to expand its presence in that arena as well. The advancement of casual gaming, bolstered by Nintendo's efforts in that arena, contributes significantly to expansion of the game industry, Sasaki said, adding that Square Enix is a "little worried" about the struggling PlayStation 3. The company has recently cautioned Sony on its marketing approach.

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