Ubisoft has signed a new distribution deal with Square Enix that will see the Final Fantasy
publisher become the exclusive distributor for Ubisoft games in Japan.
Announcing the news, Square Enix described the deal as part of its strategic initiative to "expand its product line-up and strengthen its presence as a global game publisher."
Growing its Western present has been an oft-stated goal over the past year for the company. Square Enix has focused on developing more Western-focused titles and partnering with established Western developers
. The company has also continually hinted that it is interested in the outright acquisition of Western developers and/or publishers.
The Ubisoft deal is not the first time the company has looked to expand its Japanese portfolio with Western titles, having published British developer Frontier Developments’ LostWinds
on WiiWare in Japan.
The Ubisoft distribution deal will begin in April 2009, but details of the games to be released have not yet been announced. Titles due for release from Ubisoft in the West this year include Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
, and various Imagine and Petz series games for the Wii and Nintendo DS.
"The global video game market is expected to maintain sustainable growth thanks to geographical expansion and diversification of customer base," said Yoichi Wada, president and representative director of Square Enix.
"By partnering with the Ubisoft Group having a number of highly acclaimed titles, we can now work to provide high-quality overseas-produced games to Japan, thus invigorating the Japanese game market while strengthening our presence as a global leader in the video game industry."