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FFXIV to Invade China

16 Sep 2010

Nearly a year ago, CEO of Square Enix Yoichi Wada commented on Square Enix’s desire to enter the Chinese market by teaming up with Chinese companies.  Today marks a significant move in that direction.  Square Enix will be teaming up with Shanda Games Limited to bring FFXIV service to China.  The press release states this is the first official release of a Final Fantasy title in mainland China.  In line with Chinese regulations, the game servers for Chinese players will likely be housed in China.  They will also be kept separated from the servers used for Japanese, North American, and European players.  Additional information, like when service will start for China, will be released at a later date.

Finding it hard to believe?  You can find the Japanese press release on Square Enix’s website here or you can click more for the official press release in English below.  After you read it, leave your comments on the forums to discuss this interesting twist in the history of Final Fantasy XIV.

TOKYO, Sept. 16, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Shanda Games Limited (“Shanda Games”, or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:GAME) and Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd., today announced a strategic partnership that will leverage Square Enix’s strong game content with the strength of Shanda Games’ broad experience as a leading online game developer, publisher, and operator in mainland China. The partnership starts with an exclusive license in mainland China to FINAL FANTASY® XIV, a massively multi-player online role-playing game and the latest installment of the FINAL FANTASY franchise, which has sold more than 97 million units worldwide. This will be the first release of a FINAL FANTASY franchise title in mainland China.

Square Enix Group has identified globalization as one of its key strategic initiatives and has been developing and offering entertainment content derived from its global network based in Japan, North America and Europe. The partnership with Shanda Games will strengthen Square Enix Group’s global business development with a focus on the rapidly-growing Chinese market.

Shanda Games is focused on creating a global online game platform offering the most compelling content and services. On the heels of Shanda Games’ other recent successful game launches, the strategic partnership with Square Enix will further advance its strategy to provide high-quality, diverse and innovative game content to Chinese gamers and to expand its user base.

“The media entertainment markets are increasingly becoming more and more global in nature. Under this environment, we are speeding up our globalization strategy aimed at transforming our Group into a truly world-class enterprise,” said Yoichi Wada, president and representative director of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. “Through this partnership with Shanda Games, a company with great success in online game operations in China, we are taking an important step in increasing the reach of high quality content from the Square Enix Group to even more customers around the world.”

“We are excited to have Square Enix as a partner to leverage our capabilities and synergies for the benefit of both companies,” said Mr. Alan Tan, Chairman and CEO of Shanda Games. “Our in-house game development team is well-qualified to assist in the localization of FINAL FANTASY XIV to the China market, while our strong sales and marketing capabilities and extensive game operation platform can provide access to the broad audience of Chinese gamers. Since its debut in 1987, the FINAL FANTASY franchise has attracted many devoted fans worldwide and, based on our experience and expertise in the China market, we are confident in the success of FINAL FANTASY XIV as well as other future collaborations with Square Enix. We believe our strategic partnership with Square Enix represents an alliance between leading game companies in Japan and China, and we look forward to broadening our business through this partnership.”

FINAL FANTASY XIV in mainland China will be operated from servers separate from those servers for the Japanese, North American and European markets. Other details regarding the launch of FINAL FANTASY XIV in mainland China including launch timing will be announced at a later date.