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Square has announced that it is officially entering the character licensing business. Previously, it has entrusted the creation and distribution of character-related merchandise to other companies.
Newly-appointed licensing division head Hirokazu Murata explained, "Up until now, Square has thought that character merchandising is a part of game promotion. However, since sales of the Chocobo from Final Fantasy VII were favorable, Square decided that character merchandise should be a business all by itself."
"Make no mistake, Square's top priority is first and foremost the creation of good games. Since development costs are rapidly going up, non-gaming business will flourish only because of game production," added Murata.
How long will it be before we can buy that Cloud Strife golf shirt we've always wanted? Or the Chocobo backpack? Expect it to happen before you can say "Final Fantasy VIII" - in Japan, at least.
No word on a marketing push in America... yet.
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