Square's E3 Conference

Fulltext of Square's E3 conference.

    It is now a time to begin the press conference on our business

development for the Year 1998 and on Final Fantasy VIII.  My name is

Lisa Ahern, PR Manager with Square Electronic Arts.  I will be presiding

over this press conference today. 

    I now would like to introduce to you three individuals who are here to

talk to you today:  Tomoyuki Takechi, President of Square Co., Ltd.;

John Riccitello, President and COO of Electronic Arts; and Shinji

Hashimoto, Director of Square Co., Ltd. and Producer of Final Fantasy


    I first would like to present to you Tomoyuki Takechi, President of

Square Co., Ltd.

    (Make an announcement, as necessary, regarding the limitation on use of

materials for publication.)

    Good morning.  I am Takechi of Square Co., Ltd.

    I appreciate all of you for taking the time from your busy schedule to

attend our press conference today.  


    I have many things to tell you today, but let me start telling you

about our joint ventures with Electronic Arts, where Mr. John Riccitello

is the president, and the titles that our joint ventures will release in

North America this year.  


As you know, in the United States, Square had sold titles -- beginning

with Tobal No.1 to Einhander, which was released this May -- through

Sony Computer Entertainment America.  


    Ever since the beginning of our involvement with Sony PlayStation,

Square had been examining the opportunity to become a publisher itself. 

However, Sony's goal to further drive the sales of PSX and Square's goal

to cultivate a market for Square Soft brand in the United States led the

two parties to engage in a co-marketing strategy, which was deemed most

efficient.  While keeping the future self-publishing in mind, Square

fortunately became a first party for SCEA.  As you all know, our titles

continue to sell very well and we are very grateful for it.


    Under this circumstance, we had been preparing for the

self-publishing.  To succeed overseas, not only the high quality of game

softwares, but also the effective distribution system, which brings the

softwares to users, is important.  Therefore, we had studied various

publishers' distribution systems in the search for a way to build our

distribution mechanism.  Among the publishers studied, Electronic Arts

possessed an efficient and strong distribution mechanism, which covers

the entire United States.  Their distribution mechanism indeed appeared

very attractive to us.  


    When we proposed to them a partnership, including some business

strategies, Electronic Arts also proposed to us the partnership with

Square, which has a strong R &D capability and the distribution channel

in Japan, in order to strengthen its business in Japan.  As a result, we

came to establish joint ventures both in Japan and the United States.  


    Today, we are lucky to have Mr. John Riccitello with us here.  I now

would like to have him talk to you about these joint ventures.  John,



    (Comments by John)

    Thank you, John.

    I now would like to announce the 4 titles that will be published this

year by this new joint venture, Square Electronic Arts.  They are:

    Parasite Eve in September;

    Xenogears in October;

    Bushido Blade2 and Brave Fencer Musashiden.


    I won't go into details about the games, since playing them at the

booth is much better than my explaining them to you.  Nonetheless, I

would like to share with you our plan to attach a sampler CD to Parasite

Eve, which will be released in September.  In addition to the previews

of Xenogears, Bushido Blade2 and Brave Fencer Musashiden, we plan to

show the preview of Final Fantasy VIII - which you will see later today

-- to consumers at the earliest possible date.


    Moreover, we plan to attach to Brave Fencer Musashiden, which will be

released in November, the interactive demonstration disk of Final

Fantasy VIII.


    There is one more thing that I would like to tell you about.  On May

15, we announced at a press conference in Japan that Final Fantasy VIII

will be released in Japan in winter of 1998.  We now would like to

announce that, in addition to the release in Japan, Final Fantasy VIII

is scheduled to be released in the United States and Europe sometime

between fall and winter of 1999.  


    Since FF8 is still in the initial stage of development, we prefer not

to discuss details of the game today.  However, we have brought for your

viewing a material that is available at this stage.  Unfortunately, the

executive producer of Final Fantasy VIII, Hiroshi Sakaguchi was not able

to join us today.  Therefore, we have Hashimoto, Producer of Final

Fantasy VIII, to explain the game.


    This concludes my announcement to you today.  Thank you.

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