Square Enix and Ubisoft are no strangers when it comes to publishing partnerships. But starting this year, the two publishers will become even closer as Square Enix distributes Ubisoft titles to the Japanese market.
Square Enix president Yoichi Wada made the announcement in an interview published in the latest issue of Famitsu. The first games to fall under this deal will ship in April.
According to Wada, Square Enix will be working with Ubisoft not just on the Japanese distribution of the Western giant's games, but also in various other undisclosed ways. While it's unclear if the Square Enix name will appear on the boxes of upcoming Ubisoft titles, Wada's comments appear to suggest that Square Enix will be taking a role in the localization or marketing of the games.
Japan still remains relatively isolated from the English-speaking world when it comes to game releases. The biggest Western-developed games like Grand Theft Auto IV are considered a success in Japan even with sales of less than a tenth of their US totals. Similarly, Japan's biggest RPG series, Dragon Quest, has yet to achieve similar success in overseas markets.
One of Square Enix's hopes, according to Wada, is to better introduce Japanese gamers to overseas titles. The company currently has special sales areas at 950 shops throughout Japan. Wada believes these can be used to help promote Western titles.
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