Square Enix President plans further M&A
02.01.08 - 10:09 AM

In an interview with Bloomberg Financial News, Square Enix president Youichi Wada talked about Dragon Quest IX and the company's future business plan. Asked about the release date of Dragon Quest IX, Wada refused to commit to a specific date. Development of the Level 5-developed DS title, whose release date had been pushed back by Square Enix until sometime this year, apparently is almost complete. Nonetheless, the company does not seem in a hurry to release the game. Dragon Quest IX will be the first main series installment to offer both a single and a multiplayer mode, hence it was important to come up with a good balance.

As far as M&A (merger and acquisition) policy was concerned, Square Enix is actively looking at new targets again, after acquiring Taito in 2005. Wada stressed, management was not limiting its search to companies from Japan, the United States or Europe, but also kept an eye on emerging markets, such as China and India. Wada cited Taito's improving financial situation and the potential threat of a (hostile) takeover of Square Enix during the current stock market crisis as reasons for this M&A strategy. The company itself currently has capital worth 100 billion yen ($940.01 million USD) on hand.

For the current fiscal year ending on March 31st, Square Enix is projecting an operating profit of 21 billion yen ($197.40 million USD) on sales of 162.5 billion yen ($1.53 billion USD). Compared to the previous fiscal year, sales are down by 0.6%, while operating profit is set to decrease by 19%. For the upcoming fiscal year 2008/2009 Wada is expecting Square Enix to grow again.

Chris Winkler