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Enix Co, Ltd. (株式会社エニックス Kabushiki-gaisha Enikkusu)
Public (Defunct)
Industry Software & programming & publishing
Fate Merged with Square
Successor Square Enix
Founded September 22, 1975
Defunct April 1, 2003
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Keiji Honda, President
Yasuhiro Fukushima, Founder and CEO
Subsidiaries See subsidiaries

Enix Corporation (株式会社エニックス Kabushiki-gaisha Enikkusu) was a Japanese company that produced video games, anime and manga. The company was founded by Yasuhiro Fukushima on September 22, 1975 as Eidansha Boshu Service Center (株式会社営団社募集サービスセンター Kabushiki Gaisha Eidansha Boshū Sābisu Sentā) and renamed Enix in 1982.[1] The name is a play on the words "phoenix", a mythical bird that is reborn from its own ashes, and "ENIAC", the world's first digital computer.[2]

Enix is perhaps best known for publishing the Dragon Quest series of role-playing video games. The company merged with Square in 2003 to become Square Enix.


  • History 1
    • Merger with Square 1.1
  • Subsidiaries 2
    • Asia 2.1
    • North America 2.2
  • Products 3
    • Video games 3.1
    • Manga and toys 3.2
    • Other products 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Enix was founded on September 22, 1975 as Eidansha Boshu Service Center by Japanese architect-turned-entrepreneur Yasuhiro Fukushima.[1][3] The company initially published tabloids that advertised real estate.[4] After a failed attempt to go nationwide in 1982, the newly renamed Enix began its foray into the gaming market by holding a personal computer game programming contest.[5] One of the winners was Love Match Tennis, created by Yuji Horii. It would go to become one of the company's first PC releases.[6] Another winner was the puzzle game Door Door by Koichi Nakamura, which would become one of the company's better known home computer titles. The game was subsequently ported to the Nintendo Family Computer, but never saw any form of release outside of Japan. Nakamura would stay on board as one Enix's key programmers.[5]

Over the next few years, Enix published several video games for various Japanese home computer systems. Rather than developing games within its own company, Enix would continue to outsource the production of its games to other developers through the use of royalties.[5] Enix is perhaps most famous for publishing the Dragon Quest series of console games (released as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005) developed by Chunsoft. Key members of the developer's staff consisted of director Koichi Nakamura, writer Yuuji Horii, artist Akira Toriyama, and composer Koichi Sugiyama, among others. The first game in the Famicom-based RPG series was released in 1986, and would eventually sell 1.5 million copies in Japan, establishing Dragon Quest as the company's most profitable franchise.[6][7]

In 1991, Enix registered its stock with the Japan Securities Dealers Association, later known as JASDAQ.[1] Enix soon began publishing manga from its shonen magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. The company established ties with more video game developers and would go on to publish several games for fourth, fifth, and sixth generation game consoles. Despite the announcement that Enix's long-time competitor Square Co., Ltd. would develop exclusively for Sony PlayStation, Enix announced in January 1997 that it would release games for both Nintendo and Sony consoles.[8] This caused a significant rise in stock for both Enix and Sony.[9] By November 1999, Enix was listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 1st section, indicating it as a "large company."[1][10]

Merger with Square

In June 2001, Enix expressed interest in partnering with both Square and Namco in online ventures to deal with mounting development costs.[11] That same month, Enix invested in the company Game Arts, acquiring ¥99.2 million worth of stock shares in order to publish the latter's Grandia series.[12] Despite Enix's marketing of Dragon Quest VII in 1999, the game was delayed numerous times and not released until 2000. As a result, the game didn't (as had been expected) contribute to the fiscal year 1999, cutting the company's previous profit-to-sales ratio in half and causing its stock value to drop by 40% in early 2000.[5][13] Enix was further hurt by a delay of Dragon Quest Monsters 2 in Japan in 2001, dropping its first-half 2001 fiscal year profit by 89.71%.[14]

Enix's competitor Square also suffered financially in 2001, mainly from the box office failure of its feature film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. This made Enix hesitant to join with the company.[15] However, it was announced on November 26, 2002 that the two companies would merge the following year in order to mutually decrease development costs and to compete with foreign developers.[16] The merge was delayed until April 1, 2003, when the new merged entity Square Enix came into being.[1] The merger between Enix and Square had apparently been considered since at least 2000.[15]



Digital Entertainment Academy Co., Ltd. was established as a partially owned subsidiary in 1991.[1] Originally called Toshima Ku Hokkaido University, the school was founded to teach game development. As of April 2008, it is funded by 20 gaming corporations, including Square Enix.[17]

Square Enix Webstar Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. was a company formed between Enix and Mauritius Webstar Inc. in 2001 to develop online and mobile phone games in China and, later, other parts of Asia. One of the products includes the MMORPG Cross Gate. The subsidiary was carried over after the merger between Square and Enix, but was dissolved in 2005 after the establishment of Square Enix China.[18]

North America

Enix America Corporation was the corporation's first Nintendo of America in 1989. The subsidiary came into existence in 1990, but closed in November 1995 when the parent company decided to no longer release products in North America[19] due to poor sales.[20] One of the games they published, King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, was Enix's first and only North America exclusive game.[21]

Enix America, Inc., Enix's last American localization subsidiary, was organized in 1999 after the release of Dragon Warrior Monsters through a joint venture with Eidos.[22] Paul Handelman, who was part of Enix America Corporation's staff, returned to lead Enix America, Inc. as President. The corporation was in existence until 2003, ceasing to exist after the merger with Square Co., Ltd.[23]


Video games

From 1983 to 1993, Enix published games for Japanese home computers including the NEC PC-8801, MSX, Sharp X68000, and FM-7. Beginning on the Famicom, Enix published the very successful Dragon Quest series, which, after the formation of Square Enix, had already sold over 35 million copies worldwide.[24] Although the first few titles were developed by Chunsoft, other companies would also develop main installments, spin-offs, and remakes for the series including Heartbeat, ArtePiazza, and TOSE. The Dragon Quest franchise would carry over as one of Square Enix's most important assets. Other notable franchises published by Enix include the acclaimed Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile series by tri-Ace, both of which would also continue with Square Enix. The company Quintet developed several role-playing games for Enix such as ActRaiser, Robotrek, Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, and Terranigma for the Super Nintendo.

Manga and toys

Enix began publishing manga in 1991 in its own Gangan Comics publications, which originally consisted of Monthly Shōnen Gangan, Monthly Gangan Wing, and Monthly GFantasy.

Other products

In November 2000, Enix set up a subsidiary titled BMF in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture to handle a fingerprint identification systems operation. Enix took a 68% stake in 200 million yen capitalization. The subsidiary was expected to post a pretax profit of 12 million yen on sales of 135 million yen in the first five months of operation.[25] In September 2002, Enix entered a joint venture with Waseda University to distribute broadband sports content. The subsidiary, Sports BB, was owned 80% by Enix and 20% by the college.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Square Enix. "Square Enix History (timeline)". Square Enix. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  2. ^ David Smith (June 16, 2005). "Feature: What's in a Name?".  
  3. ^ Gotemba, Goro and Iwamoto, Yoshiyuki (April 2, 2006). Japan On The Upswing: Why the Bubble Burst and Japan's Economic Renewal. Algora Publishing. p. 199.  
  4. ^ Koehler, Chris (September 4, 2004).  
  5. ^ a b c d Fujii, Daiji (January 2006). "Entrepreneurial choices of strategic options in Japan's RPG development" (PDF). Faculty of Economics,  
  6. ^ a b Rusel DeMaria, Johnny L. Wilson (2004). "Across the Pacific".  
  7. ^ "Square Enix: February 2, 2004 - February 4, 2004" (PDF).  
  8. ^ IGN staff (January 9, 1997). "Enix To Develop Titles For The PlayStation". IGN. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  9. ^ IGN staff (January 16, 1997). "Enix/Sony Update". IGN. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Transfers to 1st section".  
  11. ^ IGN staff (June 18, 2001). "Square, Enix and Namco Reveal First Tie-up Details". IGN. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  12. ^ Long, Andrew (June 4, 2001). "Enix Acquires Share In Game Arts". RPGamer. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  13. ^ IGN staff (April 28, 2000). "Dragon Quest VII Sells Like Crazy". IGN. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  14. ^ Long, Andrew (November 14, 2001). "Enix Announces Figures". RPGamer. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  15. ^ a b Long, Andrew (2003). "Square-Enix Gives Chrono Break Trademark Some Playmates". RPGamer. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  16. ^ Anoop Gantayat (November 25, 2002). "Square and Enix Merge". IGN. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  17. ^ "Digital Entertainment Academy history" (in Japanese). Digital Entertainment Academy. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  18. ^ "Square Enix enhanced a presence in the Chinese online and mobile game market with a 100% Square Enix subsidiary based in Beijing." (PDF). Square Enix staff. February 28, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  19. ^ "Enix on a Quest".  
  20. ^ "Enix Corp.". Japan-U.S. Business Report. November 1, 1999. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  21. ^ Averill, Alan (March 1995). "King Arthur & the Knights of Justice". Nintendo Power. Epic Center (Nintendo of America) (70): p. 36.  . "Our first Epic Center developer focus zooms in on King Arthur & the Knights of Justice from Enix. Manley & Associates is breaking ground with this game as the first American developer of a major adventure for Enix."
  22. ^ Tidwell, Mike (August 3, 1999). "News from Enix". RPGamer. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  23. ^ Stone, Cortney (2003). "Enix America Shuts Down". RPGamer. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  24. ^ "IR Roadshow Document (June 28, 2004 - June 30, 2004)" (PDF). Square Enix. July 7, 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  25. ^ "Enix to step up fingerprint ID system operations.". Japan Computer Industry Scan. October 23, 2000. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  26. ^ "Enix, Waseda Univ. to tie up on broadband content on sports.". Japan Weekly Monitor. September 17, 2002. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 

External links

  • Square Enix Global site
  • History of Enix and Square (official site)
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