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naia-the-gamer avatar 1:07 PM on 10.05.2007  (server time)
What's been bothering me since the Square-Enix Merger...

Before I continue on with this blog post, let me say this: I'm a Dragon Quest Superfan. I try to keep it in check, but sometimes it gets the better of me. I am fully aware that all Squenix needs to do is take a dump in a bag, call it Dragon Quest and I will buy it. However Dragon Quest has been pretty much ignored by American audiences, so I'm also used to being shafted over and over again. I don't get offended if people don't understand my love for those cute slimes and archaic gameplay. So what I'm about to say may be tainted by the drinking of fanboy kool-aid.

There I said, it. I'm feeling better.

When it was announced that Square and Enix were merging, I have to admit I was concerned. Not realizing that Enix bought Square I was worried that Enix games would be buried in the Final Fantasy frenzy, and that my chances of seeing future Dragon Quest games in the US would decrease even more. Square-Enix USA pledged to give Dragon Quest more of a presence in the US, but the cynical fan in me was only going to believe it when I saw it. It was hard to believe them when Enix planned to bring the Playstation remake of Dragon Warrior IV to US only to have it cancelled at the last minute. Since then, I don't believe in localization announcements until the game is on the shelves and I can see it with my own eyes.

I know this sounds like I'm griping, but you have to understand where I'm coming from; I'm a superfan to an under-appreciated franchise outside of Japan, and I've been a DQ superfan since the early 90's.

Now they've brought a few titles over to the US and they are trying to give Dragon Quest more of a presence in western territories, but nonetheless, I've seen something that many journalists and gamers have done. Maybe it's out of laziness and innocent:

People still refer to Square-Enix as "Square."

I know this is nitpicking, but it has the implication that the "Enix" part of Square-Enix isn't as important. With the company trying to find partners in the US and increase their sales in Western territories, it seems disconcerting that so many members of the gaming community forget about half of the company. Sure it may be out of laziness, and that's what I thought at first. I adopted the term "Squenix" when I was feeling lazy. However it's still part of the hardcore gamer vernacular. It makes me wonder if people even know what games Enix has made over the years.

All of this was prompted by the announcement of Squenix wanting to expand their market in western territories and I can't help but to think that if they gave some of their unlocalized games a chance, they may actually do alright in the US. While there has been an improvement of a DQ presence in the US, still many of the titles never reach US shores. They could fix this by releasing the DS remakes of DQ IV, V, and VI that they are working on. We still haven't seen V or VI officially in the US and they're decent titles. The DS style games they have been making for the casual market could do well in the US too, given the high popularity of games like Brain Age and Nintendogs. They don't really need to do much to make games to cater to the west (aside from maybe a solid shooter that isn't a spinoff or an existing franchise). There's so much they could do already to get the western territories talking.

And maybe with all of this, they could get people to remember the Enix side of the company.

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