Square Co.

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Square Co., Ltd. (株式会社スクウェア Kabushiki-gaisha Sukuwea?) was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1983 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 and became part of Square Enix.

Squaresoft was also a brand name used by Square between 1992 and 2003. As such, the name is often used (incorrectly) to refer to the entire organization, but the Japanese corporate name remained Square Co., Ltd. until the Enix merger.



Square was founded in Yokohama in September 1983 by Masafumi Miyamoto after he graduated from Waseda, one of Japan's top universities. Back then, Square was a computer game software division of Den-Yu-Sha, a power line construction company owned by Miyamoto's father. While at the time game development was usually conducted by only one programmer, Miyamoto believed that it would be more efficient to have graphic designers, programmers and professional story writers working together on common projects. Square's first two titles were The Death Trap and its sequel Will: The Death Trap II, both designed by part-time employee Hironobu Sakaguchi and released on the NEC PC-8801.[1]

Despite an initial reluctance to develop for video game consoles, Square entered the Nintendo Famicom market in December 1985 with the porting of Thexder.[1] In September 1986, Square spun off from Den-Yu-Sha and became an independent company officially named Square Co., Ltd.[2] Sakaguchi then became a full-time employee as the Director of Planning and Development of the company. After releasing several unsuccessful games for the Famicom, Square relocated to Ueno, Tokyo in 1987 and developed a role-playing game titled Final Fantasy, inspired by Enix's success with the first Japanese game of the genre, Dragon Quest (later released in North America as Dragon Warrior).[3] With 400,000 copies sold, Final Fantasy spawned multiple sequels over the years and became Square's main franchise.[1]

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