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Square Enix online for the future

Japanese RPG specialist discusses importance of online market, discusses targets for coming year

Japanese superstar publisher Square Enix has emphasised that online gaming is the way forward for its RPG-heavy titles and has stated that every console in the future will feature full online capabilities, according to statements emerging from the company's shareholder meeting.

Discussing revenue plans for the coming year, Square Enix warned that profits could suffer as the current generation of consoles gives way to the next-gen, but assured shareholders that investment in online gaming now would offer great returns in the long run.

To achieve this long-term profit, SquEnix is already growing its online sector faster than the market actually needs so that it is at the forefront when more and more players get the ability to play online.

SquEnix has already had success in the online sector, with Final Fantasy XI on PC and PS2 snatching the publisher a 50% share of the massively multiplayer market in Japan. According to Square, FFXI has also "beaten EverQuest in America" and is "doing well in Europe."

Other topics of discussion were Final Fantasy XII on PS2, expected to finally launch next year and sell 3 to 4 million copies in Japan; The next instalment in the massively popular Dragon Quest franchise, which was neatly ducked by the SquEnix spokespeople; and ex-Square golden child Hironobu Sakaguchi's new Mistwalker studio, which evidently has absolutely no financial connection to Square Enix.

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