Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of different video game developers and publishers hog the spotlight for a time. Whether we’re talking about Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, or Electronic Arts there are a lot of companies that have spent some time leading the way. Lately, it’s become clear that one company in particular has seized control of the current decade. Square Enix is quietly–but thoroughly–dominating.
To be clear right off the bat, this is not necessarily anything new. Even back in 2013, a look at the world’s most successful gaming companies revealed that Square Enix was among the best of the best, with a staggering $1.45 billion earned in the year leading up to the article. This was attributed largely to the company’s legendary Final Fantasy series, which has proven to be one of the most enduring and beloved franchises across the gaming spectrum.
But more recently, it’s not about a single franchise or one or two wildly successful games. Rather, it’s Square Enix’s reach across different platforms and into the future that’s begun to stand out.
It starts with the company’s selection of mobile games, which covers a wide range of genres and franchises. The publisher revived the popular Championship Manager series in 2013 and in the past few years the company has put out a series of popular turn-based puzzle twists on major console franchises, including Lara Croft GO, Hitman GO, and Deux Ex GO. This variety of games has slowly but surely helped to establish Square Enix as one of the mainstream game publishers to have truly figured out mobile devices.
Just as the company has excelled in mobile gaming it has also branched out into the online casino business. In particular, the same Hitman franchise that helped Square Enix to spread to mobile apps has also proven to have some appeal when spun into a casino slot reel. The Hitman title is part of Microgaming’s extensive selection of themed slots that allows even larger audiences to connect with the character that has found new life thanks to last year’s episodic series from Square.
Of course, this expansion to mobile devices and online casinos hasn’t done anything to slow down Square Enix’s domination of the console industry. Franchises like Final Fantasy, Deus Ex, Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider, and others are still going strong and keeping Square Enix products among the most popular and successful releases on a year-to-year basis. On top of all of that, the company seems to be taking the lead on Marvel’s promised next generation of gaming. The two entertainment giants recently announced a partnership, and we’ve already heard rumors of games based on the Avengers and the Guardians Of The Galaxy.
We’ve also begun to see Square Enix exploring the future of gaming through VR. Several of the company’s leading franchises either already have VR experiences or have been teased as subject matter for future VR projects. This seems to indicate that the company will not be missing a beat even as the nature of gaming begins to shift.
Add it all up, and you have a major leader in the gaming industry spreading its most popular content across all formats and pushing into the future at the same time. There are plenty of similarly successful companies, and lots of standout video game franchises, but it’s fair to say that the current era of gaming belongs to Square Enix.