Japanese firm's first Western external development deal pairs it with Chris Taylor-headed team

Square Enix signs ‘strategic partnership’ with Gas Powered Games

After promising for some time that it would start closer engagement with Western games developers, Square Enix has announced its first deal with a non-Japanese studio: a strategic partnership with American outfit Gas Powered Games.

The studio, headed by famed designer Chris Taylor, will develop the sequel to its Supreme Commander for the Japanese publisher.

It’s the first step in Square Enix’s plan to work with games firms around the world – for some time CEO Yoichi Wada has told investors he would work with Western firms either via partnership or acquisition to grow the business.

Until now, the company famous for its Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest brands had worked with Japanese studios, either external ones or those as part of its busy internal resource.

Develop also understands more deals between Square Enix and other developers in the West will be announced in the coming months.

“We see great opportunities in European and North American markets, both of which are expected to be maintaining sustainable growth over these coming years,” said Yoichi Wada, president and representative director of Square Enix.

“Therefore, it is crucial we create alliances with proven developers such as Gas Powered Games in order to serve these significant markets better by providing products and services in tune with customer tastes.”

John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix and Square Enix, Inc., added: “Gas Powered Games is an accomplished development house that has demonstrated its ability to successfully create and develop intellectual properties.

“We are extremely excited to begin working with Gas Powered Games’ talented personnel and see this strategic partnership as a significant step in our efforts to bring Square Enix titles to a broader global audience.”

Gas Powered and Square Enix said that gameplay features, platforms and release date info on their first collaboration ‘will be available at a later time’.

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