Final Fantasy X
Image: Square Enix

On this day in 2002, Japanese giants Square and Enix announced plans to merge to create Square Enix, one of the biggest Japanese game companies of the modern age.

Traditionally, the two firms had been rivals; Enix's Dragon Quest and Square's Final Fantasy were two competing JRPG brands, and both sold in their millions, with new releases in both series often being so popular their respective releases would bring Japan to a standstill.

Talks of a potential merger between the two companies were bandied around at the turn of the new millennium, but the failure of Square's CGI movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within temporarily put the brakes on the deal; Enix was apparently reluctant to merge with a company that was on uneven financial footing.

However, Square's fortunes quickly improved thanks to the subsequent success of its PS2-based video games, and on November 25th, 2002, plans to merge the two were formally announced. The objective was to create a company which could compete on the global stage with western publishers, as well as decrease development costs. The merger itself would be fully completed on April 1st, 2003.

The newly merged Square Enix relocated to Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, and former Square president Yoichi Wada became president of the new entity, with former Enix president Keiji Honda taking the role of vice president. Enix founder (and the largest shareholder in the merged company) Yasuhiro Fukushima was made its honorary chairman.

Following the merger, Square Enix embarked on a series of acquisitions, including Japanese veteran Taito and Tomb Raider publisher Eidos. Today, the company presides over some of the biggest franchises in video gaming.