Looking back on the game industry when the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation were both fighting for dominance, there was one developer that gave Sony the upper hand. That developer was Square. Known as the global leader in creating Japanese style Role Playing Games, Square and Sony made the RPG genre into a huge market outside of the Japan for the first time on PlayStation. And once Final Fantasy VII was released, Sega never recovered.

Since they broke off their exclusive allegiance to Nintendo, Sony has been fortunate to have Square continue to release the biggest RPG’s only on their PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles. However, with Microsoft forging alliances with Japanese developers and trying to win the hearts of the Japanese market, could Square-Enix leave the exclusive Sony partnership to release games on Xbox 360? It appears that this will be announced at E3 next week.

While Square-Enix and Microsoft both deny it, there was a leak on Microsoft’s web site pointing to a new partnership between the two companies. The website indicated that this was the doing of Peter Moore and read: “Moore is responsible for establishing industry-shaking alliances including alliances with industry giant Square Enix and legendary developer Hironobu Sakaguchi (Mistwalker), Yoshiko Okamoto (Game Republic), and Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Q Entertainment), and bringing publishing powerhouse Electronic Arts Inc. onto the Xbox Live global video games online service.”

While it is clear that Sony is still the most dominate force in the game industry, can their success continue without companies like Square-Enix making their big titles exclusive on Sony systems? When Square left Nintendo behind, they never regained their leadership position in the industry. Could the same thing also happen to Sony with PlayStation 3?

If this story is true, we will learn more about it at E3 next week. In fact, our first stop of the week is the Square-Enix press conference. Surely any sort of arrangement with Microsoft would be announced there. If not, we should hear something about this later that evening when we go to the Microsoft press conference. Once we learn more, we will provide you with all the details.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 05/15/05

Screenshots for Square-Enix Developing for Xbox 360?