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Square Enix Readies New Foreign Games Label

Company announces Extreme Edges label and states intention to narrow gap in localizations.

Just Cause 2 is due for June 10 release.

As the owner of Eidos and the local publisher of the the Call of Duty titles, Square Enix is a major force here in Japan when it comes to foreign games. But CEO Yoichi Wada appears to see room for expansion in this area.

In an interview in this week's Famitsu, Wada provides details on Extreme Edges, a new label that Square Enix will use to publish Western titles in Japan. The label will kick off on May 6 with the SP Map Pack for the PlayStation 3 version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (the 360 version of the pack is already out).

According to Wada, Extreme Edges is being formed to fight the negative image that Japanese players seem to have for foreign games, often referred by by the short form "yoge." High quality games that sell well in overseas markets, including Batman Arkham's Asylum and Modern Warfare 2, don't have as much of an impact amongst Japanese players and retailers. The reason for starting up a label is to add name recognition to games that might not otherwise have a sales track record in Japan.

The name "Extreme Edges" can be broken down to mean that the games are high quality and at the extreme technological edge, and that they also have an extreme feel about them as they're rated a high D and Z (the equivalent of Grand Theft Auto) rating. Additionally, Wada points to the experimental nature of releasing download content like the Modern Warfare 2 pack under a label.

To populate the lineup, Square Enix will be looking for quality games both in and out of its group. For Eidos titles in particular, Wada hopes to make use of the close ties with the development staff to deliver games worldwide simultaneously.

Coinciding with this interview, Square Enix also shared with Famitsu Japanese release information for Kane & Lynch 2 Dog Days, Blur Racers, Singularity, the Modern Warfare 2 SP Map Pack, and Supreme Commander 2. These will presumably see formal announcement later this week.

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