"Fortune smiles upon thee. Thou hast found a herb!"
Even for the greatest legends, there are always humble beginings. Nintendo started out orignally as a card-trading company and grew into the giant console and gaming conglomerate it is today. Enix started out similiarly small, establishing the Eidansya-Bosyu Service Centre Corporation in September of 1975. This Corporation was mainly there to service electronics, but really they had other things in mind. The new revolution of the PC, Personal Computer, was just starting to be realized. TheJapanese economy at the time was begining to enter an upswing period that would peak so high it would become the second largest economy in the entire world - all from a small country only a few islands together! To take advantage of both of these convient factors, the Eidansya-Bosyu Corportation established a partner company in August of 1982. This company, focusing specifically on the design of Personal Computer gaming, would be forever marked in the annals of gaming history. Maybe not PC gaming as they had started out but truly in the storied halls of console gaming, ENIX Corportation will be a name with few peers. As was planned, in 1983 and onward Enix released around 13 games for the Personal Comuter, as well as a few for the "Family Computer," otherwise known in Japan as the Famicom. this would later one be known to the Western world as the Nintendo Entertainment System. By no means were these games bad, but Enix did not have a spark; a light to burn brightly within the imaginations of the Japanese gaming public. This was a quest for Enix, to secure its name. And they did.
In May of 1986, a month that will live in infamy among console gamers across the globe, Enix released that "spark." Its name was Dragon Quest, a role-playing game where you took on a hero trying to save a kingdom, and then the world, from the forces of evil. A difficult game, nothing like it had ever been released for the Famicom before. No game before it had so much dialouge, entertaining graphics, such a variety of enemies, and such a detailed and intricate story. The Japanese public was completely engrossed in the tale of this medivial fantasy world brought to life through their home console screens. the most important thing was that this game was not as entirely complex as the other large market RPG, Ultima. Dragon Quest was a fun, interesting game. The three creators of this game, Yuji Horii, Akira Toriyama, and Koichi Sugiyama are legends in their own rights. All console RPGs, including the beloved Final Fantasy series, owe their existance to the popularity of Dragon Quest. Eventually this game has come to settle in at over 2 million worldwide sold (1.5 in Japan, .5 in North America) and exists as one of the most popular games of all time.
Following the release of Dragon Quest, Enix decided that they were not done with this series yet. In what continues to be now a time-honoured tradition, the next Dragon Quest game does not focus on linerarity between plots but rather a brand new adventure with a similar twist the the story. Two more highly successful Drgaon Quest games were released, one in 1987 (Pantheon of Evil Spirits) and the third installment (the aptly named And Then, Into Legend) coming in 1988. Both of these games have become some of the highest selling games ever in the history of videogaming, with the second installement selling around 2.4 million copies, and the third with a whopping 3.8 million copies sold worldwide. These are impressive numbers by today's standards; when they were originally released, these numbers rocked the videogaming world. You should take note here, as with Dragon Quest III, Japan fundamentally changed. The Japanese Diet made it a law that any future Dragon Quest games should be released on the weekend, as to prevent children from skipping school. A few Japanese words came out of the game, such as "hoimi," a child's word for healing. The new advertisement campaign for Dragon Quest VIII plays off of this; a group of older men in a bathhouse start to hum the Dragon Quest theme song to themselves. Dragon Quest - and in such, videogames - were responsible for changing the face of society in Japan. Only a prelude to what they would eventually do world-wide, but it all started here, and it all started with "DraQue."
Something interesting did happen in 1989, however, in-between releases of Dragon Quest games. With Eidansya-Bosyu Service Center Corp. growing and expanding by leaps and bounds within their market, they decided to buy up three other smaller game manufacturers to add to their business and employmee base. Then, in April of 1989, the group we know today as ENIX Corportation was born, located in the Kanagawa Prefecture in the western part of Tokyo. This allowed the newly found ENIX Corp. to expand their business and start to grow and produce more games, develop more ideas, and continue to put marketing strength behind their products. Soon after the company started to produce a magazine, "Monthly Shonen GanGan," promoting Enix products, as well as providing tons of accessories and merchandise for their Dragon Quest series. In between the release of the magazine and the formation of the new company, Enix had time to put out the fourth installment in the Dragon Quest series, with the title "Dragon Quest IV: The Chosen Ones," and eventually selling a whopping 3.1 million copies.
In the next year, something changed with Enix as Nintendo brought out their Super Famicom system in Japan, known in the western world as the Super Nintendo. All three of their previous Dragon Quest games were released in North America, the largest selling was the original at 500,000 copies. Oddly enough the Dragon Quest mania that had swept through Japan like wildfire failed to even strike a spark in the North American market, with the fourth installment only selling 80 thousand copies. Subsequently, none of the Super Famicom Dragon Quest games have been brought over to North American shores. While they did release Orge Battle and the insanely difficult 7th Saga in the US, neither put up amazing numbers, although Orge Battle has attracted a legion of hardcore followers.
Dragon Quest V: Heaven's Bride, sold a rountine 2.8 million copies since it first hit the streets in September of 1992. Enix continued to do well in Japan, releasing a large amount of successful Super Nintendo games, including the first game in the series that would break open the western market for Enix RPGs again in Star Ocean. Eventually at the end of the fisical year of 1994 Enix's capital was marked at 68,456 billion yen, or by today's exchange rates around 650 million dollars. Quite a lot for a small company that had originally not even bothered with designing computer games. A lot happened in the next two years, as Enix released their first compliation cart of the first two Dragon Quest games for the Super Famicom - it sold 1.2 million copies, a bit more than 1.5 times the number of Dragon Quest 1 through 4 sold in North America combined. They released Dragon Quest VI: Illusionary Tales in December of 1995, right in time for the holida rush. It showed in sales, selling around 3.2 million copies when it was all said and done. Only 8 months after that Enix decided that they would move their company headquarters from Shinjuku-ku (district) of Japan to Shibuya-ku.
At this time, Enix was noticing something. A similar another long-running RPG series, the company that Enix was destined to merge with - Squaresoft - was having enormous success with it's "Final Fantasy" series. Constant comparisons have been drawn between the two long-running franchises and arguments continue to sprout up like weeds, gamers trying to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that their favourite series is the best in Japan. It is clear that Dragon Quest holds the upper hand in their homeland, but abroad is where Final Fantasy claims utter dominance over the competition. Final Fanasty V and VI sold well for the Super Nintendo, and when the new generation of consoles were released, Square's descision to leave their home of Nintendo and move to Sony's Playstation console must have had some effect on Enix's descision to do the same. Square then rocked the world with the release of Final Fantasy VII and it's huge number of pre-orders and sales. This seemingly "opened" Enix's eyes to the world as they decided they wanted something to go against this monster. That game would be Star Ocean: The Second Story. A great game in its own right, Star Ocean was not an amazing seller but it did the job Enix wanted. It proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that North America was again ready to take on RPGs. Little else of major note was happening - Dragon Quest Monsters was being released on the Gameboy and selling ridiculously well, as was the re-release of Dragon Quest I and II for the Gameboy. Enix was also listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in August of 1999.
Then came a resounding blow. It was many things. The first of its kind for the Playstation. The first to come to North America in 10 years. The largest-selling game in Japan was released in Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden, and it sold well over 4 million copies and counting. Unfortunately in North America it lacked any proper advertisement or backing, but still managed to sell well. After that little else of major significance has been released by Enix - Dragon Quest Monsters 2, a re-release of Dragon Quest IV for the Playstation with some improved screens, but nothing of note.
There is, however, the looming shadow of the first Dragon Quest to be released on the Sony Playstation 2 hovering over us all.
ENIX AMERICA INC
Enixs mission is to publish game software for the leading hardware platforms and to bring NEW ENTERTAINMENT to North America. Based in Seattle, Washington, Enix America Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enix Corporation.
Established in 1982, Enix Corporation pioneered the console software Role Playing Game genre. Enix is one of Japan's top five publishers of video game software and publisher of the RPG series Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior® in North America), which has sold more than 22 million units worldwide.
Enix has sold over 2.2 million units of Dragon Quest Monsters for Game Boy in Japan. In North America, Enix is very pleased to be in partnership with Eidos Interactive, who is publishing the English version, Dragon Warrior® Monsters.
Other recent publishing partnerships include: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.: STAR OCEAN The Second StoryEand 989 Studios: Bust A GrooveE
In Japan, in addition to Enixs main entertainment software business, there are two other primary divisions, Print Publishing and Toy & Hobby. Enixs Print division publishes popular comic magazines such as, GanGan, and G-Fantasy, as well as, official game strategy guides. Enixs Toy & Hobby division creates a wide variety products inspired by its popular entertainment software titles, most notably the Dragon Quest Battle Pencil and Dragon Quest & Dragon Quest Monsters Trading Cards.
¦CHAIRMAN&CEO YASUHIRO FUKUSHIMA
¦PRESIDENT&COO KEIJI HONDA
¦Line of business
COMPUTER SOFTWARE Family Computer Game Software / Online Interactive Entertainment Software for PC / Entertainment Software for Cellular Phones
PUBLISHING Game Magazine / Comics / Game Guide Book
TOY AND HOBBY Character Goods / Stationary / Toy
6,940,800,400yen(as of March 31,2002)
¦Number of employees
134/115 men and 19 women(as of March 31,2002)
Media Business Dept.
Kourakuen Shinjuku Bldg 3F,4-15-7,Nishi-Shinjuku,Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo
Yotsubashi Central Bldg,1-3-12,Shinmachi,Nishi-ku,Osaka,
ENIX AMERICA INC.
1520 Eastlake Ave.E .Suite 205. Seattle,WA 98102-3717 U.S.A.
230 Millions of yen
(In the fiscal year ended 31 March,2002)
HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
· 7th Saga (Super NES)
· 7th Saga 2: Mystic Ark (Super NES)
· ActRaiser (Super NES)
· ActRaiser 2 (Super NES)
· Blade Arts (PlayStation)
· Brain Lord (Super NES)
· Bust A Groove: Dance Summit 2001 (PlayStation 2)
· Bust A Move 2 Dance Tengoku Mix (PlayStation)
· Bust A Move Dance Rhythm and Action! (PlayStation)
· Bust-A-Groove 2 (PlayStation)
· Dragon Quest I & II (Super NES)
· Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Marta's Mysterious Keys (Import) (Game Boy Color)
· Dragon Quest V (Super NES)
· Dragon Quest VI (Super NES)
· Dragon Warrior I & II (Game Boy Color)
· Dragon Warrior II (Nintendo Entertainment System)
· Dragon Warrior III (Nintendo Entertainment System)
· Dragon Warrior IV (Nintendo Entertainment System)
· Dragon Warrior VII: Warriors of Eden (PlayStation)
· E.V.O.: The Search for Eden (Super NES)
· Elnard (Super NES)
· King Arthur: The Knights of Justice (Super NES)
· Ogre Battle (Super NES)
· Paladin's Quest (Super NES)
· Rakugaki Showtime (PlayStation)
· Robot Alchemic Drive (PlayStation 2)
· Robotrek (Super NES)
· Soul Blazer (Super NES)
· Star Ocean (Super NES)
· Star Ocean: Blue Sphere (Game Boy Color)
· Star Ocean: The Second Story (PlayStation)
· Tales of Seven-Wind Island (Sega Saturn)
· Terranigma (Super NES)
· Torneko: The Last Hope (PlayStation)
· Valkyrie Profile (PlayStation)
· Wonder Project J2 (Nintendo 64)
Famicom (NES) / MSX Home Computer
1986 - Dragon Quest 1.5 million copies sold by 3/31/00
1987 - Dragon Quest II: Pantheon of Evil Spirits 2.4 million copies sold by 3/31/00
1988 - Dragon Quest III: And Then, Into the Legend 3.8 million copies sold by 3/31/00
1990 - Dragon Quest IV: The Chosen Ones 3.1 million copies sold by 3/31/00
Super Famicom (SNES)
1992 - Dragon Quest V: Heaven's Bride 2.8 million copies sold by 3/31/00
1992 - Torneko no Daibouken (Taloon's Great Adventure) Sales figures not available.
1993 - Dragon Quest I and II Remix 1.2 million copies sold by 3/31/00
1994 - Dragon Quest VI: Illusionary World 3.2 million copies sold by 3/31/00
1996 - Dragon Quest III Remix Sales figures not available.
1999 - Torneko no Daibouken (Taloon's Great Adventure) II Sales figures not available.
2000 - Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden 4 million+ copies
Game Boy Color
1998 - Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland Sales figures not available.
1999 - Dragon Quest I and II Remix Sales figures not available
2000 - Dragon Quest III Remix Sales figures not available.
2001 - Dragon Quest Monsters II: Lucca's Journey Sales figures not available
2001 - Dragon Quest Monsters II: Ill's Adventure Sales figures not available
Sales figures provided by DQNN
1989 - Dragon Warrior 500 thousand copies sold
1990 - Dragon Warrior II 150 thousand copies sold
1991 - Dragon Warrior III 95 thousand copies sold
1992 - Dragon Warrior IV 80 thousand copies sold
2000 - Torneko: Last Hope Sales figures not available.
2001 - Dragon Warrior VII Sales figures not available.
Game Boy Color
2000 - Dragon Warrior Monsters Sales figures not available.
2000 - Dragon Warrior I&II Sales figures not available
2001 - Dragon Warrior III Sales figures not available.
(provided by Famitsu)
A History of Enix
Interesting. There's a few typos - but that's easy to fix. You should consider changing "In May of 1986, a month that will live in infamy among console gamers across the globe," because 'infamy' suggests that what Enix accomplished was a bad thing for console gamers, and will remind some people in your audience of the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Otherwise, this is well written and well researched. Good work!
Otherwise, this is well written and well researched. Good work!