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Final Fantasy’s Square Company Has Its Ups And Downs

As reported on October 4, 2001 by THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Square Company Ltd., warning of losses of up to 13.9 billion yen (USD $115M) for the year's first half from weaker-than-expected revenues from its feature film FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN, had ceased funding of their Honolulu-based studio Square Pictures. Allowed to continue operations, Square Pictures has indicated that they will continue to develop CGI projects with funding from other studios, and plans to possibly develop a FINAL FANTASY sequel or prequel. More than likely, the popularity of THE FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN Special Edition DVD which debuts Oct. 23, will play some part in whether or not another FINAL FANTASY will be produced, and whether it will be theatrically released or go straight to DVD. FINAL FANTASY, which cost over $116 million to produce, grossed just $30 million in the U.S. and $9 million to date in Japan. But there is some good news for the company. REUTERS reported on October 9, 2001 that Sony Corp. has invested 14.9 billion yen ($124.3M) into Square Company Ltd. Under the deal, due to be implemented on October 26, 2001 Square will allocate newly issued shares to Sony's game-making unit, Sony Computer Entertainment. With this cash infusion, its possible that Square Pictures aborted plans for an enhanced PlayStation2-specific DVD, which would allow consumers to edit angles and lighting in real time using the PS2 processing power, will now be able to continue.

Go behind the scenes at Square Pictures for the making of FINAL FANTASY.