DigiCube

Last updated
DigiCube Co., Ltd.
Public (JASDAQ:  7589)
Industry Video games industry
Wholesale
Publishing
Fate Bankruptcy
FoundedFebruary 6, 1996 (1996-02-06)
DefunctNovember 26, 2003 (2003-11-26)
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Owner Square Enix

DigiCube Co., Ltd. (株式会社デジキューブ; Kabushiki-gaisha Dejikyūbu) was a Japanese company established as a subsidiary of software developer Square on February 6, 1996 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The primary purpose of DigiCube was to market and distribute Square products, most notably video games and related merchandise, including toys, books, and music soundtracks. DigiCube served as a wholesaler to distributors, and was noteworthy for pioneering the sale of video games in Japanese convenience stores and vending machine kiosks.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process, including the research, design, programming, and testing of computer software. Other job titles which are often used with similar meanings are programmer, software analyst, and software engineer.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Contents

History

At its peak in 1998, DigiCube recorded sales of 8.6 million units, equaling ¥46.8 billion JPY. On February 2, 2000, Digicube announced it would start carrying the PlayStation 2 the following month, and expected sales of 100,000 consoles and 400,000 games. [1] In February 2001, after a thaw in relations between Nintendo and Square, Digicube began distributing Game Boy games for the first time. [2]

PlayStation 2 sixth-generation and second home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is a home video game console that was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the original PlayStation console and is the second iteration in the PlayStation lineup of consoles. It was released in 2000 and competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox in the sixth generation of video game consoles.

Nintendo Japanese video game company

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

Game Boy 1989 portable video game console

The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console which was developed and manufactured by Nintendo and first released on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990. It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, created and published by Satoru Okada and Nintendo Research & Development 1. This same team, led by Gunpei Yokoi at the time, is credited with designing the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Redesigned, but not entirely revamped, versions were released in 1996 and 1998 in the form of Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Light, respectively.

In the following years; however, sales declined precipitously. Although ownership of DigiCube was passed to the newly created Square Enix following the merger of Square with its former rival Enix in early 2003, it was already approximately 9.5 billion yen in debt. Following the announcement that the much-anticipated Final Fantasy XII would be delayed until sometime in 2004 (eventually released 2006), DigiCube filed for bankruptcy liquidation at the Tokyo District Court on November 26, 2003. [3] The bankruptcy would cost the newly merged Square Enix ¥760 million JPY. [4]

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

Enix Japanese video game publisher

Enix Corporation was a Japanese video game publisher that produced video games, anime and manga. Enix is known for publishing the Dragon Quest series of role-playing video games.

<i>Final Fantasy XII</i> video game

Final Fantasy XII is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 home video console. A part of the Final Fantasy series, the game was released in 2006. It introduced several innovations to the series: an open world, a seamless battle system, a controllable camera, a customizable "gambit" system, which lets the player control the artificial intelligence (AI) of characters in battle, a "license" system, which determines what abilities and equipment can be used by characters, and a hunting side quest, which allows the player to find and defeat increasingly difficult monsters in the game's open world. Final Fantasy XII also includes elements from previous games in the series, such as Chocobos and Moogles.

Releases

Music

Starting with Tobal No. 1 Original Sound Track in 1996, DigiCube published soundtracks of Square and Square Enix video games, as well as a few soundtracks of video games from other companies and a few non-video game-related albums. The last release was Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII in 2003. The planned release of Front Mission 4 Plus 1st Original Soundtrack was cancelled following DigiCube's demise, although it and most of DigiCube's catalog was eventually re-printed by Square Enix. Digicube released 80 video game soundtrack albums during its existence, generally from games developed or published by Square/Square Enix, as well as 8 other albums. [5]

Perfect Works

Perfect Works is a series of video game-related books published by DigiCube. Only three books were published: the first was dedicated to Xenogears and printed in October 1998 in Japan. One book dedicated to SaGa Frontier 2 and another one dedicated to Front Mission 3 were released in 1999.

<i>Xenogears</i> video game

Xenogears is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation video game console. The debut entry in the wider Xeno franchise, it was released in Japan in February 1998, and in North America in October the same year. The gameplay of Xenogears revolves around navigating 3D environments both on-foot and using humanoid mecha dubbed "Gears". Combat is governed by a version of the turn-based "Active Time Battle" system. The story follows protagonist Fei Fong Wong and several others as they journey across the world to overthrow the all-powerful rule of Deus. The story incorporates themes of Jungian psychology, Freudian thought, and religious symbolism.

<i>SaGa Frontier 2</i> 1999 video game

SaGa Frontier 2 is a role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation. It is the eighth original game in their SaGa series. Initially released in Japan in April 1999, an English version was made available in North America in January 2000 by Square Electronic Arts and in PAL regions the following March by Square. Development for the title was headed by series creator Akitoshi Kawazu, with music by Masashi Hamauzu. The game features an art style unique to the series at the time it was released, utilizing hand-painted watercolor backdrops and characters to give the game a storybook feel. Like other SaGa games, gameplay is largely non-linear, giving the player multiple paths to follow in order to complete the game.

<i>Front Mission 3</i> 1999 video game

Front Mission 3 is a tactical role-playing game for the PlayStation developed by and published by Square Co., Ltd., released in Japan in 1999, and North America and Europe in 2000. Front Mission 3 is the third main entry and the fifth entry overall in the Front Mission series. Like other Front Mission titles, Front Mission 3 is part of a serialized storyline that follows the stories of various characters and their struggles involving mecha known as wanzers.

These books contain artwork, timelines and detailed descriptions of events of the related games. The Xenogears Perfect Works notably contains detailed information of the world where the game is set, giving indepth descriptions of the characters, creatures, geographical and historical settings, covering all the intended six episodes of Xenogears.

Ultimania

The Final Fantasy XII Scenario Ultimania Ffxiiscenarioultimania.jpg
The Final Fantasy XII Scenario Ultimania

Ultimania(アルティマニア,Arutimania, a portmanteau of ultimate and mania) [6] is a series of video game books originally published in Japan by DigiCube and written by Studio BentStuff. Although they are primarily known as a resource for the Final Fantasy series, there have also been Ultimania guides published for several other Square Enix titles, including the SaGa series, Legend of Mana , Chrono Cross , Vagrant Story and the Kingdom Hearts series. In addition to providing information on how to complete their respective games, the guides primarily focus on commentary from the staff, original art designs and extended information about the game's storyline and characters. After DigiCube's bankruptcy, Square Enix has published the books directly.

Related Research Articles

<i>Final Fantasy VII</i> 1997 video game

Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.

<i>Final Fantasy VIII</i> 1999 role-playing video game

Final Fantasy VIII is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1999, it is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. During the quest to defeat Ultimecia, Squall struggles with his role as leader and develops a romance with one of his comrades, Rinoa Heartilly.

<i>Final Fantasy X-2</i> 2003 video game

Final Fantasy X-2 is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation 2, as the direct sequel to Final Fantasy X. The game's story follows the character Yuna from Final Fantasy X as she seeks to resolve political conflicts in the fictional world of Spira before they lead to war and to search for her lost love Tidus from Final Fantasy X.

<i>Unlimited Saga</i> 2002 video game

Unlimited Saga is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation 2 as the ninth game in their SaGa series. Originally released in Japan in December 2002, the game was later made available for North American players in June 2003 and in Europe the following October. The game was designed by series veteran Akitoshi Kawazu who is given a byline on the cover of the game's packaging, with music composed by Masashi Hamauzu who had previously provided the soundtrack for the game's predecessor, SaGa Frontier 2. A special limited collector's edition was made available exclusively in Japan and was released alongside the regular edition.

<i>Compilation of Final Fantasy VII</i> media franchise

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a metaseries produced by Square Enix. A subseries stemming from the main Final Fantasy series, it is a collection of video games, animated features and short stories based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Officially announced in 2003 with the reveal of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the series' core products are three video games and one movie release. Alongside these are tie-in products and spin-offs including books, mobile games and an original video animation. Advent Children and the mobile title Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII are a sequel and prequel to VII, respectively focusing on Cloud Strife, the original game's main protagonist, and covert operatives known as the Turks. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair, an important major character in VII, while Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, which acts as a sequel to Advent Children, follows Vincent Valentine, one of the original's optional characters.

The Chrono series is a video game franchise developed and published by Square, and is currently owned by Square Enix. The series began in 1995 with the time travel role-playing video game Chrono Trigger, which spawned two continuations, Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki, and Chrono Cross. A promotional anime called Dimensional Adventure Numa Monjar and two ports of Chrono Trigger were also produced. As of March 31, 2003, Chrono Trigger was Square Enix's 12th best-selling game, with 2.65 million units shipped. Chrono Cross was the 24th, with 1.5 million units. By March 2012, the two games sold over 5.4 million units combined. The games in the series have been called some of the greatest of all time, with most of the praise going towards Chrono Trigger. The series' original soundtracks, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, have also been praised, with multiple soundtracks being released for them.

Yoshinori Kitase Japanese video game designer

Yoshinori Kitase is a Japanese game director and producer working for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X, and the producer of the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series. Kitase is an Executive Officer at Square Enix, the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 1 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.

<i>Creid</i> album

Creid is the arranged soundtrack to Square's role-playing video game Xenogears. It was written by the game's composer Yasunori Mitsuda and performed by a musical ensemble dubbed Millennial Fair. It was released on April 22, 1998 in Japan by DigiCube, and re-released by Square Enix on June 29, 2005. Comprising ten tracks arranged from the Xenogears Original Soundtrack, the album is mostly done in Irish or Celtic music style, with minor influences of Japanese rock according to Mitsuda. Artists from Japan and Ireland were recruited for the project. Four of the five vocal tracks on the album were written by Junko Kudo and sung by Tetsuko Honma, while the title track "Creid" was written by Mitsuda and performed by Eimear Quinn.

Motomu Toriyama video game designer

Motomu Toriyama is a Japanese game director and scenario writer who has been working for Square Enix since 1994. He initially worked on cutscenes in Bahamut Lagoon and Final Fantasy VII. Toriyama started directing with Final Fantasy X-2 and has continued doing so with large-scale projects such as Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Since 2003, he has been directing his own team of scenario writers at the company. He is currently directing Mobius Final Fantasy and is a member of Square Enix's Business Division 1, and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.

The music of the video game Final Fantasy VIII was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all music in the game, was released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan, and by Square EA in North America. A special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game—arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi—was released under the title Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec Final Fantasy VIII, and a collection of piano arrangements—performed by Shinko Ogata—was released under the title Piano Collections Final Fantasy VIII.

Tidus Final Fantasy character

Tidus is a fictional video game character in Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. He was introduced as the protagonist of the role-playing video game, Final Fantasy X, in 2001 as a 17-year-old expert in the fictional sport of blitzball from the city of Zanarkand. After a mysterious creature named Sin attacks his hometown, Tidus is apparently transported to the world of Spira. Shortly after his arrival he meets Yuna, a new summoner, and her guardians. The summoner will soon set out on a pilgrimage to destroy the creature which attacked Tidus' city; by joining them, Tidus hopes to find his way home. He has appeared in other video games, including the Final Fantasy X sequel Final Fantasy X-2, the Kingdom Hearts series, and several Square Enix crossover games.

Music of <i>Chrono Cross</i> album

The Chrono series is a video game franchise developed and published by Square Enix. It began in 1995 with the time travel role-playing video game Chrono Trigger, which spawned two continuations, Radical Dreamers and Chrono Cross. The music of Chrono Cross was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the main composer of Chrono Trigger and Radical Dreamers. Chrono Cross has sparked a soundtrack album, released in 1999 by DigiCube and re-released in 2005 by Square Enix, and a greatest hits mini-album, published in 2000 by Square along with the North American release of the game. Radical Dreamers, the music of which heavily inspired the soundtrack of Chrono Cross, has not sparked any albums, though some songs from its soundtrack were reused in Chrono Cross. An album of arrangements of Chrono Cross songs was first announced by Mitsuda in 2005, and later intended to be released to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the game in 2009; its release date was pushed back several times since then. In 2015, Mitsuda released an album of arranged music from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross entitled To Far Away Times to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of Chrono Trigger.

Tetsuya Nomura is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix. He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has helmed the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was also the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

References

  1. IGN Staff (2 February 2000). "Digicube To Sell PS2's". IGN. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  2. IGN Staff (7 February 2001). "DigiCube plugs in for Game Boy". IGN. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  3. Venter, Jason (2003). "DigiCube Officially History". HonestGamers. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2005.
  4. IGN Staff (4 February 2004). "Square Enix Holds Strong". IGN. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  5. "自社制作音楽CD" [Music CDs released by the company] (in Japanese). DigiCube. Archived from the original on August 14, 2003. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  6. Studio BentStuff, ed. (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 3. ISBN   4-925075-49-7.