SE 3

As someone who’s been playing video games long enough to remember when the ideas of putting a game on a CD or making a controller with more than two face buttons were considered revolutionary, I always have to stop myself from referring to the company behind the Final Fantasy series as Square. That’s because in 2003 Square merged with role-playing game rival Enix, publishers of Dragon Quest, to become the single company Square Enix.

But while the fusing of the two industry giants created one of Japan’s most respected gaming entities, it seems the formerly separate companies haven’t entirely lost their individual identities, as Square Enix Holdings recently filed separate trademark applications for the names Squaresoft and Enix.

The first news of the applications came from the Japanese Trademark Bot Twitter account, which collects and reposts trademark filings gleaned from trade journals. According to the excerpts posted, on January 19 Square Enix filed two trademark applications, one for Squaresoft, the former Square’s software brand, and another for Enix.

Neither application has its complete details displayed, but both are listed as being for use in commercial video game software. Uses in jewelry, replica jewelry, and accessories are also mentioned, in keeping with Square Enix’s expansive merchandising operations.

▼ The Final Fantasy Chocobos and Dragon Quest slimes seem to be getting along just fine, at least as far as we can tell.

SE 2

Before cutting off, the tweets also reference a trademark category 16, which would likely be for printed materials such as video game-related manuals, magazines, or strategy guides.

The tweets have since been picked up by other media outlets in Japan, leaving gamers puzzled as to what Square Enix’s ultimate intent is. A complete splitting of the company into its former halves seems unlikely, seeing as how Dragon Quest is really the only intellectual property Enix brought with it to the merger that still has the power to drive sales in large numbers.

▼The critical success of the Valkyrie Profile and Grandia series notwithstanding

SE 1

Still, it seems unlikely that Square Enix would file the legal paperwork if it wasn’t going to do something with the names. Whether the plan is to use them for some extra retro appeal on rereleases of classics from the 16-bit era, or whether Squaresoft and Enix will become separate divisions of Square Enix with their own unique styles, remains to be seen.

Sources: Twitter (1, 2) via Jin, PS Sokuho comment section
Top image: Videogam.in, Wikia (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: RocketNews24, Livedoor