Square-Enix, the developer/publisher of the hugely successful Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games, is setting up a new development studio in El Segundo, CA. The studio will be working on an original, action-oriented franchise for the Xbox 360. Gamasutra used its Batman-like detective-skills to find some interesting listings on the company's web site. According to Gamasutra:
"It is seeking to fill several positions for the new location, including the roles of Xbox 360 software engineer, product manager, 3D artist, and more. The studio's job listings advertised on other sites say that it is looking to 'to lay the foundation for a solid development team,' calling for software engineer applicants with Xbox 360 and Wii development experience."
This is a telling, but clearly logical, move for Square-Enix. The company's North American offices have (mostly) handled sales, marketing, and localization. However, it makes sense to create a Western-style game for a predominantly Western console in North America. Between this new project and the company's partnership with the excellent Gas Powered Games, it's clear that Square-Enix is focusing more on the Western market. One of our sources also hinted that Cloud Strife may have lost his materia in El Segundo (five points if you get the reference!).