Square Enix has announced that it has merged two of its production divisions, Visual Works Division and Image Arts Division, to form the new Image Studio Division.
Square Enix (then Square) established Visual Works as a CGI production company in 1997, with its first work being the cutscenes from the original Final Fantasy VII. If you’ve played any Final Fantasy game after FFVII, chances are you’ve seen plenty of Visual Works’ gorgeous CGI. The studio also worked on the cutscenes of many hit PlayStation titles outside of FF, including Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story, Chrono Cross, and a bunch more. The studio’s latest work includes Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Balan Wonderworld.
Image Arts wasn’t involved so much in the gaming side of things, but the company focused more on the technical bits for Square Enix, having done research and development on “high-end visual expressions” focusing on real-time graphics. Furthermore, most of its core staff consists of members that worked on the 2016 feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.
Director Takeshi Nozue will lead the Square Enix Image Studio Division. Nozue previously directed Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and co-directed Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. By fusing the technologies and attributes of Visual Works and Image Arts, Square Enix hopes to speed up its research and development efforts for next-generation visuals. In any case, we’re all excited to see what will come from the new studio.