Adobe Systems Incorporated

Square Enix: Worldwide Gaming Entertainment

Using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise as its foundation, digital entertainment content provider Square Enix Co., Ltd brings fantastic stories to fans around the world.

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Creating unforgettable experiences

“Spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences” is the corporate philosophy of Square Enix. Building on this philosophy, the company delivers high-quality entertainment and services to fans around the world.
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From classic game series including Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to popular comic series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and Black Butler, Square Enix is home to countless hits. And Adobe’s creative software, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC, are part of the backbone upon which these creations are built.

Square Enix deployed Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise across its creative teams. Creative Cloud gives all development staff access to the latest creative applications and the Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) helps the company improve software asset management and compliance.

Managing large-scale software licenses

Square Enix supports more than 2,000 employees in its Tokyo headquarters alone. The vast majority of those employees are involved with creative development; each developer has two to three high-performance computers, each with a wide range of necessary applications. Managing software licenses associated with each of those systems is a complex task.

“We want our developers to use the latest software to produce the best entertainment possible,” says Daishiro Okada, general manager at Square Enix. “But, when we took cost into consideration, we couldn’t always provide every employee with the most recent updates. As a result, employees were sometimes working with different software versions than their co-workers as well as on each of their own machines. Keeping track of all of this took an inordinate amount of time and effort.”

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Helping train new employees

To create fantastic entertainment, Square Enix developers need the skills to get the most out of the latest technologies. “We want to provide training on the latest technologies to help our employees improve their skills, regardless of the software version they are using,” says Okada. “And, ideally, we want to provide knowledge that applies to all of our employees.”

Complying with standards

Square Enix considers compliance with software usage regulations to be of utmost importance. “As a company that deals with the creation and distribution of digital content, we strongly recognize the importance of licensing and compliance,” says Okada. However, in an environment with multiple types of software and versions, eliminating unauthorized software usage can be a much more laborious task.

Reducing license management

Square Enix signed an ETLA for Adobe Creative Cloud to help improve the creative environment, simplify license management, and strengthen compliance. “Working with the Adobe enterprise agreement dramatically reduced the amount of work required for license management,” says Okada. “The ability to manage the licenses for all of our software centrally, without needing to pay attention to versions, has led to unbelievable administrative efficiencies.”

Square Enix developed an environment where users can download and install whatever software applications they need from an internal server. Only the agreed number of licenses can be issued, which greatly contributes to better compliance. The system also eliminates the need to connect to an external server, which reduces the risk of access to unauthorized copies.

Improving skills with free access

By deploying Adobe Creative Cloud, development staff can download the software that they need, when they need it, from the internal server. All creators, from experts to beginners, share the same cutting-edge environment. As a result, development teams can improve their creative skills while working to produce unique products and services.

“Most employees jumped into using Adobe Premiere Pro CC right away,” says Tomoyuki Hiraoka, KSK procurement supervisor in the general affairs department at Square Enix. “Many people wanted Premiere Pro CC, but we previously limited access to keep costs down; now everyone can have the applications they want through Creative Cloud.”

“Creating the best entertainment ultimately requires not only the best possible output, but also the best possible processes,” says Okada. “Using the latest technologies in Creative Cloud, we’re providing our developers an environment where they can quickly create brand new entertainment.”

Reducing annual costs

While analyzing the new licensing model, cost was a primary concern for Square Enix. Even if the new model improved licensing management, the efficiencies would not be worth it if costs also increased. The company examined costs from all angles, including initial purchasing and upgrade fees.

“Compared to our previous licensing model, we calculated that Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise reduces our costs by an amount equivalent to two full-time staff per year,” says Hiraoka. “The cost savings were a major factor in our decision to work with Creative Cloud.”

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Shifting the focus to online content

The video game market is changing rapidly, expanding from traditional home console games to an increasing number of mobile games played on smartphones and tablets. Square Enix is also focusing on development and delivery of online and social games played over networks.

“New types of devices will continue to enter the market, and we want to provide the best content and services for all of those devices,” says Okada. “Creative Cloud already has an established reputation for use in developing content on multiple devices and we believe that it will form a strong backbone for building our mobile services.”

Developing for the global stage

In addition to offices in Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles, Square Enix has additional creative studios in Montreal, Copenhagen, Shanghai, and San Francisco for a total of more than 3,500 development staff. The company plans to grow international operations in the future.

“Currently, each international office handles its operations independently, but we are looking to unify the development environment and management system on a global level,” says Okada. “We want to pull in top talent from not just Japan, but around the world, and provide them all with an excellent work environment. Expanding use of Adobe Creative Cloud globally would be ideal. If we can consolidate global license management, we will improve administrative efficiency and improve compliance even further.

Read the Square Enix case study.

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What Is Adobe MAX? – Why You Should Attend

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We’re making Adobe MAX (May 4-8) bigger and better this year. For those who are wondering, “What’s MAX?” – it is THE conference for creative pros. It’s an opportunity for designers, developers, video professionals, photographers, and more to come together to learn about the latest technologies, techniques, and strategies for delivering your best creative work – not to mention the idea exchange and networking opportunities that exist. And it doesn’t stop there.

Agenda

We have an agenda packed full of amazing speakers, tracks, sneak peeks (yes – you don’t want to miss this!) and more. Choose from over 300 sessions and labs taught by industry leaders and Adobe experts to maximize your creative experience, and even customize your MAX agenda by mixing and matching sessions from all five MAX tracks:

If that’s not enticing enough, we’re throwing a cherry (or two) on top to get you to L.A. Register today using this special promo code: MXSM13, to receive $300 off AND get your hands on a free 1-year Creative Cloud membership.

Be sure to follow Adobe MAX on Facebook and Twitter as we’ll be announcing keynote speakers and other exciting information soon.  We hope to see you there!

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2013: Full Speed Ahead for Adobe Gaming!

As we move into 2013, we’re excited to make investments that support the incredible, ongoing momentum in social and mobile gaming that Adobe has championed for more than a year. Flash technologies underpinned the success of many game developers from Fresh Planet to Zynga, both in the browser and on mobile, and you can see how Adobe Gaming technologies deliver the reach needed to improve game monetization in the graphic below.

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In December, the Adobe Gaming team launched the first ever, packaged Adobe Game Developer Tools via the Creative Cloud. Within 2 weeks of their availability, we had over 20,000 downloads of the tools and more than 12,000 views of the Adobe Scout video! Today, we’re making it even easier for game developers by removing a key barrier to delivering games targeting Flash Player – from this point forward, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature for Flash Player, which means developers can use them royalty-free without a separate license from Adobe. Developers and publishers that have published content using the XC APIs do not need to make any changes to their content to reflect this change in status for the XC APIs, and we expect this adjustment to make it even easier for developers to use Flash and AIR as their cross-device game development workflow of choice. To find out more, check out the updated FAQ here.

In addition, we’re also announcing added funding for the Away Foundation, a non-profit Community Interest Company based in the UK, focusing on building and maintaining free and open source software resources for online and mobile games and applications. This funding will support the development and release of Away3D 4.1 and an exciting new open source project for Away Builder. Away Builder 1.0 is the first open source tool project for the foundation, and will provide a visual tool for designers that exposes and edits custom Away3D settings and object properties on 3D assets without the need for coding. And just last week, we updated the Gaming SDK, which includes the latest Away3D, Starling and Feathers frameworks as well as updates for the latest runtime releases. Working with Away has already produced several exciting advances for game developers using Adobe technologies and will continue to forward the delivery of rich games targeting mobile and the browser for years to come. Starforce Delta is a great example of a beautiful 3D RPG built with Away3D and now available on the web in open beta and coming soon as a mobile app. And if a touch of the 19th century is more your thing, check out Jane Austen Regency Dressup, as well as other games using the Away3D framework on the Away3D showcase.

IGFWe also wanted to highlight a handful of great games that really reflect the breadth of creativity using Adobe Gaming technologies and show off the skills and passion of the developers who made them. Four games using Adobe Gaming technologies were recently announced as Independent Game Festival (IGF) finalists! Incredipede, a beautifully illustrated browser-based game; Dys4ia, an autobiographical game about undergoing hormone replacement therapy as a trans woman; Intrusion 2, a sci-fi action platform game; and Super Hexagon, a fast-paced reflex game where you’ve gotta be great to survive 20 seconds.

And just in case you didn’t get your fill of zombies in 2012, check out GREE’s Zombie Jombie in the iOS App Store. GREE used PhoneGap Build – another Adobe Gaming technology – for this wildly addictive RPG card game that will surely have you selling for brains. It’s shaping up to be a wide open year ahead for Adobe Gaming, and we’re looking forward to conquering new worlds with you!

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