It's a start

Disclaimer: No Pikmins were harmed in the production of this column. Except for the one that opens the letter. That one got too giddy and bumped into a table leg.

Hello. Nice to meet you. Who am I? Good question. Call me Jill off the street Jemmy. Since Reverse Engine Online is a startup powered by the willpower of a handful of aficionados, rather than a nameless corporate entity, I'm all they could afford.

You may want to ask for a refund at the door, but then again, you'll get to see me make a fool of myself for free (it will happen, just you wait), so I wouldn't quit reading just yet.

Consider this an early Christmas present from me to you. Hopefully it's not as bad as the Christmas socks your aunt gave you, instead of the latest Zelda game you really wanted.

Square+Enix = Doom?

Dear Letters host,

Now that REO seems to be back up and running it seems everyone is jumping on to keep it up. Let's see: I'm not very good at writing reviews, and they already have someone else to do commentary, news and other features. So I've taken it upon myself to become your official letter writer. That's my contribution and you will like it!

Ahem, so..... In light of the recent merger between Square and Enix as well as rumors of Nintendo, Sega, and Capcom joining forces I was wondering about your thoughts on the state of the industry right now. Or perhaps not right now but in the future. Square and Enix are merging to protect themselves against competition from larger software companies, and if other companies were to follow suit, where would that leave the smaller companies? It was mentioned on the boards that in terms of competition in the RPG market with Square/Enix, the scenario would be either:

1)smaller companies consistently putting out high quality games to compete

2)smaller companies being unable to compete at all, and the quality of games decreasing somewhat

Not that the industry couldn't use a good shakeup. I prefer the competition between software companies, but if this is what it takes to keep the industry going, well...

Anyway, yeah.....so much for a good first letter. Er, it's much easier to respond to a topic. *hint hint*


I didn't find the Square/Enix merger that surprising or shocking, given that earlier this year Enix, Namco, and Square announced they were trying to defray development costs by teaming up. Consider this announcement a natural evolution of such an attempt.

That said, I think smaller development companies shouldn't have anything to fear from this, as what makes and breaks a smaller unit is the degree of uniqueness of their products. That is, they'll always find someone to publish their games, if they're worthwhile games. Sure, there's always the chance that Enix, who is traditionally more a publisher than a developer, will focus on the publishing of Square games, and be choosier in regards to the third party submissions they agree to publish.

I wouldn't mind it too much. So long as jems like Ico, or upcoming games such as .hack or Star Ocean 3 do find publishers somewhere (insofar as I know SO3 is still being published by Enix), the only thing we have to lose is mediocre games that are published and developed just so that a given company has a large enough staple of games to boast about. That's certainly not a great loss.

Less is better, I say.

Well, that's it for now.

I agree with Flinkish, it might be easier to get people writing by suggesting a topic of sorts. Since from the look of things, it may be a while before I hear from anyone, I'll give you two topics for the price of one. Write about any of those, or even something unrelated. If it's interesting enough, we'll definitely have room for it.

Check the sidebar for your menu options and send your letters here.



1. Ah, the holidays. Chesnuts roasting, and all that jazz. It also used to be a great time to play whatever new games you were given for the holidays (or if you're like me, to play the games you bought with the money you got). Tell us your fondest holiday related gaming memories.

2. The gaming deluge that is November/ December will most likely be followed by a few months of quiet, and a new plethora of releases in time for Summer. Now's the time to plot out what you'd like to play next year, or to wish for new games to match a new year. Maybe 2003 is the year you get the game you always wanted. Tell us what it would be like

As always, if you have something to say regarding gaming or the world in general, and would like to share it with the world, send it to us! If I like it, I'll post it here, instead of sending you abusive hate mail. Or something.

Mail us here.

Please? You don't want any more sad Pikmin, right?

We'll just keep showing this until you start sending letters
See that sad little face?
How can you say no to that?