Today, Square Enix announced that they are going to be fusing their Visual Works team and their Image Arts Division to form the SQUARE ENIX Image Studio Division.
Square Enix is always on the edge of their graphical fidelity, thanks to their in-house Visual Works team, which was responsible for bringing movies to life such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Kingsclaive: Final Fantasy XV. Not to mention the numerous tech demos they have shown off over the years.
The announcement came in a press release directly from Square Enix this morning:
The Visual Works Division has created pre-rendered movies for many of the Company’s game titles. The Image Arts Division, whose core staff includes members from the team that created the movie KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV, has meanwhile engaged in research and development into high-end visual expression with a focus on real-time graphics.
By fusing the technologies and attributes of the two divisions into the SQUARE ENIX Image Studio Division, the Company aims to become faster at its research and development efforts into next-generation visual expression and at incorporating the results of those efforts into actual content. It thereby hopes to provide its customers with an even higher quality of experience.
With the combination of the two teams, could this mean that we will get even better real-time graphics on Square Enix titles? Possibly, it’s honestly too early to tell exactly what this new team will be doing precisely. If I were to make a guess on it, I think that they might be combining the two teams so that they can cohesively work on a new rendering engine such as Luminous Tools. They could then stay one step ahead of the curve and not have to rely on Unreal Engine for everything.