Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS) has announced that they are partnering with Square Enix to distribute a new line of English-language manga, novels, and art books, beginning in Fall 2019.
While Square Enix is chiefly known for their popular game franchises, including Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, Dragon Quest, and NieR, they are also known as a book publisher in Japan. The company previously licensed their manga properties (including hits like Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and Black Butler) to US-based publishers, but the new program marks their entry into the English-language market directly.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to introduce our wide variety of books with the help of PRHPS to our new readers,” said Katsuyoshi Matsuura, Executive Officer and Vice President of Publication Business Unit, Square Enix Co., Ltd. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Square Enix for their venture into the worldwide, English-speaking market,” added Jeff Abraham, President, Penguin Random House Publisher Services. “We see significant opportunity for their exciting and original program to succeed here.”
This multi-year sales and distribution agreement will start with the worldwide release of Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future, a book chronicling an alternate ending to Final Fantasy XV’s story; the manga Hi Score Girl, which has been adapted into a popular Netflix anime; A Man and His Cat, a pet-themed comedy that was the bestselling new manga in Japan during the first half of 2018; and the complete edition of the world-renowned manga Soul Eater.
With North Americans being increasingly interested in manga and other cultural exports from Japan, more publishers and producers could make these sorts of moves. For now, Square Enix and their lineup of titles is a great start for exposing the world to a form of media they may not be familiar with. You’ll be able to check it out for yourself this coming Fall.