In a statement released today, Square Enix will be combining the Visual Works and Image Arts divisions into a single entity now known as “Square Enix Image Studio Division.” Their new website can be found here.
Visual Works is best known for providing many of the CG cutscenes and trailers that accompany Square Enix titles. Image Arts brings along staff who worked on Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV film but largely engage in research and development into “high-end visual expression with a focus on real-time graphics.”
Takeshi Nozue, who worked on many cinematics in the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series, has been tapped to head this new division within Square Enix. One of its core goals is to expedite development of new technology:
“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.”
Visual Works was established in 1997, led by Kazuyuki Ikumori, which developed the CG cutscenes integrated into Final Fantasy VII.