Square announces online store, FF VIII OST U.S. release

[11.23.99] » Square officially announces plans to resume merchandise sales in the U.S. -- including plans for the 4-CD soundtrack from Final Fantasy VIII.

   Several weeks ago, a number of Squaresoft fans received emails from Square EA requesting their participation in an online survey designed to assist the company in preparing for an upcoming online merchandise section. Today, the company officially announced the online venture: starting on December 3, 1999, http://www.squaresoft.com/store/ (currently unavailable) will open, allowing customers to purchase all Square EA titles (starting from Parasite Eve), as well as related merchandise items -- including the Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack.

   Titled "FFVIII Music Collection -- Music from the Final Fantasy VIII Video Game" for the North American market, the 4-CD set has sold over 300,000 copies in Japan and is the first soundtrack CD to be translated and sold by Square in the US in over 4 years. While no firm release date for the collection has been revealed, Square's online store will be vending it exclusively and will be accepting pre-payments at the site's launch. Also yet to be determined is how the soundtrack packaging will differ, if at all, from the extensive Japanese packaging -- though the company notes it will feature "design illustrations never before seen in the United States."

   Other items planned for sale on the site include t-shirts and other items of apparel "emblazoned with the Squaresoft logo." A number of promotions will be held at the store to push the goods, starting with a deal where the first 100 customers purchasing over $100 will receive a FF VIII t-shirt.

   "With the holidays fast approaching, we think it's great to be able to offer our customers the convenience of shopping online," said Jun Iwasaki, president of Square EA. "In addition to being able to purchase popular games, Square fans will also be able to get their hands on cool merchandise that has historically been available only in Japan."

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