As many reports and fiscal reviews can attest to, mobile gaming is one of the most profitable ventures for developers in the video game industry. Although gamers initially balked at the idea of some of their favorite titles making games exclusively for iOS and Android phones, as game quality has increased, so has acceptance for the blossoming platform of mobile gaming. For proof, look no further than a month ago, when news broke that Fallout Shelter players had logged over 29 million hours into Bethesda’s quirky blend of the apocalypse and Sims.
Lately, it’s been less about whether mobile gaming is the future and more about just how much of that future will take place on our phones. While the announcement of Pokemon Go has dominated headlines recently, Nintendo isn’t the only well-known gaming entity looking to bring a popular franchise onto the mobile platform.
Square Enix announced earlier at the Tokyo Game Show 2015 that Final Fantasy Type-0 Online was in development, and would be released sometime in 2016 for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Type-0 Online will be set in the same world of Orience that its predecessor took place in, a setting that was one of the highlights of Final Fantasy Type-0. It will also showcase a return to similar action-RPG gameplay that made the original Type-0 unique to the franchise, with up to 4 players able to play together in-game.
Square Enix’s Twitter later referred to Type-0 Online as the “evolution of Agito”, referring to the game Final Fantasy Agito that had previously been announced for iOS and Android in North America during E3 2014. Square Enix does have a reputation for delaying and completely restructuring games, so the developer’s decision to remake their mobile title should come as no surprise.
The original Final Fantasy Type-0 released on the PSP in 2011, so the progression from a Sony handheld to another kind of mobile device makes a lot of sense for Type-0‘s gameplay mechanics. With series director Hajime Tabata busy with Final Fantasy 15 but the potential for a sequel to Final Fantasy Type-0 on the table afterwards, it appears Square Enix believes the world of Type-0 has a lot of potential for more exploration.
The fact that Square Enix has started to migrate Final Fantasy to mobile devices makes a lot of sense given the current Japanese gaming market. After an interview with Tabata a year ago suggested that the Japanese console market hinged on Final Fantasy 15‘s success, savvy fans have been expecting Square Enix to hedge their bets and begin to put some serious work into establishing themselves as mobile game developers as well. Final Fantasy Type-0 Online is a concession to what modern Japanese gamers want, and perhaps that’s why the game will only launch in Japan initially, while a North American and European release is currently “under consideration”.
Final Fantasy Type-0 Online will release in Japan sometime in 2016.