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Square Enix Censorship: The CoNcast Episode 21


Podcast
While we might have bombed out of covering it on CoN news, you may have heard from some other, obviously mediocre site that there was a bit of controversy around the recent Western release of Bravely Default. In short, a few characters received slightly older canonical ages, and a couple female characters found their character models with more clothing for the US and Europe than they had in Japan. Naturally, the response to this news ran the gamut from those who found it pointless to those who seemed to have a much creepier viewpoint on the whole thing.

Naturally, this got us thinking, so I woke up the day after spending some time with an IV in my arm and grabbed Tiddles, Stiltzkin and Death Penalty to spend some time talking about this newest (minor) controversy and some of the history of censorship in Final Fantasy games, whether forced by Nintendo or willfully taken on by Squenix localization teams. Not only were some of the choices interesting, I'd wager there are some you hadn't even heard of, so it's worth a download right now!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts

Final Fantasy to Return to Windows?


Square Enix
In a recent interview with Eurogamer, series producer Yoshinori Kitase has expressed interest in returning the core Final Fantasy series to the Windows platform. Beyond the MMOs, XI and XIV, a new game in the series has not been published to the Windows desktop OS since Final Fantasy VIII. It's clear, though, that the company maintains some interest in the platform with releases from other series like Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, not to mention the recent re-releases of Final Fantasy VII and VIII to Windows last year.

While no games from the Final Fantasy XIII series were released for the platform, Kitase reminds Eurogamer that the original XIII development took place in a Windows environment, so the notion of a release was not restricted by the development itself but instead Squenix' own market analysis and concerns about DRM. Kitase stops well short of promising a release of Final Fantasy XV via Steam, but it's clear from his words that the interest is there and that a release could easily be in the cards if the numbers look to work in the company's favor.

Source: Eurogamer
(2 Comments – Last by Cefca)
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Square Enix Registers Shinra Company Trademark


Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix has registered "Shinra Company" as a trademark specifically for use with video games. After all this time, and with no remake on the horizon, could we be looking at another spin off here? Could the trademark be used somehow for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3? Today's news correspondent, fatman, puts his weight (ha!) behind the former, as Square has seen some success with releasing Final Fantasy VII on Steam and PlayStation Network, and no doubt all the recent sales have been lucrative. The time might be right for another continuation of the universe to reach the new and revived players recently brought into the fold.

Source: CVG, siliconera

It's an Open World: The CoNcast Episode 20


Podcast
For more than a few years, the notion of making a game's world be open and available for exploration and plot advancement at the gamer's whim has grown into a hot genre. Games from Rockstar and Bioware have long been considered to be among the cream of the crop, but it seems like perhaps the JRPG and Square Enix specifically have been behind the curve a bit. This podcast explores the allure of the open-world game and investigates what Squenix might be willing or capable to do to capitalize on this market that they've left largely untapped.

With Tiddles and laszlow such fans of the aforementioned games, I sat down to spend some time with them to discuss these ideas for today's CoNcast, the 20th. Download and enjoy!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts

Square Enix News Tidbits: The Mailbag Cometh


Square Enix
Square Enix must have really wanted me to post some Tidbits this week. Some of the emails that went out to their mailing lists came to me five times! So, to oblige their largesse, most of our news will be coming straight outta the mouths of the company this week.

The next big Final Fantasy release is Lightning Returns, coming to the West in just about two weeks (or less!). With that, the demo became available this week for both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360; remember that a version of the game has not been announced for any new-gen platform as yet. The demo has a boss monster which, if defeated and shared to social media, will get the user a new costume, namely Siegfried.

My favorite Final Fantasy and Lightning Returns news of the week, though, is the proof that Square Enix can still put out an awesome-looking 16-bit experience. To get folks up to speed who may not have finished (or even experienced!) Fabula Nova Crystallis, they marketing brains at Squenix put out a fantastic video recapping the first two games of the trilogy. It's clever and it's adorable and if you have any love for Lightning's saga it's worth the time.

Additionally, if you're willing to make a trip to southern California in March, you've got a chance to visit Alhambra and see a Final Fantasy X and X-2 exhibit in an art gallery from the 15th to the 26th. If you can get there for the opening, you might even get an early copy of the games and get it signed by members of the original production team!

Finally, in non-Final Fantasy news, there're updates on the Tomb Raider and Bravely Default fronts. For Lara Croft, the "Definitive" version of the game came out for new Sony and Microsoft consoles. For Bravely Default, though, check out this nice long piece from Kotaku about the origins and the future of this new IP. There are two really interesting takeaways, in my opinion. First, the parallels between Bravely and the old-school Final Fantasies that so many gamers love, and how Bravely could become what Final Fantasy once was, but for handhelds. The other is producer Tomoya Asano's now-stated goal of making Bravely a yearly series. Obviously that won't ever happen, but how many of you would either pick up or dust off a 3DS for something like that?

Source: Square Enix, Kotaku

Square-Enix Launches Crowdfunding Website


Square Enix
Square-Enix recently launched the Square-Enix Collective website (linked below), a partnership with IndieGogo to publish independently-developed games under the Square-Enix label with a crowdfunding model. Developers can create pages on Collective to pitch their games, fans can vote on which projects Square-Enix considers in the Collective forums, and after a successful approval from Squenix's nefarious secret panel* a project can begin the funding process just like a KickStarter or IndieGogo project.

What's notable about this new initiative from Square-Enix is that they're very keep on transparency and open to new ideas. Or at least it sounds that way. As Square-Enix president Yosuke Matsuda expressed last fall:

"We're no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed. We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in-development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations."

Square-Enix's faith in this relatively new business model could mean independent developers eventually working on a wide variety of intellectual properties. Square-Enix announced that the mostly-abandoned Eidos franchises of Fear Effect, Gex, and Anachronox are available for independent developers to work on via the Collective. What's next? Potentially anything in the Square-Enix catalog.

*There are no details on how the approval process works, and Squenix won't likely be sharing any.

Source: Square-Enix Collective, IGN (January 2014), Siliconera (October 2013)
Posted in: Square-Enix News
(1 Comments – Last by Del S)
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All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.