News from March 2013
In huge company news announced just earlier today, Yoichi Wada, president and CEO of Square Enix, will be stepping down.
Wada has been at the helm of Square Enix since the company's formation nearly ten years ago. The change is cited as part of "a management reorganization," but as of yet there is no news regarding Wada's future role (if any?) in the company.
This news comes in the wake of several well-publicized frustrations (FFXIV, mobile prices/quality) and continuing financial difficulties.
Wada will be replaced by Yosuke Matsuda.
Posted in: Square-Enix News
With photos! I was only able to spend about six or seven hours there yesterday, but I had a blast and met some good people and some great Final Fantasy (and other) cosplayers while I was at the exhibition hall. Being there certainly gave me some good new things to talk about in the next CoNcast (and if you have questions about what I saw, post them here! We're going to be recording a CoNcast later today and I can answer them then or any time).
While some of the interesting stuff for Squenix came out before I could go, I did manage to find some time to check out the FFX HD trailer a bit, and while I didn't come up with any photos of it, it looked solid. I would say it is definitely approaching the level of visual quality that Final Fantasy XIII managed, at least in the cutscenes they showed on the 40" HDTVs they had scattered in the booth. If you're one of the folks who enjoyed Final Fantasy X a decade ago, you should be excited for this, I do believe.
In any event, a good time was had by all. You can see the photos to learn more! Be sure to give props to the cosplayers I talked to, either here or on Facebook, so that they know their hard work is appreciated by the rest of us!
Sometimes, the news coming from Squenix Tower might sound a bit like a broken record - if, indeed, that old phrase still holds any meaning to a great number of our readers. It really does seem sometimes that the company can only pump out news on a couple things at a time, and you just know that those things aren't always going to be things about which you necessarily want to know. But that's why tidbits exist!
It seems like the biggest news of the week is an intentional early leak from this weekend's PAX East; a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 was released early and will be shown in the Square Enix booth in Boston this weekend. (As a reminder, I'll be there on Sunday if anyone wants any particular information that doesn't come out before then.) The game includes Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, and all of the cutscenes from 358/2 Days. It's just shy of three minutes long, and looks... nicely HD, I suppose. Never gotten around to playing any of those games, so I haven't the slightest clue what's going on! The Remix release will be released for PlayStation 3, sometime this fall in North America.
We mentioned the other day that Final Fantasy V for iOS is a go, coming out next week in Japan (a simultaneous worldwide release isn't out of the question but hasn't been confirmed beyond doubt, as far as I've seen). To celebrate that, though, no matter where Final Fantasy V releases, Square Enix are discounting every other Final Fantasy game on the iOS app store worldwide. The deals are pretty solid - the first two games are dropping to $3.99, while Final Fantasy III is down to $8.99 and $9.99 for iPhone and iPad respectively. The all-devices Final Fantasy IV app will be $10.99 for the duration of the sale. If you're an Android gamer, by the way, Joystiq is saying that an Android release in Japan is coming too.
Final Fantasy XIV is thundering towards release, as well. This week's update from producer Naoki Yoshida explains that the Phase 2 beta will start up in early April, and will enable gamepad support as well as making other bugfixes and changes flagged in previous betas. Over 100,000 gamers are already in, and the new beta phase will add even more to provide more feedback and better stress testing of the XIV server farms. I've got my application in, but, of course, I can't say anything if I get accepted regardless!
We're planning to record another episode of the new CoNcast next week. Stay tuned for that!
Source: Siliconera, AppAddict, Joystiq
Following up on some news we posted back in December, FFV has been confirmed for release on iOS devices on March 28th. We don't know yet which other Final Fantasies will be joining it, but with this latest addition to the Square Enix iOS lineup ready to hit the shelves - the electronic ones, that is - we'll probably be hearing more sometime in the not-so-distant future. This version is a port of FFV Advance, which means it will be completely covered by our own shiny, revamped FFV section!
The bigger news according to internet consensus is the Japanese price, leaked from a magazine scan: the equivalent of $19. Everyone with a keyboard and upwards of three brain cells seems to have decried the cost in the last 48 hours. What do you think? Is $19 unfair to ask for a game that is, after all, just a port of a previous version, and whose original is now twenty years old? Or is it appropriate for a game that will take 40-ish hours to complete, well above your average mobile app, and which still sells on the GBA for at least 50% higher? IF U DONT AGREE WITH ME, YOUR DUM.
Posted in: Final Fantasy V
A lot of people have been looking for news of the Final Fantasy X HD remake since it was first announced, and those details have been slow in coming. Now, we might know part of the reason why: it's not just X, but also Final Fantasy X-2 that will see the upgrade.
When released for PS3, both games will be on the same Blu-ray disc; for Vita, they'll be separate purchases on separate game cards. There's no pricing and no lockdown release date, though next week's Jump magazine confirms that a 2013 release in Japan is the target.
Both games will be based on the International Edition releases, which is extra grand for X-2 as that version was never released in the West before.
Well behind the curve, as we do, we're releasing today the first ever Caves of Narshe Podcast called - of course - the CoNcast. We'd been kicking around the idea of a podcast for a long time off and on, and when laszlow suggested it to me again a couple weeks back, it all started to click. At that point, we started having some larger discussions around the format and the participants, and within a matter of a few days we had an outline set up. A few days later, and we had recording done. A few days after that, and we're at now. Publishing our first CoNcast.
I'm calling this the first CoNcast. I'm hoping it's not the last. We're going to see what kind of feedback we get and go from there. We're aiming to create something here that is very much like CoN, particularly CoNchat - it's about Final Fantasy, but it's not about Final Fantasy. It's about the kind of stuff that Final Fantasy fans like, whether it's the canon series, or other games, or gaming, or music that reminds you of gaming, or... stuff. So... you like... stuff?
This episode's a bit long, I'll admit. We start off with Tiddles and me, and a bit of an explanation as to who we are and why we're doing this podcast now, and not, say, five years ago (and not five years hence, for what it's worth!). If you're not particularly interested in that, no worries. You can skip ahead to about fourteen minutes and get into the main topics of this episode, which loop in also Death Penalty and laszlow and include a discussion of fansites and their future, and also some discussion of PAX East, which is coming up this weekend and for which I'll be in attendance on the last day. That's going to be our overall goal, though I'm sure we'll deviate repeatedly - we want to talk about a topic that is of interest to our overall base, and we want to talk about something that's current-ish. There will also be some mockery, and some snide comments, and some abuse of Squenix and also some defense of Squenix, and maybe not exactly where you expect it.
We're going to look to try a second episode next week and if there's interest, put them out every two weeks or so. We'd love to get feedback and suggestions of new topics to cover, too. Once we get a few episodes under our belt, we'll have a feed available so that you can be easily notified of new episodes. We really had fun putting this together, so we hope you like it too so we can keep trying them!
First off, news that's actually been around since earlier int he month. A twitter message from the official account for the game Bravely Default: Flying Fairy has renewed fans' hopes that the title will be brought west. The 3DS RPG, which received both critical praise and respectable sales in Japan, has been out since last October but with no announcement of plans to release outside the island. While the English text of the twitter message is about as perplexing as its title, the Japanese text amounts to "The voices from those folks aboard are definitely getting through!" Fingers crossed.
In somewhat more official news, it's been made known that Wii U beta testing for Dragon Question X is now underway, with the game set to go on sale for that console at the end of the month. The Wii U version features of graphics upgrade, but is still compatible with its original Wii incarnation.
Saving the coolest for last, it looks A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV will be getting a new mount some time in the future, and one which should be well familiar to any regulars of CoN: Magitek Armor! Check out the first source link; it's from the official FFXIV developer blog. The design is still a ways from play-worthy, but I think you'll all agree that it's pretty slick.
Source: FFXIV Blog, Siliconera, Kotaku
Posted in: Square-Enix News