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News  2, Jul 2014

The father of Final Fantasy goes free-to-play

Hironobu Sakaguchi will be releasing a freemium RPG called Terra Battle for iOS/Android in Japan; no word on Southeast Asia publishers yet

A number of us reading e27 know or at least have heard casual mentioning of the Final Fantasy Japanese role-playing game series; the seventh one featuring fancy graphics and spikey-haired heroes with big swords is the most popular and iconic one of the lot. You can thank Hironobu Sakaguchi for those games, as he’s the creator of the franchise, from during his days in Square Enix (back then called Squaresoft).

Now, he and his company Mistwalker will be launching a new RPG called Terra Battle this September. According to a Famitsu report, the game is free-to-play and is slated for release on iOS and Android. The title will be balanced so that the campaign mode is beatable without having to spend money; most likely it will require lots and lots of time-sinking leveling up and grinding like other F2P titles.

Notable production members in Terra Battle include composer Nobuo Uematsu (renowned for most of Final Fantasy’s music) and character designer Kimihiko Fujisaka (who did the character art for Mistwalker’s last game, The Last Story). Similar to Gungho’s Puzzle & Dragons, Sakaguchi wishes to do collaborations with other game creators using his RPG.

Some character art for Sakaguchi and Mistwalker’s last game, The Last Story. There’s a huge chance Terra Battle’s artwork will look similar to this. Image credit: Mistwalker

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If given the chance, he would like to create a console version of Terra Battle after its mobile release. More details about the game will be revealed at the Japan Expo in Paris on July 2.

Of course, Sakaguchi and Mistwalker should be aware that there are a number of strong contenders in the mobile JRPG throne: Brave Frontier and Monster Strike. While those games are fun, they are missing that one key factor: prestige.

Since he has worked in the games industry since 1986 and created a landmark of a role-playing game franchise, people will pay attention when the father of Final Fantasy suddenly makes a statement, be it in a form of a premium or freemium console or mobile title. If it wasn’t for his major contributions, there wouldn’t even be JRPGs in the first place.

Jonathan Toyad

Jonathan Toyad

If you want an elaborate answer on who would win in a fight between Ultraman and Godzilla, Jonathan Toyad is your man. A six-year veteran in the game journalism industry, he did words and videos for outlets such as GameSpot, GameAxis, IGN and Stuff.TV. Fears coyotes and scorched earths.

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