Square Enix has definitely brought good cheer to its fans on almost all gaming platforms in current use. Not only did it reveal that Final Fantasy IX, a hidden gem in the series, is coming to PC and mobile devices, both iOS and Android, Hajime Tabata, game director of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game, has publicly committed to a 2016 launch of the title. Of course, it might be too early to celebrate, but at least it gives a sliver of hope to fans on all those gaming devices.
It has been 15 years since Final Fantasy IX launched on the first PlayStation and it is also the last Final Fantasy title for the console (Final Fantasy X would be one of the poster boys for the PS2). It is also the only one of those three PSOne titles that hasn’t been ported to the PC yet.
But perhaps more interesting is the fact that Square Enix will also be making the game available on mobile, and this is where things get a bit murky when it comes to the possibilities. Final Fantasy VII is indeed available on iOS, but Final Fantas VIII isn’t. Android has neither titles. But now Final Fantasy IX will be available for both. Square Enix has proven it could somewhat simply stream higher end games to mobile devices, like Final Fantasy XIII. If it does go that route, however, the game will be region locked. Here’s to hoping things take a more reasonable turn.
And speaking of hope, that is exactly what game designer Tabata is trying to sow. Nearly a decade in the making, Final Fantasy XV would be the first non-MMORPG title in the franchise in a long time (not counting the XIII “sequels”). It also represents a deviation from the franchise’s well-established mechanics, particularly in battles. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of expectations on this particular title.
Still, a lot of things can happen between now and the still undated releases. Games get delayed. Ports get ugly. And titles get region locked. But with the new year high still in the air, hope springs eternal that Square Enix will do good by its faithful followers this year.