squareenixSquare Enix has a new free-to-play Final Fantasy game in the works for mobile, according to a recent preview in Famitsu and reported by Polygon. Called Final Fantasy Agito, it's set in the same universe as the Japanese-only PlayStation Portable title Final Fantasy Type-0 and will basically retell that game's story from the perspective of your own character that you'll create in Agito. Even more interesting is that Agito is meant to be played in "cycles" and beaten over and over, with decisions and events that happen in previous playthroughs affecting how future cycles will play out.

These cycles will be broken up into chapters, and each chapter is played out in real-time, taking two weeks to complete. The first ten days of that is spent playing through the game solo, building up your team of characters with a specific focus on your particular "job" for that chapter, which is given to you when the chapter kicks off. Then the last four days are spent taking your (hopefully) prepared team and battling bosses online together with other players' teams, in what sort of sounds like a massively online cooperative effort like the Clash Mobs in Infinity Blade.

The development team is still deciding how many chapters will end up making up each cycle, but one cool aspect of having the game play out in real-time and with the functionality of smartphones is that they'll be able to change on the fly what types of new features will make it into future cycles based off of how previous cycles are played, so the game will always be sort of evolving and offering up new experiences. The free-to-play aspect of Agito is still being hashed out as well, but we do know at least that there will be some sort of energy mechanic. The developers promise that the entire game will be able to be fully beaten without spending anything at all, though.

It all sounds kind of crazy and kind of cool. Strangely, Final Fantasy Type-0 was originally called Final Fantasy Agito XIII and was destined for smartphones before being reworked as a PSP title. It then went on to receive critical acclaim from both media and gamers, touting it as one of the best Final Fantasy games in recent memory. Type-0 never made it out of Japan however, and I'm sure plenty of folks would love to be seeing a Western localization of that game as well as the new Agito title. That doesn't seem like it's in the cards at this particular moment, and even Final Fantasy Agito hasn't been confirmed for release outside of Japan just yet.

I'm definitely interested though, so check out our forums for some discussion and we'll bring you any further information on Final Fantasy Agito as it develops.

[Polygon]

  • shadax

    I am so sick of free to play. Is IAP just something weball have to get used to now? I miss just buying a game for whatever its worth, if it has to be a little more than $1.99 then so be it. But maybe this is an unpopular opinion.

    Having a single package where everyone has an equal and balanced environment makes so much more sense. None of this developer greed supported by those with disposable income that takes away from the experiences for those who do not. I don't even play clash of clans or anything similar because all the rich people built up their towns to be ridiculous. It's just no fun for me to grind when the people I'm competing with paid their way through.

    • alex98909

      Some games approach the Iap in a way where it does affect the gameplay. Get used to it because free to play is the current popular thing out there...

      • Derprozess

        Popular for who? Developers?!

    • shadax

      Also want to add:

      There should be free, "lite" versions that are ad supported so you can get a taste of the game without robbing the devs. If its good, great we'll buy the game and the market will determine the prices and control overall quality of games based on how much devs want to make from their game

      But, the free IAP model is making them their bucks.

      Maybe this is beating the dead horse though. I'm just truly disappointed that this is the fate of mobile gaming.

      • alex98909

        Problem is that they dont make money. Paid apps are easily crackable and 1 time payment. Compared to F2P, which most succesful one (such as CoC) cant be cracked to get free currency... They make loads more money with freemium and i understand that even if i hate it...

    • Benegesserit

      Thanks to idiots or very rich people IAP F2P is here to stay

      • darkcheetah

        Don't forget videogame media outlets being fine with it all too. That's another big reason it's here to stay.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Your argument is also part of what's led us to this point. "if it has to be a little more than $1.99 then so be it." 2 bucks, 5 bucks, even 10 bucks aren't sustainable prices for what many video games cost to produce.

      The only reason low prices have been able to work on the App Store is because of the sheer volume of potential customers. At Apple's keynote yesterday they revealed we're coming up on the 700 millionth iOS device sold. If you combine total sales of the 360 and the PS3 you still don't even reach 200 million. The amount of iOS users is insane.

      While mobile development is generally cheaper than developing for a console, the gap is closing in. Hardware is getting better and games on mobile are approaching their console counterparts. The prices, however, aren't. Console games sell for 60 bucks and often include post-release stuff to buy like online passes or new content.

      If you spent the same amount of money making an iPhone game that you'd spend making it for the 360, you could potentially sell it for around a third the cost, since you're selling it to an audience that's roughly a third larger. The problem with that is that a third of console cost is still 20 bucks, and not too many games have proven successful selling at that price point. It's still considered "high" in mobile, as evidenced by your willingness to spend "a little more than $1.99" for a game.

      To sort of summarize, "gamers" are a niche audience in the grand scheme of things. This is especially true on mobile. However, the market has dictated that the prices needed in order to be profitable are unacceptable, and free-to-play has proven the most viable option to make money. It's still not guaranteed, game development is risky and most games are lucky to break even on costs let alone turn a profit. The freemium trend pisses of the "gamer" crowd, but we're in the minority.

      If it's something that you really can't deal with, ignore the freemium games or just buy a dedicated gaming console, as it will probably serve you much better than getting angry at every f2p game that comes out because I doubt we'll stop seeing them anytime soon.

    • NOEN

      Any developer that I've talked to (mostly indie), says the same thing. "The isn't a market for premium games anymore". They put out a game for a buck and the thing tanks, then they re-release it for free with IAPs and get thousands or millions of downloads and even if only a fraction of them buy IAPs, it's a lot. Your talking a fraction of millions. People are too afraid to spend money on a game they haven't played yet. I, myself have been guilty of that too. I DO wish that there would be more "unlock full game" IAPs than there are right now, but like it was said before, we (gamers) are such a small fraction of who's downloading games right now, so we are kind of getting overlooked by some developers in order to please the casual crown. I think F2P is here to stay. (Hey, that rhymed.) I, personally don't have a side in it. Some games I hate having the F2P mechanics implemented, but I also have gotten a lot of very good games for free that I normally would have paid a lot for. It is what it is right now. I think we're gonna have to get used to it for now :/

    • Fablalous

      Those dicks totally ruined a classic title in gaming history by turning if Free to Play.

  • NickyNichols

    F2P and Squenix are a toxic combination. Get your wallets ready.

  • sivad

    I don't mind IAP that benefit the gameplay but the pay to win design of square Enix, EA and Gameloft will not be supported by this guy.

  • Scot D

    Is SE messing with us? Do they take the iOS seriously? Or do they see it as a money machine? Simple math. Make new FF game with interesting mechanics. Make it F2P and claim the entire game can be completed without paying. Add energy system, timers. Ride out into the sunset on a horse made of dollar bills.

    • darkcheetah

      Not a Bahamut made of ducats? lol

  • Taclys

    How about no.

  • Peter

    Famitsu scan in the link below

    Its blurry but ok

    http://sadpanda.us/images/1834215-WDK36PM.jpg

  • hourglass

    .... why would you do this to Final Fantasy, Square Enix.....

  • hunterkorvis

    Lost me at energy system

  • TurboRuhland

    Between Airborne Brigade and All The Bravest, I don't have high hopes for anything F2P from Squeenix. I'm usually one to give developers the benefit of the doubt but so far they are 0 for 2 on this.

    Hopefully since it appears to be story based it will be less offensive, but I'm not convince this won't have terrible IAP.

    • Morgan01

      Considering how SE has a history of having some of the highest prices in the App Store, I have little hope of any "reasonable" IAP structure in any Freemium title from them. I will concede, however, that some recent games have been the exception to the inflated SE prices.

  • ODMay

    Looks like handheld gaming gonna take back its spotlight soon due to this freemium trend on mobile gaming.

    • yaboyrasp

      Isn't handheld and mobile gaming the same?

  • jtall

    Too bad this wasn't an announcement for Final Fantasy VI on ios!

  • C. Stubb

    What happens to the FFT free-to-play?