E3

FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered out now on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam

The fan-favorite RPG is back with enhanced visuals and brand new features.
By Duncan Heaney
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Grab your gunblades everyone - FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered is out now and ready to play!

The game features all the elements that fans loved from the original PlayStation release - the intense battle system, memorable characters and incredible soundtrack (now on Spotify), but adds newly rendered visuals that bring new life to the world.

You can see the enhancements in the trailer:

What is FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered?

FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered tells an epic and emotional story about war and love. The militarized nation of Galbadia has formed an alliance with the Sorceress Edea in a bid for world conquest. Amid the conflict, Squall Leonhart and a group of fellow students from Balamb Garden’s mercenary force, SeeD, head into the conflict.

Together with his friends, Squall joins Rinoa Heartilly, a member of a resistance group, on an adventure that holds the fate of their world in its balance.

This Remastered edition of the game enhances the original adventure with some cool new features:

  • Enhanced visuals - characters and monsters have been remastered to look better than ever before.

  • Battle Assist - activate this booster to max out HP and ATB bars - and trigger Limit Breaks at any time

  • No encounters - want to explore without fear of attack? Activate this option to turn off random encounters.

  • 3x speed boost - Accelerates time by a factor of three - perfect if you want to speed through easy battles or get somewhere in a hurry.

The STEAM edition has some additional features, including All Items (gives you all items except for a few specific ones), All Abilities, GF Max Level, Max Gil, Max Magic, All Limit Breaks and All Cards (gives to maximum number of Triple Triad Cards, but not Rare Cards).


How do you play FINAL FANTASY VIII?

FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered is available digitally on all current-gen platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, the Xbox One family and Steam.

You can download the game from each platform’s online store from the following link:


Follow FINAL FANTASY on social media to stay up to date with the latest news:

DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 out now

Build, farm, battle, explore and create a community in this much-anticipated sequel
By Duncan Heaney
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Ok everyone - put on your hard hats, grab your tools and get ready to start construction. DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 is out now!

The new game combines intuitive building, RPG mechanics and a compelling story to craft a unique experience that both newcomers and series veterans will love.

What is DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2?

DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 is a block-building RPG that features a compelling story, charming characters and the potential for incredible creativity.

You take on the role of a young apprentice builder who washes up on the Isle of Awakening. With you is Malroth, a mysterious young man who suffers from amnesia.

You’ll work together to explore islands full of resources to gather and monsters to battle. You’ll help townsfolk, develop skills that will help you become a Master Builder, and take on the Children of Hargon - a builder-hating cult that revels in destruction.

What do you do in DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2?

You’ll take the role of a builder, rare individuals who have the power to create and construct. You’ll explore islands, build a community, solve problems for townsfolk, construct buildings, farm for food and battle classic DRAGON QUEST monsters.

…or you could just play hooky from all that heroic responsibility and make yourself a ludicrously oversized palace or something instead. It’s really up to you.

The game has a new story that’s a great entry point for newcomers to the series. That said, if you’re a DRAGON QUEST veteran, you may notice more than a few links to other games in the series.

The game also builds (heh) on the original DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS with a plethora of upgrades.

For example, you can now construct much bigger structures than before, allowing you to create much more impressive creations.

(On that note, you should take a look at the DRAGON QUEST Twitter feed to see some of the truly inspiring things that players have already built in the game.)

This sequel also adds a full levelling system. Your character will grow and develop as you play the game, providing more of a sense of progression and making battles feel much more rewarding.

Traversal’s also been dramatically improved. It’s now much easier to get around, with lots of new movement options, including dashing, swimming and soaring through the sky. There’s also a new first person mode that makes the game even more immersive.

Add on a robust farming system that lets you grow and harvest crops, loads of new characters to befriend and help, a new home base to develop, and better battles and you have a real block-buster of a game.

How to get DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2

You can get a physical version of DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 from retailers including the Square Enix Store.

Alternatively, you can buy the game digitally directly through the PlayStation Store.

As well as the standard edition of the game, you can also get the DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. This includes the Season Pass, which gives you access to three DLC packs after launch - each full of recipes, hairstyles, clothing and new areas to explore.

The Season Pass is also available to buy separately. Here’s what it gives you:

  • Hotto Stuff Pack - gives you more than 40 recipes, so you design and decorate structures in the style of the Hotto Steppe - a popular resting area in a distant land. In addition, you’ll be able to explore an all-new island that contains the materials needed to build these new recipes.

  • Aquarium Pack - There’s something a bit fishy about this DLC. You can visit a new fishing island awaits you, where you can learn how to catch and breed 40 different fish. Not only that, but they can that can be added to your own DIY aquarium. You also get a new fishing rod tool, as well as a new customisation options that fit into the watery theme.

  • Modernist Pack - Bring a little of the 21st Century into the world of DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS. This set provides more than 70 recipes for modern-looking structures, hairstyles and clothing. You can build a luxury hotel, modern condominiums and more!

DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 is out now:

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE details revealed at E3

An AVALANCHE of details revealed, including the English voice cast and special editions
By Duncan Heaney
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Square Enix Live E3 2019 started in dramatic fashion with a detailed showcase of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE.

Over the course of the presentation, a wealth of information about the highly anticipated RPG was revealed, including the setting, the characters and the strategic real-time battle system.

What is FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE about?

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE reimagines the iconic RPG for the modern age.

It’s set in a world that has fallen under the thumb of the Shinra Electric Power Company - a sinister corporation that controls the planet's life force as mako energy.

In the city of Midgar, the anti-Shinra organization Avalanche have recently stepped up their resistance. Cloud Strife, a mercenary and former member of Shinra's elite SOLDIER unit, lends his aid to the group, unaware of the consequences that await him.

How does FINAL FANTASY VII’s battle system work?

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE features a hybrid battle system that merges real-time action with strategic, command-based combat.

You can watch the battle system in action in the trailer:

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE English voice cast revealed

One thing that wasn’t mentioned in the conference was who’s voicing these beloved group of characters. We’re excited to announce an all-star cast now, including:

  • Cloud, voiced by Cody Christian (All American, Teen Wolf)
  • Barret, voiced by John Eric Bentley (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Independence Day: Resurgence)
  • Aerith, voiced by Briana White (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Occupants)
  • Tifa, voiced by Britt Baron (GLOW)
  • Jessie, voiced by Erica Lindbeck (Spider-Man, Persona 5, ThunderCats Roar)
  • Biggs, voiced by Gideon Emery (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Teen Wolf)
  • Wedge, voiced by Matt Jones (Breaking Bad)
  • Sephiroth, voiced by Tyler Hoechlin

When will FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE be out on PS4?

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be available on PlayStation 4 from March 3, 2020, with English, Japanese, French and German voiceover and English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles.

The release date was announced on Sunday 9 June during the magnificent FINAL FANTASY VII A Symphonic Reunion concert, in LA, along with some beautiful new key art:

How do I get FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE?

The game’s available to preorder right now. Choose any version before launch to get the Chocobo Chick Summon Materia DLC when the game is released (from select retailers).

Those who pre-purchase any digital edition from the PlayStation Store will receive the Cloud & Sephiroth Dynamic Theme for the PS4.

We’ve also revealed information about three special editions of the game: the Deluxe Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and the Square Enix Store-exclusive 1st Class Edition. All are available to preorder today.


FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Deluxe Edition

This edition features:

  • A Sephiroth Steelbook® Case
  • A hardcover art book featuring stunning concept art
  • A Mini-Soundtrack CD
  • Summon Materia DLC that lets you summon Cactuar in game

Get Deluxe Edition


FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Digital Deluxe Edition

Available from the PlayStation Store, this edition includes:

  • A digital art book
  • A digital Mini-Soundtrack selection
  • Summon Materia DLC, allowing players to summon Carbuncle and Cactuar in the game

FINAL FANTASY VIII REMAKE 1st Class Edition

Exclusive to the Square Enix Store, this edition lives up to its name. It packs in loads of cool extras:

  • A Sephiroth Steelbook® Case
  • A hardcover art book featuring stunning concept art
  • A Mini-Soundtrack CD
  • Summon Materia DLC that lets you summon Cactuar in game
  • Summon Marteria DLC that lets you summon Carbuncle in game
  • A Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife and Hardy Daytona box set (bundled separately)

Please note that quantities are limited for the 1st Class Edition, so you’ll want to move fast if you want it.

Producer Yoshinori Kitase talks FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

Producer of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE talks vision, gameplay and more
By Square Enix Team
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Direct from E3, Yoshinori Kitase, Producer of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE gives us an overview of the REMAKE project:


"FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is a reimagining of the iconic original game that goes much deeper into the world and characters of FINAL FANTASY VII than ever before.

Our goal with this project is to rebuild FINAL FANTASY VII for a new era. We’re not making a straight 1:1 copy or a simple remaster of the original game.

It’s a huge volume of work and data to re-imagine this world. Each game in the project will have a volume of content comparable to a standalone FINAL FANTASY. The disc version of the first game is actually a 2 Blu-Ray Disc set. This approach allows us to remake the original without having to scale back on everything players loved."

Yoshinori Kitase, Producer of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE


“While the development team finish the first game in the project, we are continuing to plan and outline the overall volume of content for the second.

Due to the work already done on the first game we anticipate development of the second game to be more efficient. We have our own internal schedule and plan, but for now we’d like to focus our information on the first game in the project.

The key creative values of the core FINAL FANTASY series are innovation, pushing boundaries and surprising players, this project shares these same values and the development team view it as the next mainline FINAL FANTASY release.

For the original core members of the development team, simply recreating the original game with improved graphics wasn’t enough to get us invested and excited about remaking VII. To return, we want to go beyond the original, telling a deeper story and providing a modern gaming experience. We really want to go above and beyond what is expected of a remake.

As well as some of the core members of the original development team, we also have a dedicated in-house team of international gaming talent. Many of our new team members were young fans who played the original VII when it was first released. It’s very exciting and exhilarating to work with this talented team on such an ambitious project."

“The first game in the project takes place in the eclectic city of Midgar, we chose to focus on Midgar as it best represents the world of VII as a location more than any other. Midgar is full of imagination with myriad influences and surprises around every corner.

While many people may think that Midgar is very dark at first glance, we have a design aesthetic where the city has strong elements of colour and variety. The lighting and colouring we are using throughout Midgar accentuate what is unique about FINAL FANTASY VII’s world. We decided not to use a photo-realistic approach with the design, but instead something more stylised, honouring the artistic designs and choices of the original.

A lot has changed since the release of the original FINAL FANTASY VII. Back then we didn’t have access to things like voice acting, performance and motion capture, or close-up cameras outside of cut-scenes. For FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE there’s a greater emphasis on character storytelling through the use of these techniques as well as some other new tech. This allows us to make these characters more expressive than ever, enhancing the levels of immersion and enjoyment through performance.

In REMAKE we are giving voice to the original FINAL FANTASY VII for the first time. By bringing in a new generation of actors, we hope to provide the best experience for original fans and new players."

“For the gameplay, we are aiming to create a new take on classic concepts with an accessible evolution of the ATB system giving you greater action with tactical control.

The system we’ve created retains the strategic decisions of controlling multiple party members, allowing you to select from a wide range of abilities and spells. You can control your favourite character while issuing orders to others, or leave them to AI. And choose when to switch to a different party member to make best use of their unique abilities in battle. This allows all players to choose and enjoy your favourite way of playing.

Finally, yes we still have Materia. You can use it to tailor your play style and abilities.

We’ll go into greater detail on lots more gameplay elements as we get closer to the release next year. For now, I hope you are all excited by what we revealed at E3 and we look forward to sharing more news and updates with you across the year ahead.”


Many thanks to Kitase-san. For more information, and to stay up to date with all the news about the game, follow FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE on social media:

Explore the history of FINAL FANTASY through its music

Take an audio tour through the soundtracks of the FINAL FANTASY series
By Duncan Heaney
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Which FINAL FANTASY game has the best music?

It’s a hotly debated topic among fans of the series - and it’s a tough one to answer because all the games have absolutely incredible soundtracks. As a result, ask five different people, you’ll likely get five different answers.

It’s never been easier to make your own mind up though - music from the FINAL FANTASY series is now available to stream on music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music!

The news was announced as part of the Square Enix E3 Live event and will give users of streaming services access to full original soundtracks and arrangement albums from the FINAL FANTASY series.

A lot of you are probably streaming Liberi Fatali we speak (well, type), but for everyone else, you may be wondering: with all this music, where should you start?

To help answer that question, we thought it would be interesting to take an audio tour through the history of FINAL FANTASY. We’ve picked a track from each game that we think represents the unique sound and feel of that entry in the series - and would make a good starting point for your audio adventure.

FINAL FANTASY - Opening Theme

If we’re talking iconic, how could we not start with the Opening Theme to FINAL FANTASY. Composed by the great Nobuo Uematsu, it’s one of the tracks that defines the entire series. It may change in style and instrumentation across games, but it stays FINAL FANTASY through and through. Simply put, this is where it all started.


FINAL FANTASY II - The Rebel Army

Uematsu could do genuinely impressive things with the limited sound capabilities of the NES. If you need evidence, look no further than The Rebel Army from FINAL FANTASY II. With a powerful melody, and a rich, full sound, it’s one of the most recognisable pieces of music from the early games.


FINAL FANTASY III - The Boundless Ocean

The adventure and endless possibility of FINAL FANTASY III shines through in the music, and The Boundless Ocean in particular. It’s a hauntingly beautiful track - but unfortunately you don’t hear it for very long in the actual game.

Now that it’s on streaming services though, you can play it for as long as you like.

FINAL FANTASY IV - Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY IV

This theme, which plays when you’re exploring the overworld, has a sense of momentum that makes for perfect travel music.

What really makes it stand out though, is how elegantly it fits into the game’s central themes of longing and redemption.


FINAL FANTASY V - Four Hearts

Another overworld theme? Why the heck not?

Four Hearts from FINAL FANTASY V makes for a fascinating counterpoint to FINAL FANTASY IV’s overworld theme. It’s much more strident and optimistic - appropriate for when you hear it in the story.

Of course, fans will know that Four Hearts isn’t the only overworld theme in the game…


FINAL FANTASY VI - Maria and Draco (starting with Overture)

From the melancholic beauty of Terra’s theme, to the utter insanity of Dancing Mad, FINAL FANTASY VI has one of the most iconic soundtracks in the series.

It’s also one of the most ambitious - and nowhere is that clearer than in the famous opera scene, which sees party member Celes forced to step into a major theatrical production.

On the FINAL FANTASY VI soundtrack, the opera is split into multiple tracks, starting with Overture, moving onto Aria Di Mezzo Carattere, Wedding Waltz - Duel and finally Grand Finale.

That’s right, we’ve technically picked four tracks - deal with it.

This sequence demonstrates Uematsu at the top of his game. Despite all the excitement, drama and petulant octopi in FINAL FANTASY VI’s opera, it’s the music that holds it all together.

Oh - and a bonus mention for the version from the Distant Worlds: Music from FINAL FANTASY, which orchestrates the whole suite into a full 12 minute performance. It’s a mini-epic.

FINAL FANTASY VII - One Winged Angel

Estuans Interius

Ira vehemti

Estuans Interius

Ira vehemti

Sephiroth

Sephiroth!

FINAL FANTASY VII is one of the most famous soundtracks in videogame history, and One Winged Angel is arguably its most famous tune.

An expected choice perhaps, but when something’s this good we don’t mind being predictable.


FINAL FANTASY VIII - Love Grows

The fledging romance between Squall and Rinoa sits squarely at the heart of FINAL FANTASY VIII (coming to Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam later this year as FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered - yay!).

Love Grows captures that theme beautifully and reminds us that while FINAL FANTASY VIII does bombast well, it’s the human drama that holds it all together.


FINAL FANTASY IX - Vamo alla Flamenco

FINAL FANTASY IX is a much more light-hearted adventure than its immediate predecessors, and this is reflected in its soundtrack.

A few seconds of Vamo alla Flamenco is all you need to understand exactly what FINAL FANTASY IX is going for - fun, humor and sheer, unadulterated joy.

FINAL FANTASY X - Zanarkand

FINAL FANTASY X begins on a desolate landscape, and the plaintive piano of this beautiful piece of music.

It’s an effective opening - the world of Spira is defined by loss and sadness, and Zanarkand gets this across better than 100 lines of dialogue ever could.


FINAL FANTASY X-2 - Real Emotion

Spira is a far less oppressive place following the events of FINAL FANTASY X, and that’s clear from the opening cutscene of its sequel.

Real Emotion is a fantastically upbeat slice of J-pop that sticks in your head like it’s made of brain-glue. It’s silly and fun and will almost certainly put a smile on your face - much like the game itself.


FINAL FANTASY XI - Opening Theme

The Opening Theme of FINAL FANTASY XI is a long track that covers a lot of ground musically. The highlight is a vocal section known as Memoro de la Ŝtono. It starts relatively sombre, but as more and more voices join, it reaches a dramatic crescendo that will send shivers down your spine.

FINAL FANTASY XII - The Dalmasca Estersand

Wide open space, dangerous beasts and starkly beautiful scenery make the Dalmasca Estersand one of the most memorable early locations in FINAL FANTASY XII.

Actually, there’s one more thing that helps - this piece of music. We advise you to go with the remastered Dalmasca Estersand from FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE - it has a slightly richer sound in our opinion. But honestly, you can’t go wrong with any version of this track.


FINAL FANTASY XIII - Blinded by Light

It’s something of a musical departure from the earlier games, but FINAL FANTASY XIII’s soundtrack really works. The battle theme, Blinded by Light, is one you’ll hear over and over in the game, but somehow it never gets old.

A serious earworm warning before you listen though - it’ll jam itself in your head and refuse to leave.


FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 - Etro’s Champion

As one of the few direct sequels in the series, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 has a rare opportunity to directly build on its predecessor’s musical themes. And oh boy, does it.

Etro’s Champion takes the central melody of Blinded by Light and puts a whole new spin on it. It’s familiar and fresh at the same time - and if that’s not a perfect description of FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 as a whole, I don’t know what is.

LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII - Luxerion

The town of Luxerion is one of the most interesting areas of LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII - both visually and musically.

The track that plays as you explore the town - appropriately called Luxerion on the soundtrack - is incredibly dynamic. It moves from mellow and hypnotic, to up-tempo and back again. It’s not a conventional FINAL FANTASY track, and that’s exactly why it’s worth a listen.


FINAL FANTASY XIV Online - Torn From the Heavens

The FINAL FANTASY prelude is almost as famous as the original Opening Theme itself - it appears throughout the series. It’s typically pretty gentle, but not so in FINAL FANTASY XIV Online.

Composer Masayoshi Soken’s incredible Torn From the Heavens deftly works those famous notes into a thrilling track that sparks wonder and excitement.


FINAL FANTASY XV - Apocalypsis Noctis

The most recent FINAL FANTASY game has one of the most eclectic soundtracks in the series, ranging from breezy guitar riffs to brassy battle tracks. But when it goes big, its soundtrack really sings.

Apocalypsis Noctis is about as big as you can go. This choral track is almost overwhelming in its intensity - but my word, it’s exciting.


Those are just some of the incredible tracks ready to stream right now on your streaming service of choice! There’s so much more to discover though - so dig in and get lost in a world of music.

Oh, and by the way - the definitive answer to which FINAL FANTASY has the best soundtrack? THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY CURTAIN CALL.

Now that’s how you dodge a question.

What are your favorite FINAL FANTASY tracks? Share your tips on social media:

Square Enix E3 2019 - all the announcements

All the games we revealed in our live E3 presentation
By Square Enix Team
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Well that was exciting! We brought our biggest collection of games ever to E3 2019.

From highly-anticipated titles like FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, to exciting new titles like OUTRIDERS, our live presentation was crammed full of exciting reveals.

Relive the show here:

Here’s a rundown of what we showed off:

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

We opened the show with one of Square Enix’s most highly anticipated titles: FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE.

Viewers were given an in-depth look at the gameplay and setting of the game. The first game in this project will be set in the iconic city of Midgar, and will be a fully standalone game that acts as the perfect starting point to the series.

As announced during the FINAL FANTASY VII A Symphonic Reunion concert in Dolby Theatre, LA, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be released for PlayStation 4 on March 3, 2020!

For more information about the game, read our more detailed rundown, or head over to the official website:


Life is Strange 2

The first three episodes of Life is Strange 2 have been an emotional journey - as the rollercoaster of reactions in our presentation clearly demonstrate.

We’ve followed Sean and Daniel Diaz’s journey across America, as they’ve made new friends, faced new challenges and had their familial bond tested to breaking point.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the drama for yourself, you can pick up the full season now on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.


FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition

We got a quick look at classic co-op adventure FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition.

As the name implies, the game has been fully remastered, and will arrive on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and smartphones this winter.


OCTOPATH TRAVELER

In case you missed the announcement last week, OCTOPATH TRAVELER is now available on Steam.

The critically-acclaimed adventure features eight unique characters, each with eight distinct stories, a strategic battle system, and a stunning ‘HD-2D’ visual style, which combines classic sprites with 3D environments.


THE LAST REMNANT Remastered

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered is out now on Nintendo Switch! For the first time, you can play this enthralling adventure both at home and on the go!

Originally released in 2008, the Remastered version of that game features the unique intricate battle system that won the hearts and minds of gamers, enhanced graphics, and an updated user interface.

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered is available to download on Nintendo Switch now for $19.99 / £15.99 / €19.99:


DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2

The new DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 trailer was revealed. It highlights some of the new building mechanics, tools and locations that will be available to explore in the much-anticipated sequel.

DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 will release on PlayStation 4 on July 12, 2019.

But you won’t have to wait that long to play it - a free demo will be available to download on PS4 from June 27.


Circuit Superstars

Square Enix Collective announced CIRCUIT SUPERSTARS - a brand new racing game that combines top-down arcade-style action, with a more realistic and nuanced handling model.

It features a range of vehicles and racing disciplines, including rally, GT, classic cars… even trucks!

CIRCUIT SUPERSTARS is being made by Indie developer Original Fire Games - a six person team, started by three siblings from Mexico (Carolina, Carlos and Alberto Mastretta).

They have more than 14 years of game development experience, as well as 15 accumulated years of real motor-racing experience, and that knowledge and passion informs every aspect of the game.

The game will be out in 2020. Head over to Steam and add it to your wishlist now:


FINAL FANTASY soundtracks come to music streaming services

Music from the FINAL FANTASY series has been added to major music streaming services - specifically Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited.

The selection contains both game soundtracks and arrangement albums, and is available to listen to… right now.

Sounds pretty good, right?


FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers

Viewers of the livestream were given a look at what to expect from FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers.

The critically-acclaimed MMO recently celebrated a staggering 16 million registered players, and the upcoming expansion is packed full of new content to enjoy, including new jobs, new races, new areas to explore, new quests and an exciting new story that sees you become the Warrior of Darkness. You can get more details about the expansion in our full rundown.

FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers will officially launch on July 2, 2019 - but you can preorder it right now to secure Early Access from June 28, 2019:


Dying Light 2

Square Enix will publish Techland’s Dying Light 2 in the Americas.

Welcome to a modern dark age in an infected world. Players have to rely on quick thinking, brutal combat skills and a fluid parkour system if they are to survive. But be aware - your actions and decisions can change the world in unexpected ways.

The game will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in Spring 2020.


Romancing SaGa 3

Legendary RPG Romancing SaGa 3 will make its debut in the West - and it’s going to look better than ever.

Romancing SaGa 3 updates the 1995 classic game with optimized graphics, and adds new gameplay , including new scenarios and brand new dungeons to explore. Your choices matter, as your decisions can significantly alter who joins your party, how your characters develop their skills, and the path of your adventure.

The game will come to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Steam, Windows 10, Google Play and the Apple App Store.


SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS

Another SaGa comes to the West!

SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS is an enhanced version of the formerly Japan-exclusive SaGa SCARLET GRACE.

The game lets you choose one of four protagonists, each with their own unique storyline, and have access to up to 70 allies who can help you out in battle.

SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS builds on the original 2016 Japanese release with improved visuals, character voiceovers, new weapons, skills and more.

It will release for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, Apple App Store and Google Play.


WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS

We announced a new mobile strategy RPG, born from the FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS universe.

Called WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS, you’ll navigate a variety of battlefields, build strategies to defeat enemy forces and summon powerful forces to get an edge in battle.


FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS

Katy Perry’s coming back to the world of FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS! The next collaboration with the music icon begins on June 12, 2019.

The game will also be celebrating its third anniversary with a livestream event in Los Angeles on June 29 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET.


OUTRIDERS

We just announced OUTRIDERS - a brand new 1-3 player drop-in drop-out co-op shooter, set in an original sci-fi universe.

It’s developed by People Can Fly, the studio behind Gears of War Judgement and Bulletstorm, and will be released for Xbox One, PS4 and PC in Summer 2020.

We’ll have more to share about the game later this year.


ONINAKI

Release date alert! We announced that ONINAKI, the latest action-RPG from the Tokyo RPG Factory team will be out on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Steam on… drum roll please… August 22, 2019!

For more information, head over to the ONINAKI website:


FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered

Get your gunblades ready everyone - one of the most fan-requested FINAL FANTASY games is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam!

FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered updates the classic RPG with enhanced visuals that make Squall, Seifer, Selphie and the rest of the gang look better ever before.

It’ll be out later this year.


Marvel’s Avengers: A-Day Trailer E3 2019

Closing out Square Enix Live E3 2019, viewers worldwide got a first look at the highly anticipated Marvel's Avengers in action. The entirely in-engine “A-Day Trailer” set the tone for an original Avengers story told cinematic storytelling with single-player and co-operative gameplay.

If you missed the livestream, watch it here for the full scoop.

Interview: What is Square Enix Collective?

We spoke to Director of Indie Publishing Phil Elliott to get a deep dive on how Square Enix works with Indies… and what’s coming next.
By Duncan Heaney
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Square Enix Collective has published some of the most interesting Indie games available - from brain-teasing puzzlers like The Turing Test, to emotional narrative adventures like Forgotton Anne.

But how do Indie developers get their games published by us? What exactly does Square Enix Collective actually do?

We sat down with Phil Elliott, Director of Indie Publishing at Square Enix, to take a deep dive into Square Enix Collective, how and why it works with Indie developers, and what’s coming up in the future.


Hi Phil. In your own words, what exactly is Square Enix Collective?

Square Enix Collective is essentially a service provider for Indie developers.

We help them publish their game - but we’re different to a traditional publisher, because we don’t take ownership of the game or intellectual property, and the devs still have full creative control.

Our role is to take the lead on marketing and communications (with approval from the Indie devs), and provide advice and guidance where we can.

Ok, so why do you do this? What’s the point of Square Enix Collective?

(Laughs) What’s the point of us - harsh question!

I guess that answer has two parts. Firstly, it’s an incredibly crowded market, and it can be tough for Indie developers to get their games out in front of people. Our goal is to help people create sustainable businesses within the Indie space, and our resources, connections and even just the Square Enix name helps us do that.

So what’s in this for us? That brings me onto my second point - independent development is where the most innovation and creativity take place.

Gaming is a creative medium - new ideas, fresh thinking, and rising talent are all necessary for the market to thrive - and a thriving market is good for all of us.

So if we contribute towards the creativity of the gaming industry, we also help ourselves - that’s why all our profits go back into Indie development.


So how does Square Enix Collective fit into the larger company structure? Is it a separate entity or…?

We’re fully part of Square Enix - but we operate as a separate unit. We have the flexibility of a startup, but with the benefits that come with being part of a large organization - like QA teams, sales teams and so on.

We have a lot of autonomy on how we fulfil our brief - it’s up to us what projects we look for and which devs we sign. We’re an experimental team - we can try things that it would be harder for the larger business to do.

The Turing Test (2016)


How did Square Enix Collective come about?

The idea originally came out of (Square Enix CEO) Matsuda-san’s desire to explore new parts of the market, including crowd-funding and community development. Collective was a combination of all those things when it started back in 2014.

Over time though, the focus has shifted - now we help find and nurture new talent, and help those Indie developers build viable businesses.

And if we find a team we like, we try to work with them again, in some cases maybe on Square Enix IP - if they want to.

For example, last year we invested in Bulkhead Interactive - the team that made The Turing Test and Battalion 1944, and commissioned them to work on an original Square Enix project.


What project?

(Laughs) Wait and see!

Goetia (2016)


Aw… Ok, so how long has Square Enix Collective been around?

We started out in 2014 - not as a publisher, but as a website where we could invite the Square Enix community to give feedback on pitches. The idea was that we could help developers build a community or following before crowd-funding.

The next phase was to start supporting crowd-funding directly. We helped devs by sense-checking costs, their messaging, their pledges and so on - to reassure potential backers that this is a viable project. Also to spread awareness of the game. I think we raised around $1.2 million across 12 projects during that time.

We then started looking for publishing projects in late 2015. The first title we helped with was Goetia - a point and click horror game. That was followed up with the Turing Test, and that’s the path we’ve followed since.


How has Square Enix Collective changed over the years?

Conditions change all the time in the games industry, and we develop and grow accordingly. We learn more with every release, and that knowledge is fed back to the developers with work with to help their projects and businesses.

We’re very aware that Indie devs are taking a massive creative risk, and it’s these ideas that feed the industry and filter into bigger budget games.

So while the way we work changes as the market does, the fundamentals have remained the same. Specifically, what we do must be beneficial to the teams we work with.

Tokyo Dark (2017)


How do you find games to invest in?

When we first announced Collective, we had to do a lot of exploring. We were an unknown entity coming out of a big publisher, so we had to prove ourselves.

Now we’ve published 12 games in three years, and we’ve built a solid reputation. So while we still look for talent - at events, for example - now people come to us.

We also get recommendations from teams we’ve worked with, and even from other publishers who have seen a project or team they like, but don’t have the capacity to take it on.


What’s your process for working with devs?

It begins with a pitch - either in person of via email.

If we like it, we start to discuss the terms of the agreement. This can vary depending on who we’re working with, but when everyone’s happy and the legal stuff’s all taken care of, it’s all systems go!

We assign a producer who will help the team however they need - from helping them structure their team to advising them on how to interact with the community. They’ll also help the devs identify any potential problems with the game, so they can avoid any nasty surprises.

We mentor them on the business side of things, and there’s the legal elements too - such as submitting to console platforms - and we help Indies get to grips with those challenges.

We provide advice and feedback that can help teams make good business and creative decisions. Of course, they don’t have to take any of our advice - we don’t own the IP after all - but they generally understand we’re trying to help them.

If we do our job properly, we help the teams we work with get better for future projects - whether it’s with us or others.


How hands on are you?

Look - there’s no point in working with Indie devs if we think we’re better than them. If we tell them exactly what to do, we might as well just make our own games.

Our advice is only ever advice - except when it comes to legal matters, of course. At the end of the day, we want to give the benefit of our experience, but let them make the game they want to make.

Forgotton Anne (2018)


Are there any challenges when Indie developers - or them working with you?

Sometimes, sure. Devs are often passionate. The game is their baby - it’s a very precious thing we’re taking responsibility for.

We work with a lot of first time teams - when you sign someone, it’s not always possible to know how they’ll deal with the challenges and stress of development. Seeing how teams react to those situations is interesting.

It doesn’t happen often, but on occasion a dev can make a decision - ether business or creative - that we advise against. We’ll voice our concerns, and explain our reasoning, but ultimately, they have the final say and we have to respect that.

On our side, managing expectations is tricky. Different teams have different expectations, and we have to be realistic about what we can do for them.

For example, one team came to us with a pitch - they thought they’d sell a million units. They were shocked and disappointed when we told them that was unlikely for a first time Indie dev!


What are some of the key successes of Square Enix Collective?

One big early success was The Turing Test. When Bulkhead Interactive first showed it to me, it was just a grey box demo. So the final visual treatment was a delightful surprise.

The team found that really nice puzzle game core of a simple concept that can be iterated on lots of times, and layered in a good story too. It was a good time for that type of game too - Portal was still fresh in the mind, and it wasn’t a flooded genre back then. Basically, great idea, looked nice, great game.

Forgotton Anne was another hit for us. It’s a really strong title, and that’s reflected in the awards and nominations it’s received since launch.

Again, visually it’s beautiful. ThroughLine Games nailed that look - right down to lowering the framerate to mimic the visual style they were going for.

And the story… you can have a lovely looking game, but without substance it’s meaningless, right? Forgotton Anne told a great, thought-provoking story, with some great twists.

Battalion 1944: Eastern Front (2019)


Anything else?

Battalion 1944’s also worth a mention. The idea of an old-school World War II shooter really caught the imagination of backers on Kickstarter (we weren’t involved with that). When the team approached us, it was exciting to get involved. Now it’s out of Early Access and started its post-release life well, so I’m looking forward to seeing how far it can go.


What makes the perfect ‘Square Enix Collective’ game?

That changes over time. For example, at the moment, we’re looking for a best in class single-player game, or something more of a persistent multiplayer or service model game that could last years.

But a good game is a good game, right? So a ‘perfect game’ will always boil down to a well-made title from a talented and passionate developer.

CIRCUIT SUPERSTARS (coming 2020)


What’s next for Square Enix Collective?

Overall, we’re taking on fewer games, but bigger projects. We’re working behind the scenes on some very cool stuff.

In the immediate future though, we just announced CIRCUIT SUPERSTARS - a new racing game by Original Fire Games. I’m quite excited about this one - it’s a charming title from a lovely family-run team, and, basically, just tremendous fun to play. It’ll be out some time in 2020.


And with that our interview with Phil was over. We’ll have more Square Enix Collective news in the future, but for now, you should check out some of the great Indie games they’ve helped publish:

A look at some of the Japanese titles announced at E3 2019

ONINAKI gets a release date, exciting news for fans of the SaGa series... and much more!
By Duncan Heaney
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During the Square Enix E3 Live presentation, we revealed new information about many of our Japanese titles, from RPG legends heading to the West, to whole new adventures we can’t wait for you to play.

Here’s a closer look at what was revealed:


ONINAKI release date announced

ONINAKI will release for Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Steam on August 22, 2019.

It’s the latest game from Tokyo RPG Factory - the talented team behind 2016’s I am Setsuna and 2017’s LOST SPHEAR.

This latest release combines beautiful art direction, deep characters and a compelling story to create an experience that hearkens back to classic RPGs, but retains its own unique identity.

ONINAKI follows the story of Kagachi, a young watcher who is responsible for guiding Lost Souls into the next world. But after meeting the mysterious girl Linne, his fate becomes linked with blood and death.

Soon Kagachi embarks on a dangerous journey, that will introduce him to new allies and dangerous enemies.

If you’re a fan of classic Square Enix RPGs, you’ll definitely want to pick this one up come August 22.


FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition

The classic co-op action RPG has been remastered, and enhanced with a new online multiplayer mode that lets you team up with up to three friends.

Of course, if you’d rather play solo, you can. Either way, you get to explore a beautiful word filled with memorable characters.

The game is out this Winter. We also announced that the game will release on smartphones too.

Take a look at the new trailer:

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered out now on Nintendo Switch

Release dates are all well and good, but how about some instant gratification? THE LAST REMNANT Remastered is available to download now on Nintendo Switch.

This enthralling RPG updates the 2008 original with beautiful new graphics, enhanced by Unreal Engine 4, and user interface improvements that make it feel better to play than ever before.

It also features a unique morale system that can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of fights, and an intricate battle system where commands change depending on the status of both friends and foes.

THE LAST REMNANT Remastered can be downloaded now from the Nintendo eShop for $19.99 / £15.99 / €19.99. It’s also already available on PlayStation 4:

Romancing SaGa 3 makes its Western debut

One of the most respected JRPGS of all time is coming to the West for the first time as Romancing SaGa 3!

Developed by industry veterans, including Akitoshi Kawazu - the acclaimed director of Romancing SaGa, SaGa Frontier, and THE FINAL FANTASY LEGEND - Romancing SaGa 3 improved high-definition visuals, as well as new dungeons to explore, new scenarios and even a New Game+ mode.

The game will be out for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PlayStation Vita, the Xbox One family including Windows 10, Steam, Google Play and the App Store.

Take a look at the new trailer:

SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS also revealed

Also announced, was SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS - an enhanced version of the previously Japan-only SaGa SCARLET GRACE.

It’s a game that lets you shape your own experiences by choosing between four protagonists - Urpina, Taria, Balmant and Leonard - each with a distinct standalone storyline. Essentially, it’s like having four RPGs in one.

SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS builds on the 2016 original with a whole host of improvements. The game now sports improved graphics, character voiceovers, new weapons, skills and more.

You’ll also have access to more than 70 allies who can potentially aid you in the new deep and tactical turn-based timeline battle system.

The game will launch for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Steam, Google Play and the App Store.


WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS

A new Global mobile strategy RPG is on the way: WAR OF THE VISIONS FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS.

As the name rather implies, it comes from the same universe as FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS, and charges players with winning tactical battles where they’ll have to strategize carefully to triumph.

With multiple battlefields to explore, and powerful summons at your disposal, it’ll be a satisfying and tactical FINAL FANTASY experience that people can play wherever they are.

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS

Speaking of FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS, did you know its three years old already? To celebrate its third anniversary, we’ll be hosting a livestream event on June 29, 2019. To watch, head over to the FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS YouTube channel at 5pm PST / 8pm EST / 1am BST.

And what would a celebration be without music? We’re pleased to announce another collaboration with the iconic Katy Perry. The collaboration starts June 12, 2019. Here’s the trailer:

Closing out Square Enix Live E3 2019, viewers worldwide got a first look at the highly anticipated Marvel's Avengers in action. The entirely in-engine “A-Day” trailer set the tone for an original Avengers adventure that combines cinematic storytelling with single-player and co-operative gameplay.

We also revealed Marvel's Avengers' world-class cast through exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and offered a glimpse of how the story will continue long past launch. Featuring regular content updates, the game will take players on an epic journey delivered over multiple years.

If you missed the livestream, watch it here for the full scoop, and enjoy the trailer below.

Marvel’s Avengers: A-Day Trailer E3 2019

Marvel’s Avengers begins at A-Day, where Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor are unveiling a hi-tech Avengers Headquarters in San Francisco — including the reveal of their own helicarrier powered by an experimental energy source. The celebration turns deadly when a catastrophic accident results in massive devastation. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband. Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and the world in peril, the only hope is to reassemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix are excited to unveil Marvel’s Avengers, an epic action-adventure game that combines cinematic storytelling with single-player and co-operative gameplay. Developed by Crystal Dynamics in collaboration with Eidos-Montréal, Nixxes Software, and Crystal Northwest, Marvel’s Avengers will release simultaneously for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, Stadia, and PC on May 15, 2020.

Play the Beta first on PS4. Pre-Order for Beta Access at PlayAvengers.com

#EmbraceYourPowers #Reassemble #PlayAvengers

OUTRIDERS emerges from Cryo-sleep at E3

Find out about People Can Fly’s new co-op shooter
By Duncan Heaney
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OUTRIDERS was one of the most exciting announcements made during Square Enix E3 Live 2019: an original shooter from developer People Can Fly.

If the studio sounds familiar, it’s because they’re the talented team behind Gears of War Judgement and Bulletstorm - when it comes to videogame action, they’re the experts.

The game is planned for release Summer 2020 - take a look at the E3 trailer:

What is OUTRIDERS?

It’s a new third person shooter, playable solo, or in co-op with up to three players.

Set in a dark and desperate universe, it combines the tight and impactful gunplay that People Can Fly is famous for, along with high production values and a strong narrative.

We’ll have more to share this winter, but for now we have a behind the scenes of development, along with a message from the developer:

When will OUTRIDERS be released?

OUTRIDERS will be available in Summer 2020 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

To stay up to date with news and updates about the game, check out the official website and make sure you follow OUTRIDERS on social media:

Experience Avenger's Day at E3

Avengers fans, assemble! Come immerse yourself in A-Day at E3 2019.
By Square Enix Team
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Before entering the Los Angeles Convention Center, snap a selfie with Marvel's Avengers E3 banner just outside the West Hall. Use #EmbraceYourPowers across social media to share your excitement for the game.

You can find Marvel's Avengers at booth #1601 in the South Hall. Stop by and secure your A-Day badge early, and return during your designated timeslot for a chance to check out our official Marvel's Avengers costume gallery before journeying deeper into the helicarrier. Your official S.H.I.E.L.D. debrief will give you an extended look at the explosive events of A-Day.

If you are Deaf/HoH and would like to attend our closed-captioned S.H.I.E.L.D. debrief on the evening of 6/12, contact us at CrystalAccessibility@Crystald.com to coordinate with our community team.

You can catch Marvel's Avengers at the E3 Coliseum on Tuesday, June 11, and featured on a variety of live shows throughout the event. We'll also be hosting nightly fan Q&As on Instagram and Twitter. Keep an eye on our social channels for updates as to where we'll be, and when.

Marvel’s Avengers will release simultaneously for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, Stadia, and PC on May 15, 2020.

Play the Beta first on PS4. Pre-Order for Beta Access at PlayAvengers.com

Square Enix E3 2018

By Square Enix Team
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E3 2018 is once again upon us and our Square Enix teams from all around the world have been working hard in preparation for all the exciting announcements being revealed at this year's show. Like previous years, our Square Enix Presents E3 2018 live stream will once again make its presence with a 3-day schedule of awesome content directly being fed from the show floors of E3 2018.

Day 1: 10:30am

Day 2: 10:00am

Day 3: 10:00am

Our streams start first thing in the morning for every day so be sure to tune into your favorite live streaming networks below to not miss out on all the content we've got in store.

Twitch.tv/SquareEnix
YouTube.com/SquareEnixPresents
Facebook.com/SquareEnix
Twitter.com/SquareEnix
Mixer.com/SquareEnix

Square Enix E3 Showcase 2018

By Square Enix Team
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Mark your calendars!

On Monday June 11, 2018 at 10am PDT/7pm CEST/2am JST (06/12), we’ll be live streaming our Square Enix Presents E3 Showcase 2018 and guests from all around the world will be able to watch the show from the convenience of your home.

Full details about the event can be found on our official Square Enix Presents E3 Showcase 2018 website, but in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to your favorite streaming platforms to not miss out on all the exciting announcements to come!

Website: e3.square-enix-games.com
YouTube: youtube.com/squareenixpresents
Twitch: twitch.tv/squareenix
Mixer: mixer.com/squareenix
Facebook: facebook.com/squareenix
Twitter: twitter.com/squareenix