Square Enix plans to open a new virtual world in Japan this month, but this project is disconnected from their key franchises. You won’t find einherjar, slimes or chocobos in chic NicottoTown. This virtual world is populated with hip looking characters and real world activities like shopping for clothes. The joint project between Square Enix and Nifty, an Internet service provider in Japan, is clearly aimed at a different demographic. NicottoTown is more like a cuter version of PlayStation Home than it is a lounge for gamers. The art style suggests Square Enix is targeting women and the growing demographic of “casual” gamers. This isn’t Square Enix’s only expanded demographic project. The Pure Dreams label with a Snoopy game was a surprise too. These are Square Enix's ways of branching out and reaching gamers uninterested in their bread and butter RPGs.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.