Siliconera recently spoke with producers of Square Enix’s mobile RPG, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, who talked about its most requested characters, Ariana Grande, and a possible hint for a Kingdom Hearts III collaboration.
We spoke with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius’ Executive Producer Kei Hirono and Global Version Producer Hiroki Fujimoto in the interview:
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is in its second season now. What did you want to new this season?
Kei Hirono, Executive Producer: For the first season, it went along with the classic Final Fantasy feel in which you gather your party members and strengthen them in preparation to fight a strong boss. A big difference in the second season is we have two different teams. You will see the story progress through two different perspectives. In that sense, the approach to the storyline is a different from the first season. Another difference is the first season was influenced by the worlds of Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, and Final Fantasy V versus the second season which has more of a sci-fi feel and more influenced by Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII. I don’t know if explaining it that way makes it easier for Final Fantasy fans to understand.
Brave Exvius has many classic Final Fantasy characters in it. What is the most requested character from fans?
Hiroki Fujimoto, Global Version Producer: When the game first started, we did introduce a number of characters from numbered Final Fantasy titles. As time went on, other characters have been added been in the game and there have been requests to make the first Final Fantasy characters that were added to the game get a little bit stronger. We are considering new versions or re-imaginings of those characters that were previously released with upgraded strengths and comparative abilities to the characters we have now. If there are characters that are highly requested by fans to be re-imagined we would like to consider those as we move forward.
Hirono: One thing we want to avoid is altering the classic artwork from the original Final Fantasy titles. We want to keep the original artwork and show it to players. However, the summoned units in this game are the visions of the characters, kind of like how we imagine them. Compared to the in-game pixeled characters, there are also illustrated versions from Amano-san, for example, and there are various illustrations so we do believe it is possible to have multiple iterations to exist in the game.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius also has its own original characters too and since it’s accessible on mobile devices, this game may be some player’s first experience with Final Fantasy as a series. Have you thought about bringing these characters or world into another game that wasn’t free to play for mobile devices?
Hirono: Yes, we would like to create a version as you mentioned and take on that kind of challenge. We actually had a video we showed during April Fool’s where it acted like it was going to happen. Originally, the Final Fantasy series was a console game and even though Brave Exvius is a mobile title we would like to keep that in mind.
Since Brave Exvius is a mobile title, how do you balance microtransactions?
Fujimoto: Our approach to this is game is we don’t want to make it you have to pay to play. It’s not pay to win, but pay for fun. The summons rely on luck, but the gameplay as you progress through it allows you to gain chances to have those summons. However, if a player wishes to gain more chances to have those summons they can spend a little more if they desire to.
Hirono: For Brave Exvius, the core of the game is not paid at all. You can play it completely for free, if you’re just enjoying the story. We’ve taken care to maintain that. However, for players who want to complete their collections then they might be able to do that with paid elements. The collaborations are not core to the game or essential to the storyline. Although, many people are spending money on that it’s not the core of the game.
Last year, there was a big promotion with Ariana Grande. Do you feel the celebrity collaboration worked to bring new players into the game?
Hirono: Yes, we believe the collaboration was very effective. When we approached Final Fantasy Brave Exvius we wanted to make a game for new users, it was a new Final Fantasy game, and it was newly on mobile devices. The Final Fantasy brand has a legacy of over 30 years and people have very strong feelings and emotions connected to the series. However, we don’t want to have this prevent us from taking on new challenges and we want to continue growing the brand. In this way, the collaboration was ideal.
As a result of that, we were able to reach 30 million downloads globally. This is the most downloads out of the Final Fantasy mobile games. We’re proud of that and the downloads continue to increase. As a result of that we would like to take on new challenges to continue to grow the [Final Fantasy] brand.
Since Kingdom Hearts III is coming out soon has there been a thought about a Kingdom Hearts collaboration?
[Both Hirono and Fujimoto laugh.] Hirono: Unfortunately we can’t say, but if you want to read what you want from that statement…
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is available on iOS and Android.