A new time has come for those who follow Square Enix mobile games. Two global debuts are set for 2020. The first has already happened with War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, a prequel to an already established game that follows in Final Fantasy Tactics’ footsteps as a strategic-RPG. Its just finding its footing outside Japan, and Producer Hiroki Fujimoto spoke to Siliconera about the global launch and its ties to past games.
Jenni Lada: While Square Enix has offered plenty of mobile games, it hasn’t really done much in the free-to-play strategic-RPG space. How did you approach War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a result?
Hiroki Fujimoto: War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a tactical RPG, which has long been awaited even within the Final Fantasy series. We developed WOTV FFBE because we wanted to deliver a new gaming experience that offers a different sort of fun than the classic RPG that is FFBE.
How did other Square Enix mobile games and mobile strategic-RPGs influence War of the Visions, both in terms of gameplay and in-app purchases?
Fujimoto: WOTV FFBE is a title that shares its world with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. FFBE is an RPG game with players all around the world, boasting 45 million downloads worldwide, while WOTV FFBE is set in a world several hundred years earlier than FFBE, and it portrays a war that takes place over the visions.
Familiar characters from FFBE also occasionally make appearances as visions, so those who have played FFBE might find themselves with a knowing grin on their face.
Of course, WOTV FFBE features a completely original story, so those who haven’t played FFBE will have no problem jumping right in and enjoying it.
How did Final Fantasy Tactics help shape the course of War of the Visions?
Fujimoto: Final Fantasy Tactics is a title that’s extremely popular around the world. We thought that many people were likely waiting for a new tactical RPG experience, and WOTV FFBE was born. Although it shares a world with FFBE, the game system in WOTV FFBE is completely different. Its story also differs from the classic RPG that is FFBE, featuring
interweaving storylines of various nations and people as well as a mature, dramatic narrative that I think players will enjoy.
War of the Visions has a VIP system which launched to mixed reviews in Japan. How will Square Enix be adjusting and improving it and the overall experience?
Fujimoto: What elements are included in the game is something that’s been thought out to try to make the game as engaging as possible.
Some of these elements have received mixed responses, but the fact that we can use feedback from the players to keep improving the game is one of the strengths that games with ongoing content updates have. So, I would be grateful if people play this game a lot and let us know all their thoughts about it.
What sorts of preparations, beyond localizations, go into a game like War of the Visions ahead of a global launch? How does feedback from players outside of Japan differ from ones from Japan?
Fujimoto: For WOTV FFBE, the Global version was released about four months after the Japanese version. This four-month period was used for localizing the game into six different languages, as well as for porting the data over while adding on features unique to the Global version. There are also cases where we’ll make modifications to the Global version based on results we’ve seen from the Japanese version.
In terms of differences in feedback between the Japanese and Global versions, the environments in which gaming occurs differ, so the feedback differs as well. For example,
network connectivity is relatively good in Japan, so downloading data doesn’t pose much of an issue. However, we’ve received requests from players in regions with network connectivity that isn’t as high that they’d like for us to have shorter download times.
That said, there isn’t that much of a difference when it comes to the feedback we receive from passionate players of the game, and it’s always helpful for us to receive thoughts about the everyday frustrations that players may encounter while playing.
Brave Exvius is known for its varied crossovers. What sorts of manifestations could we expect to see in War of the Visions?
Fujimoto: We plan to have the collaborations that were held in the Japanese version to happen in the Global version as well. We’ll share information about when and what sort of collaborations will be arriving through in-game announcements and our social media channels, so I would appreciate it if you could log in to the game every day and keep an eye out for them, though we announced that there would be a Final Fantasy Tactics collaboration that started on April 22, 2020. We hope everyone enjoys it!
How does Square Enix determine which Final Fantasy characters are pulled to appear in games like Brave Exvius and eventually War of the Visions? Would you say popularity or what roles are needed at the moment would more greatly influence things?
Fujimoto: The Final Fantasy series characters who join the battles unfolding in WOTV FFBE and FFBE are not selected based solely on our own convenience. On the contrary, we always try to have collaborations at timings that are mutually beneficial for both parties.
Then, we make decisions based on different elements like what form the collaboration should take in order to make the players happiest, as well as character popularity and player requests.
War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is available for Android and Apple iOS devices.