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Posted June 19, 2017 by Adam Ghiggino in Feature
 
 

E3 2017: Interview – Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Celebrates First Birthday and Ariana Grande Collaboration


Dissidia Final Fantasy NT wasn’t the only Final Fantasy title on show at E3 this year – in fact, Square Enix made a big deal on the floor not only about its online Final Fantasy XIV title, but the mobile games Mobius Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, which is about to celebrate its first anniversary in its global release. I caught up with Global Version Producer Hiroki Fujimoto, and Executive Producer Kei Hirono, to reflect on the mobile title’s success, having been downloaded 20 million times, and to discuss the plans around its first-year anniversary.

Rocket Chainsaw: “Congratulations on celebrating the first anniversary of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius’ Global release! What have you learned in the first year, and how has fan feedback shaped the game?”

Kei Hirono: “Being a mobile multiplayer title, you know once you launch that’s not the end of development. There’s a constant ongoing operation and there’s updates and so, the development has been really continually evolving along with the game, and the fan feedback is extremely important to us.

We always try to take in as much as possible and reflect it in updates as soon as we can, and it’s really shaped how the game has come along. Really, the game has completely almost changed into an entirely new game you can even say, since we first launched it, to where it’s reached this point today. We make sure to take in Japanese fans’ feedback for the Japanese version and global feedback for the Global version and reflect it accordingly.”

RC: “I’m aware that the Japanese version of Brave Exvius is quite different to the Global one – how do you decide what to carry over and implement from the Japanese version to the Global one?”

Hiroki Fujimoto: “So, the basic gameplay is the same between the Japanese and Global versions, and the overall structure and main storyline doesn’t change but we have made sure to create features and functions for the global version that are appropriate to a worldwide audience. For example, the Facebook login, things like that, that’s something that a Global audience is more keen to have for their games. Also, we’ve noticed that Global users tend to like to grow and develop their characters faster, so we’ve provided bundle packs and things like that that can be purchased, and giving stronger abilities to certain characters so that Global players can enjoy that aspect of the game. And then we also do release in the Japanese version first, and see the reaction of the fans, and then adjust it accordingly or bring it over to the Global version, depending on how that goes.

As far as the main differences between the Japanese and Global versions, for the Global versions we do release exclusive characters and then also exclusive events to the storyline and other features like that – that differentiates the two versions.”

 

RC: “When you look at including crossover content – from old Final Fantasy units, to ones which tie into upcoming games, and even including Ariana Grande as a unit in-game, how do you decide? Is it based on fan expectation, or what you believe will make a good unit?”

KH: “[laughs] So as far as the characters that we bring on for collaborations go, we want to make sure that first and foremost these collaborations match the tone of the overall Final Fantasy universe, and that we’re bringing on characters that make sense to be playing alongside this Final Fantasy world. And so, we wanted to start with the past numbered Final Fantasy characters, just because, you know, they’re like the fundamental well-known characters and it wouldn’t make sense to bring on other spin-off title characters before numbered title characters. So, the numbered titles first and then other Square Enix IP characters we wanted to try and do different collaborations with those characters, and then kind of expand from there, while kind of keeping in mind adjustments where necessary and what makes sense for the game, and we’re of course open to fan feedback. We want to hear what everyone has to say, so we’re kind of curious if you have any suggestions or ideas for what you’d like to see?”

HF: [laughs]

RC: “[laughs] Actually, I’d like to turn that back around and see if you guys have a dream game or character you’d love to see cross over into Final Fantasy Brave Exvius? It doesn’t matter if it’s actually happening or not.”

HF & KH: [both laugh]

KH: “So, there are a lot of great collaborations are running through our minds, but nothing we can really say out loud, we don’t want to take away from the surprise for when it actually does happen.”

HF: “Square Enix IPs are definitely something we want to keep working into, and maybe beyond that… not sure.”

RC: “Sure.”

KH: “But we do want to share a little bit about how the Ariana Grande collaboration came about, since you mentioned it. So, the first thing was that, you know, Final Fantasy titles are well known for their theme songs and artist tie-ups, and since Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a mobile title, we didn’t really have a theme song or artist tie-up or anything like that. But when the Global version came out, we really felt like we wanted to do something to give this Final Fantasy title and extra push and kind of give it that theme song that all the known Final Fantasy titles have. That’s why we decided to reach out to Ariana.

Even though Final Fantasy as a series is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is very well known, a lot of younger audiences are still unaware of the title and we wanted to have an artist on board who was recognisable with a younger audience, particularly with teens. Thankfully Ariana Grande was open to collaboration, so that’s how that came about.”

RC: “To celebrate the first anniversary, you are organising a huge event, the Fan Festa which is taking place in Paris in July, before touring the world for the rest of the year. What can fans expect from these events, and do you think it’ll ever come to Australia?”

HF & KH: [both laugh]

HF: “The Fan Festa, the main objective of that is for us as developers and producers to have direct interaction with fans and thank them for all of their support, as well as kind of enjoy and have them fall more in love with the world of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. It’s really going to be a celebration at its core, but we have some activities planned as well as gifts – like t-shirts and tote bags, among other things right now, and for anyone who attends we’ll also have a special character gifted for in-game that’s playable.

We obviously want to be able to celebrate with every single fan out there, even though that’s not physically possible unfortunately. So, even for those who can’t make it out to the event, we do have special gifts planned around the timing of the one-year anniversary so that everyone who can’t make it can celebrate alongside us.

We personally would have loved to go to Australia as well! Just for the first-year celebration, it’s only limited to five cities, but you know, if we’re able to celebrate again in the coming years we’d love to explore that possibility! In the event, that we do decide to come to Australia and we’re like “Yeah, we’re going to Australia!” and nobody shows up – that’s going to be really sad, so we want to make sure we get the word out about the game first.”

KH: “That said, being a mobile title, we know exactly how many players there are in each region, I feel like in Australia we would be able to get a really big crowd.”

HF & KH: [both laugh]

 

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is available on iOS and Android.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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