Final Fantasy, Square Enix and Symbian
Published by Krisse at
Two events co-incided this week which are relevant to anyone interested in Symbian gaming, or gaming in general. The first was Gerard Wiener (head of Nokia's Games division including N-Gage) having a meeting with Japanese games publishing giant Square Enix at the CTIA mobile entertainment trade fair in San Francisco. The second was an interview with Yoichi Wada, the President of Square Enix. During the interview, Wada stated that the future of gaming lay with online games both on PCs and on mobile phones. He said they wanted to get away from the current console-controlled games market and go to a model where software was king. He explained Square Enix's plans to expand into the mobile phone online world. Even more tantalisingly, their mobile phone Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, already released on Japanese FOMA Symbian phones, would be released in North America and Europe towards the end of 2006. That would of course be just in time for the Nokia Next Gen MoGaSo's first Christmas.
It's impossible to tell yet at what level Nokia and Square Enix are co-operating, if at all, but it's interesting to note that Square Enix has talked about the importance of mobile phone online gaming, and the only major mobile phone online gaming system in the world is Nokia's N-Gage and its Next Gen replacement MoGaSo due to launch at the beginning of 2006. If Square Enix wants to do online phone games, it's difficult to find a better partner (or indeed any partner) other than Nokia.
It's also interesting to note that Square Enix's existing mobile phone games were released on FOMA Symbian phones in Japan, which use the same operating system (albeit a different user interface) as the N-Gage and its Next Gen replacements.
It's even more interesting to note that the main barrier to Nokia's entry into the Japanese phone games market, the total lack of GSM networks in Japan, will no longer be as much of a problem with the Next Gen MoGaSo because many of the phones will use WCDMA/UMTS networks which are present in Japan as well as Europe and (from 2006) North America.
There's no official word or rumours of co-operation, but if the word does come it wouldn't be a shock considering this incredible conjunction of interests on the part of Nokia and Square Enix. Square Enix needs the best mobile phone online games network and can offer some of the world's best games, Nokia needs the world's best games and has the best mobile phone online games network.