DeNA is one of the larger social networks coming out of Asia lately (they're probably best known around these parts for buying mobile game developer ngmoco), and the company announced this morning that it's teamed up with Final Fantasy creators Square Enix to publish a new Final Fantasy-branded title on iOS and Android. Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade is the name, and it's a casual social game centered on flying airships around a fantasy setting, working together with other players to bring down bad guys, earn experience and level up characters and their abilities.
The game is due out on the App Store soon, and will be a free download, so when it does arrive, we'll be able to check it all out and see how it works right away. But even more interesting than the actual game at this point is the deal behind it: DeNA is using the much-loved Final Fantasy brand to try and grow its network of connected gamers. This is a really strong push for DeNA in the West, and while it (and other Eastern social networks) have made lots of tries at attracting gamers' attention before, using the much-loved Final Fantasy brand is probably their strongest tactic yet.
They're asking fans to sign up on the website right now (thus getting them involved in the big Mobage network), and offering a special "Cloud" card in the game for doing so, featuring the popular character from Final Fantasy VII. It remains to be seen if this move will work, but again: DeNA and their competitors have been fishing for new users in the Western market for a while now, and the Square Enix brand is probably their most powerful bait yet.
Mobile Game to Players in United States and Canada
Pre-registration for the Free Game Guarantees an Exclusive Complimentary In-game Card Featuring the Character "Cloud"
SAN FRANCISCO – November 29, 2012 – Following the game's success with more than three million registered users in Japan, DeNA Co., Ltd. (TSE: 2432) and Square Enix Co., Ltd. announced today that the two companies are bringing FINAL FANTASY® AIRBORNE BRIGADE™ to mobile phone users in the US and Canada. This is the first FINAL FANTASY free-to-play social game to be released in English.
FINAL FANTASY AIRBORNE BRIGADE is an easy-to-play social game where players cooperate and adventure through a world inspired by the popular FINAL FANTASY series. Each player rides an airship, and forms groups called airborne brigades in order to fight powerful bosses. Each player gains experience, and levels up by adventuring through quest regions. They will encounter foes and obtain abilities and items straight from the FINAL FANTASY series.
"We're very proud to offer FINAL FANTASY fans based in the US and Canada our own take on the themes and ideals of the series with the upcoming launch of the mobile game FINAL FANTASY AIRBORNE BRIGADE," said Kenji Kobayashi, executive games director at DeNA. "In celebration of the franchise's 25th anniversary this year, we strived to create a unique gameplay experience where players can elevate each other through fun, cooperative play."
The game appeals to FINAL FANTASY fans as well as players new to the franchise. FINAL FANTASY AIRBORNE BRIGADE will be available soon as a free download on Android and iOS devices.
Players can pre-register for the game and be alerted via email as soon as the game is available for free download. Pre-registered players can obtain a free three-month exclusive in-game card featuring Cloud, one of the most popular FINAL FANTASY characters of all time, which will help them during boss battles.
To pre-register for FINAL FANTASY AIRBORNE BRIGADE, please visit: ffairbornebrigade.com