Square Enix and DeNA (the company behind Mobage) today announced that they are bringing mobile social game Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade outside of Japan and into the hands of Android and Apple device users in North America and Canada.
Known more simply as Final Fantasy Brigade in Japan, the FF-themed Mobage social game has seen over three million user registrations within Japan alone.
In Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, players charter their overy own personalised airships, equip their characters with various weapon and item cards, and eventually form teams (well, brigades) with other players to take on quests and fight bosses together, classic FF style.
It is unclear at the moment if users of the English version of Mobage who do not reside in North America or Canada would be able to access and play Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. Rather than call it an “international” version, Square Enix has chose to word today’s announcement specifically for the US and Canada markets, so don’t be too surprised if the final game service turns out to be region-restricted.
You might even need a US mobile number to participate – or at least, that’s how it is in Japan.
On the Japanese Mobage site, users are required to provide a valid mobile number in Japan beginning with “080″ or “090″ before they’re able to be admitted into Final Fantasy Brigade’s game service. Not every Japanese Mobage game is like that. Last I checked, Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls does not require a valid phone number for its free tier of service (although you will miss out on many goodies if you do not authenticate with a valid number); so it’s clear that DeNA does give IP holders a choice when it comes to restricting game membership.
But it won’t be long before we find out for sure if the English version of Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade is indeed not meant as an international version – the game is slated to begin service sometime in December.
Until then, head on over to Mobage’s official website for FF Airborne Brigade to pre-register yourself for the game service. They’re giving out an exclusive ”Summon Stone” card - which you can then equip to have Final Fantasy characters come help you in boss battles (this one summons Cloud Stride) - to all pre-registrants.
North America and Canada are the third region Square Enix and DeNA will launch the Mobage social game in. Back in August of this year, a Korean version of Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade was also launched in South Korea.
Even if the English version of FF Airborne Brigade turns out to be limited to North American and Canadian shores, today’s announcement is no doubt a big deal, as it shows that Square Enix is willing to take its social game intellectual properties outside of Japan and into international markets. In particular, we hope to see Final Fantasy X GREE and The World Ends With You Live Remix come to the English-speaking world.