News Article

Square-Enix Changes Its Mind About The Virtual Console?

Posted by Damien McFerran

Highly respected Japanese developer Square-Enix has broken its silence regarding the lack of support for Nintendo’s Virtual Console service in a recent interview at the 2008 Game Developers Conference.

Producer of WiiWare title Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King Toshihiro Tsuchida lifted the lid on why the company has been so reluctant to publish titles on the retro download service:

We’re definitely looking into all the other download mediums. We don’t think the games and the IP that we have have lost value yet, so we haven’t decided if releasing them on VC is the best idea.

It’s a matter of the package — which is downloading. You look at a game, and you have to decide whether it will be better to be sold in a retail store, or if it will be better for download.

We’re making that decision carefully for each of the games that we have. It comes down to the games that we think we could make a good remake of haven’t been on VC yet.

So it’s a case of “never say never”. Square-Enix has been mining its back catalogue for retail releases (the Final Fantasy remakes for the PSP and DS are a good example of this) but the comments above may hint that the developer is considering the Virtual Console as a potential avenue of release. We sure hope so, because plenty of Virtual Console gamers are crying out for the likes of Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana and, of course, the Final Fantasy titles.

Read the full interview here.

From the web

User Comments (100)



Kevin said:

That's good to hear. I'll definately download all the final fantasies (with the exception of final fantasy II-the one from origins and dawn of souls not the snes final fantasy II). I hated the exp system in that game. I loved I, III, IV, V and VI but II just quickly turned me off.



themightyblot said:

While that is the positive spin on Tsuchida-san's comments, I see it the opposite way; what he is saying is that Square thinks the value of their games is much higher than could be dictated via the Virtual Console, and thus don't expect to see any "AAA" titles on it. Games like Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana have a huge fanbase, and while they'd make a killing releasing them on the VC, they know the real money is in remaking them, sprucing up the graphics, and adding a tiny bit of extra content for release on the DS/PSP. $8 vs. $40 a game, and your almost guaranteed the same buy-in rate? To Square, it's simple math.

Hopefully what they do is take the games that Square or Enix published back in the day but never released in the US, translate them, then release them on the VC. Or possibly some of the games that didn't do so well or don't have the hype of their big titles (Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, I'm looking at you) to cash in on the RPG-starved masses currently drooling over the potential of the VC.

In the end, we'll probably get some original apps for the WiiWare service, a few ports of their lesser games, and if we're lucky they'll release one really good game to keep us begging for more (Super Mario RPG is my guess).

Brian J. Blottie
-Can't see Square giving up their big IPOs for "chump change".



Bass_X0 said:

There are plenty of Square games that I would gladly buy if it were released again but where are they? There are several games (such as Super Mario RPG and Secret of Mana) which never appeared in a later collection title or ported to a handheld console.



DEMON212 said:

So in other words "If we release them all seperately on the Wii, idiots will buy them for £30. Whereas we'd only get 800 points for it on the VC".



slangman said:

Great. Just hope that Square will actually put up Chrono Trigger on the Virtual Console rather than create a remake of it. I prefer actual versions of games over re-makes for some reason.



blackknight77 said:

Why not do both? Make a remake and re-release the original
If people like it, they will buy it. For example I bought Metriod Zero mission, It's one of my favorite GBA games, but I still downloaded the original Metriod. I wanted both games. I like the updated visuals, but sometimes I want to play old school retro.



Adam said:

Secret of Evermore, please. You know you're not going to remake that, Square.



rman0099 said:

I love the comment:

" It comes down to the games that we think we could make a good remake of haven’t been on VC yet."

That just sums up SE's money grubbing right there. A classic can't just be that, A CLASSIC. It must be remade, repacked, re-sold, and exploited for more capital. Using that statement, why don't they just do remakes and release them on the Wii-ware channel. That could potentially save the company money in production and packaging costs. How would everyone like a Wii-ware Super Mario RPG remake totally upgraded for 1K-1.2K points instead of the old one for 800?



Sharecrow said:

@Tony - I agree. There are a few games that I would still buy the original even though I have a remake. And a few games that I don't have a copy of at all right now where I would want to play both versions just because I like them that much.



playner1 said:

I don't totally agree with this idea. I do agree that a company should think about how to make the most profit out of a product and produce new idea to improve great classics, but people are willing to pay big money for games that they liked to play when they were younger. The VC and the wii are good examples of this. I bought my Wii because I wanted to get the games that I grew up with on one console and like the old school games. Square should take this into consideration. I would buy the old game, cause it is a CLASSIC, and I would consider the new.



SonataNo8 said:

This is what irritates the crap out of me. A major selling point for the Wii to me was the Virtual Console, and specifically the Square RPG's. I gave up last week and Twilight hacked my wii so I could play FF2, 3, Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger on it. Sorry, Squeenix, I would have loved to buy them from you... again, for the 3rd time each (except SoM).



shuntsu said:

I bet Squeenix will be sorely tempted to put out WiiWare remakes of the old FF stuff so they can price in the 1500 point arena or thereabouts.



Rapadash6 said:

Somehow I don't think Super Mario RPG really applies to this whole remaking business as they'll need Nintendo's permission to do that. Considering it came in at number 2 in the VC polls, Nintendo will likely want this game to come to the Virtual Console. In fact I'm pretty certain Nintendo already has the permission to do so but is waiting for a "good time to release it" as they seem to do with every other damn VC release.

Chrono Trigger is another sticky wicket because from what I understand there are some trademark issues between Square and the original development team which has sinse disbanded from the company. I see this more as chance of a VC release than of a remake because that would require effort from all parties involved, and not all probably share the same haphazard remake philosophy that Square Enix does.

Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior games will likely not appear on the service for a very long time, if at all because these franchises will benefit most from remakes. Everything else, save MAYBE the Mana series, seems like it'd have a good chance of showing up on VC eventually. All we can do is wait and see, I guess.



Bensei said:

They could be working on a SMRPG remake for DS, the other question is if they would make a remake of two Mario RPGs at the same time? (Paper Mario DS)



Quimby said:

How stingy ARE square-enix?
"Oh, we are considering maybe releasing a remake of this game"
So, who cares? Give us the original and then, maybe, if you put some effort and creativity into the remake, people will buy both.
What is the point of remaking a game if all you change is the graphics? Add some of the more recent changes in gameplay to the classics and you get a familiar, yet fresh experience.
Money grubbing wanks...

Edit - I agree with most of what has already been posted on this page (as I said essentially the same thing), I just didn't bother to read the other posts untill afterwards



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

Square Enix is a company, not a kindly old grandfather. These decisions aren't "stingy", they're business. People need to wake up. The S-E rep quoted in the article is right: if S-E can make more money by remaking games and releasing them on the DS or PSP, then they should do that. It's what's best for the company. I read this article in the same way—not as confirmation that we're going to get an influx of VC games, but as confirmation that we're not going to get them unless S-E decides definitively not to do a remake. And if S-E is run as an intelligent business—which would seem to be confirmed by this rep's comments and the moaning of the simpleton fanboy community—than that collection of games that trickles down to the direct-download VC level will be the games they don't have a lot of faith in.

Looks for games with low remake value, like Secret of Evermore and a lot of the Enix one-offs (Robotrek, The 7th Saga, etc.).



Pj1 said:

Does that mean here in Europe we might get Mario RPG? I certainly hope so, even if say they charge us 1,000 Wii Points, it'll be a crime for this game not to make it for the VC. Also I would love to see Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!! OH Please Nintendo...



Starwolf_UK said:

Thing is if my analysys of the SNES VC games is anything to go by Secret of Mana and Ilusion of Gaia have both been tested to work on the emulator but now both titles are flagged with an *. Looking at what other titles have the * suggests there are issues with bringing it out (either the publisher or in the case of most the Nintendo titles with * by them, we would rather sell you it on the DS).

Secret of Mana is probably held back to keep up the facade known of the Mana franchise (simply put this Children of Mana, Heroes of Mana stuff doesn't look so bad if the good Mana game isn't out) but Illusion of guess is its like Mischeif Makers in the sense of muliple parties and the possibility of them not getting on together any more



Knux said:

I had heard rumors about a Nintendo DS sequel to Super Mario RPG.



tnk4god said:

bring on mystic quest, see how the worst of the ff games does, and go from there. I mean come on, who is goin g to buy mystic quest on the psp or ds? so try that one out and see what happens.



BB_Sting said:

Theres already been a sequel to SMRPG on the ds, it's called "Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time"



Viral said:

Not to be negative, but I see this as bad news too. It's almost like they're giving us a reason, and that reason is that they'd rather rip us off with shabby remakes that have better graphics. Since when do graphics make a game great? To be honest, I don't think graphics are all that great...I don't see this working in our favor at all. More like Square-Enix is going to lining their pockets with remake after remake of older games. I refuse to buy FFIV (the best one) for the DS as I already own the game for GBA. So what if it's got better graphics?



Knux said:

BB Sting,

Mario and Luigi:Partners in Time is NOT a direct sequel to SMRPG. Mario and Luigi Partners in Time is the sequel to the GBA game Mario and Luigi:Superstar Saga. SMRPG has NEVER had a direct sequel. The Paper Mario series and the Mario and Luigi series were made by Nintendo,not Square-Enix. Only Square-Enix can make SMRPG2.



Stuffgamer1 said:

The way I read this was "we might remake these games, possibly, years from now, if we feel like it, and we're not going to give you a temporary solution that gets us some money and you off our backs." And there are plenty of classic games you know will NEVER be remade, as well as Mystic Quest. The list of classics includes Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Secret of Evermore, and Terranigma (I assume it's awesome, seeing as it was NEVER RELEASED IN AMERICA!!!) We all know that Actraiser fit into this category as well, which is why it's actually on the VC already. The only question is why they haven't made the same inevitable conclusion with the rest of this list. No remakes are coming (they're far too busy remaking Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest), and yet they won't take the practically free money of a VC release.
All this announcement did is further prove how stupid Squenix is as they give us a BS statement and hope that we'll understand and agree with their point. Relative to Final Fantasy (save for Mystic Quest), I DO agree with them, and have been trying to remind people of that on this site for months. But we all know they won't remake every classic Enix game ever made, and it's a crying shame that they won't give us VC versions either.
But there's still hope. They released another weird game on the Japanese VC a month or so ago (a Japan-only Front Mission title), and that was one you'd think they'd remake (unless Front Mission DS sold like garbage)! Even if they only give us one obscure game every two or three months, it's still better than nothing at all.



lockelocke said:

It seems like Square-Enix is treating the VC as a dumping grounds for Intellectual Property they feel has lost its value. That would certainly explain why we've only seen the more minor of S-E's license catalog appear on the VC (not to diss Actraiser, an old favorite of mine!). While the statement by Tsuchida & Shiraishi seems to imply that the VC is a less profitable forum for releases, it makes sense to me that if Square-Enix really is judging games on an individual basis, and deciding which platform is best for rerelease, a lot of titles (like SMRPG) that have a high demand for release on the VC might benefit from this 'strictly business' philosophy that says, "may the most profitable console win!"

But, I can see how the VC might fall short of maximizing profit, when you consider that the current Final Fantasy DS remakes, which could have been sold without any graphical updates for 5 dollars a pop (or 8?? Have they put out any Super Famicon FF's on DS??), are instead being sold for six times that amount.



Snyderman said:

Thank you oh great charitable SquareEnix, perhaps you can bless us with your treasures like Rad Racer.

Maybe they haven't rereleased Final Fantasy I+II enough times?



Bass_X0 said:

I don't know why they won't put NES Final Fantasy 1 on Virtual Console. The GBA game is old now and no longer in production while the PSP version has no real bearing on Nintendo fans.



Shortay said:

I'd love to play the likes of FF III & IV, Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG, but somehow I still don't see some of them being released.



whalleywhat said:

My only hope would be that they would look at the amount of effort it would require to do, say, a Chrono Trigger remake that anyone would think was adequate was just too much effort when they can throw a rom on VC and print money. Post-GBA, I don't think they can get away with a straight 2D port, so it would need to be mostly or all new assets and they'd have to be sure they weren't screwing it up. Do the right thing Squeenix! Free money!



timp29 said:

Yeah square, why waste time and people on redoing old games when you could have them designing new bread winners for the company? Just push the old classics onto VC using as little resources as possible, leaving you with some income flow through VC and maximum resources to develop new content. Money orientation isn't necessarily the sign of a responsible business, you have to look after your fan base too, these people will be your number one customers as they will buy a game just because it was made by square-enix- not all games are created equal.

Edit: I must admit, I've never played any square enix games, except for maybe a final fantasy on the playstation. However, if chrono trigger comes out, it will be an instant download for me as i have heard such a great deal of positive feedback about it, long before the VC even came along. Release chrono trigger on VC!!!!!!!!



TheLuigiDude said:

Exactly, sure square's a good game company, but I think they've let it go to there heads way worse than Nintendo ever has (well maybe not in the N64 days, lol) and they feel that the VC isn't worthy of holding their such honorable titles and as far as they care they'll just sucker everybody by making a remake and slapping on a $40 pricetag ($5 higher than any other DS game, even Nintendo's, because of the quality mark). Maybe if we're lucky we'll get some Chrono Trigger remake (and that'll be good I guess) and Square will just release their lessen known games like Knight's Knight on the VC.

Harsh words, yeah, but while I love a lot of Square's games I've come to dislike the company.



Adamant said:

" For example I bought Metriod Zero mission, It's one of my favorite GBA games, but I still downloaded the original Metriod. I wanted both games. I like the updated visuals, but sometimes I want to play old school retro."

^Uh, what? First off, Zero Mission pretty much only has the plot in common with Metroid, and secondly, the original Metroid is unlockable on the cart anyway.

As for Squeenix, as others have said, it's simple math. If people are willing to pay full price for one of their old games, why give them the option to download it for a fraction of the price. If you say a digital download won't cut into the sales of a full-priced remake, then you lie, and you know it. Simple as that.



Quimby said:

Screw Square Enix.
Super Mario RPG works on DreamSnes...
For being this greedy I will never buy one of thier games again (no big loss- not a fan of thier FF or mana type series').
Yes Jogurt, I agree it is a business, but gaming (especially retro gaming) is quite a nostelgic niche' and if SE cant pander to peoples wants even though it requires almost no real effort (free money) because they think they can make more with a remake.
I did quite enjoy king's knight, but I will buy no more.



Jukka said:

never really been a fan of square-enix, only tried crystal chronicles on Gamecube and it was good but not great, but i would be nice to see some more old SNES rpg games on virtual console.



NESgamer said:

Damn it then just remake Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana or release them on VC, but do SOMETHING, don't take another 10+ years to think what would be the best for your wallet if either way we are going to make Square richer :X.



YoshiAngemon said:

Personally, I'm hoping for Mischief Makers, a joint project by Square Enix and Treasure Games. That was a good game. But maybe since Microsoft Game Studios, makers of Blue Dragon would officially own Chrono Trigger, maybe THEY should release it on XBox Live Arcade. Don't get me wrong, I don't own a 360. Maybe they'll also release RC Pro AM, too.



CopyofCopyX said:

So we have an semi clear quote and a lot of guesses...
In maybe one year , we will know the truth.



Terra said:

Come on Square-Enix, we've been waiting for a lot of your games for ages. Here's an idea, why don't you just give us the true, original versions of the games we actually want, not rubbish like King's Knight instead of regularly remaking and rereleasing your old games that were brilliant for new platforms, as if you haven't tried to milk us out of our money already by doing that, unless it's more than a straight port and a new take on the game, like FF III/IV for the DS

Or, continue with this and give us the old versions to download as an alternate option. That i have no problem with. If it were sequels instead of remakes, then i'd also have no problem and i wouldn't care so much.



ChocoDK said:

I don't care about the old Final Fantasy games as I own all of them through the PS1 re-releases (aside from FFIII). What I want to see released is Super Mario RPG since I never really got to play it and I would be happy.

I am not suprised with what Square Enix's statement though. Seeing they released FFI and FFII on the PS1, and then on the GBA, and then on the PSP. How many remakes of those games does this world need?



Viral said:

ChocoDK, they need a remake for all platforms. Duh? Whatever Square-Enix can do to screw us all out of money, they've already pillaged us with it. I own the GBA version of FF1 and 2 and I own the FF IV GBA. Because of that, I will NOT download them on the VC, however, I will download FFIII (6) if they released it on the VC. They're losing out biggest on Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG to be honest. They could've produced a remade GBA cartridge and a DS remake and it still would sell like hotcakes on the VC even if people had bought both GBA and DS versions! It's almost like saying everyone has a DS or GBA to play their remakes. They butchered FF1 by making it easier. They took one of the great games and warped it, turning it into an easier version. I'm afraid they'll warp my other games too.



Terra said:

I just looked at the Article. I am not too happy with Square-Enix's attitude to old games. They're saying that they think there old games haven't lost there value, which implies that instead, we're getting there games which they consider no longer valuable. I currently don't like them unless they seriously rethink there strategy towards the VC and there Remaking policy. They seem quite big headed about there back catalogue.



Viral said:

Terranigma, good way to put it. Sorry Dazza about caps, but seriously, SE really isn't hitting the top of my hitlist yet...oh wait...



Adamant said:

" It's almost like saying everyone has a DS or GBA to play their remakes. They butchered FF1 by making it easier. They took one of the great games and warped it, turning it into an easier version. I'm afraid they'll warp my other games too."

Get Final Fantasy Origins for the PSX, it has good ports/remakes of FF1 and FF2.

Also, the FF3 and FF4 remakes for the DS are quite good.



Chipmunk777 said:

All I want is Secret of Mana 2, or hell even just Secret of Mana. I still have the original cart for Secret of Mana, but it just doesn't work like it used to! The memory clears pretty much every time you take it out of the SNES



Viral said:

Chipmunk, same has happened for my buddy Lance's Earthbound. It's really tragic.



Viral said:

....Wonder what America is getting from the VIRTUAL CONSOLE on Monday....



Jon2 said:

After reading this statement by Square-Enix I'm sure we won't get anything on the VC. Let alone Secret of Mana or Chrono Trigger.



Terra said:

Well we already have got stuff from them, just not much and half the games were originally japan only, so they've only released them in Japan currently



Terra said:

That Guy from Faxanadu, thanks for signing. I've advertised the petition on 4 different websites so far and have emailed friends to sign this so it's going alright so far. Up to 10 sigs now



Objection said:

I'm No.11. I hope it works, because the petitions I signed to get KH2:Final Mix+ and Xenosaga I+II released over here didn't work (but had a couple hundred)



Terra said:

thanks for the sig. sorry to hear that but glad to see you got a lot of sigs on your petitions



Viral said:

Signed it Terranigma, under Brian from Eaglescliffe...originally from USA.



Big_Sexy said:

Does this mean we'll see a Rad Racer remake with online play and pseudo 3D-Glasses mode? One can dream!

I can see the tagline now. "Experience the realest 3D graphix evar!"

Seriously. Even when I want something new from Squeenix now, I don't think I want it. At least Chocobo's Dungeon for Wii looks promising. As in "they can't possibly screw up Mysterious Dungeon any more than Nintendo did with their Pokeymans."

@BB Sting and SuperSonic1990:
Actually, the Paper Mario series is made by Intelligent Systems. Same guys behind the newer Fire Emblems and Advance Wars games. As for the M&L series, I think Alpha Dream made the first, but I'm not so sure.



ChocoDK said:

@Chipmunk777: You might want to purchase a cleaning kit with a screw that will open up your SNES game carts because the battery might be dead. I don't know if that is your problem but the batteries for old cartridge games do die over the years.

I signed the petition and I wouldn't expect to see Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger or Super Mario RPG released on the VC sadly. It seems like Square Enix only enjoys milking the Final Fantasy Franchise with many spin-offs and ignores all of Square Softs earlier IPs.



Gameguardian said:

Square Enix releasing more games on the Virtual Console would be a dream come true. Just think about playing Secret of Mana with two other persons. That would be wonderful. And also all the other Square Enix pearls from the past! I'm rooting for you Square Enix, go VC, for us gamers sakes.



Stuffgamer1 said:

I signed, #23. I doubt it will help, though.
@Objection_Blaster: A couple hundred? That means about as much to a company like Squenix or Nintendo as one grain of sand on the floor. It MIGHT annoy you slightly, but you're more likely not to even notice. Consider that Nintendo wasn't happy with 30,000 sigs for Mother 3.
@Yoshi175: I can see yours is a very unpopular opinion, but I partially agree. I'd rather see a really high-quality remake (like FFIII & FFIV on DS) than an out-of-date, poorly translated, and dumbed-downed VC release of "FFII." My problem rests with the games I mentioned in my earlier post that simply won't be remade. I'm sure you can agree that a VC release is infinitely superior to no release at all.



StarDust4Ever said:

Noooooo... Please release Super Mario RPG. Creating a remake for DS, most likely changing/adding things to the game in the process, would do this classic a horrible injustice!!!



Clayfrd said:

@Dazza- I don't know what you were hinting at... Could you post another hint with a word in bold, perhaps from the title? To be honest, I'd go for no new VC if they'd give us Doctor Mario! I can't believe it's-a delayed again! Mama mia!



SuperMichael64 said:

Dazza: "its unlikely americans will be sky high high with mondays vc release"
Actually we should be Earthbound this monday ;p



Kenji510 said:

@Clayfrd- I wish Dr. Mario Online Rx for wiiware came out but its all because of Wii Fit that im guessing and it comes out on weds the 21st as well... hopefully we get it next week on the 26th since its Memorial Day too.



Marioman64 said:

ROFL @ whoever said Partners in Time was Mario RPG's sequel

anyways, this post means that Mario RPG may finally be able to be on my wii . i can't wait



GameAddict said:

Signed the petition as # 30
I really hope all of my favorite Square-Enix games will come out on the VC.



Ircha said:

Yeah, Final Fantasy 1-6 were good.
I hope they start with releasing Final Fantasy 1 (Nes)



Storm101 said:

Why was the SMRPG page removed? I can understand it being removed from coming soon, but we had some meaningful discussion on that page. And if anything, this article only backs it up...



Pokejedservo said:

I too look forward to more SE games on the VC as well though I admit I wonder if SE would actually tried to do remakes of their games for WiiWare as well. While the former would be cool I actually would not mind the latter at all...



guitargod33 said:

I've never experienced a Square Enix remake, but of the other "remade" games I've played, well, I prefer the originals. I would love to get my hands on chrono trigger for VC, mainly because the wii is the only thing nintendo I still own (besides the 64 I leave sitting in the corner for the days I feel like playing mario tennis or mario golf)
Plus, just because they could put a bigger sticker price on a single game, doesn't mean they'd make more money. Seriously, sell a couple thousand copies at $40 a pop to a few hardcore fans, or sell 50 or 100 thousand (or more) downloads for 8 or 10 bucks apiece... (those figures are completely arbitrary, by the way hehe)



DarkLloyd said:

Well all of what I Read In here would anyone agree to a ff tastic wiiware. a new story or remake of original from ps1. it shouldn't take that much memory.



Zeroagean said:

I would prefer the original games over remakes too i like the original of all games not the remakes....



Zeroagean said:

yes square would definitely make more money off of VC than making remakes mainly because it is cheaper to make that and put it online to download than to keep having to make more and more cartridges for the games. plus the will sell thousands more of the downloadable games than the remake cartridges
Oh but they did make a few games to go into the VC already granted none of them were very popular but they where still games that belonged to square-enix



Zeroagean said:

Lol one more comment... the top 5 games i would want by Square is:
1. Chrono Trigger
2. Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars
3. Final Fantasy III
4. Final Fantasy IV
5. Secret of Evermore & Secret of Mana
They are in order and i want The secret of evermore and Mana both equally so i count them as one



Slionr said:

Good list Zeroagean (though I wanted FF3 (6) on the second place ). Hope we will get to know soon about if CT will come to VC or not.

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