Square Enix's world famous Final Fantasy series celebrates its 25th birthday this year.
What started life as a last-ditch attempt by series founder Hironobu Sakaguchi to make a success of his then-flagging career in the video game industry - hence the title of the game - Final Fantasy has gone on to sell over 100 million units globally. It's one of the only Japanese RPGs to gain a truly worldwide audience, and is credited by many as popularising the genre in the west.
To mark this momentus occasion, Square Enix is planning various events all over the globe. The company's Senior executive managing officer Shinji Hashimoto told MCV:
We’re preparing to unveil a Final Fantasy exhibition here in Japan. Plans for anniversary projects in Europe and America are also underway and we’d like to extend an invitation to all our fans to celebrate this special year with us.
Hashimoto also responded to questions regarding the success of the series in the west - a region where JRPGs have sometimes struggled to gain mainstream acceptance and commercial triumph:
Perhaps it’s the avid enthusiasm the creators have invested in the Final Fantasy titles and the desire to realise exciting new elements in the series which has captured the imagination of players everywhere.
There could be a variety of different factors involved as to why it’s done well in Europe especially. A couple of important points to consider would be carefully localising the game and ensuring there is as little difference as possible in the release dates across Japan, Europe and America.
How will you be celebrating this event? By plugging in your copy of the NES original, or by picking up one of the more recent efforts on the Nintendo DS or 3DS? Let us know in the comments section below.