Final Fantasy is one of the longest-running franchises of all time, and the epic role-playing game has constantly attracted high numbers of players. In fact, over 135 million units have been sold worldwide, putting it near the top of the pile of all series in the history of gaming. Understandably, there have been a few spin-offs along the way to try to diversify and offer players something more. Some have been successful, while others haven’t really caught on. Final Fantasy Tactics is one game that that was well-received, but there hasn’t been a game in the series since 2007. For this reason, it may be worthy of a modern-day installment.
About the Games
The first-ever game in the Final Fantasy Tactics series was released for the PlayStation in 1997 in Japan and 1998 in the United States. The game used elements from the main series, but also introduced a new game engine and battle system which hadn’t been used before. Instead, it used a 3D rotatable playing field which doubtlessly inspired a lot of the mobile strategy games which are so popular today like Clash of Clans. Players could traverse the world map and encounter battles in pre-set locations which were marked in green.
The game takes place in the fictional world of Ivalice, which is a medieval-inspired kingdom created by Yasumi Matsuno. The setting of the game has proved to be extremely popular and has been revisited in various other titles including those in the Tactics series. Other games in the series were released much later than the original. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was released for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance in 2003, which sold over 440,000 units in its first year of release. The success of this led to a sequel in 2007 for the Nintendo DS, entitled Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Interesting Themes that Never Caught on
While the Tactics series was met with a fairly strong critical reception and strong sales, there were some themes within the first title which never really managed to catch on across others. The 1997 game had a heavy focus on star signs and astrology, but this didn’t really seem to inspire other developers to use it as a gameplay concept. Tactics were quite unique in its story in this respect, as the main theme of the game was the hunt for the Zodiac Stones.
It’s strange that other games have rarely used the concept of star signs because they are quite a prevalent theme in popular culture. In fact, around a quarter of Americans believe in astrology. It’s perhaps down to the amount of evidence to support astrology that so many people follow it. Research from Betway Casino even discovered that the Cancer star sign was significantly more successful than Taurus. Players who were interested in astrology will have almost certainly been drawn to the storyline of Final Fantasy Tactics, so it is strange that Square Enix (known as Square Product Division 4 at the time) didn’t carry it on in other installments. Perhaps this is a theme which could come back in a future title.
Ideal for Mobile Audiences?
The reason why Final Fantasy Tactics is due to a comeback now is that the game is ideal for mobile audiences. The style of play is similar to some hugely successful offerings for Android and iOS, including Clash of Clans and Star Wars: Commander. Supercell, who developed Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Hay Day and others, attracted over 100 million players each day, according to Gamespot in 2016. Square Enix has already broken into the mobile market with other successful offerings such as Lara Croft GO and Deus Ex Go. They would certainly be able to continue their dominance by offering an option similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. The game would be well-suited to the freemium model of games in which players can pay for upgrades and other resources.
Final Fantasy fans can’t get enough of new content and spin-offs from the hugely popular franchise. Bringing back Final Fantasy Tactics for mobile would surely please a lot of fans, and the nostalgic element would surely attract a large number of players. Hopefully, Square Enix will release something for the portable mobile screen in the coming years.