It has been revealed that Square Enix’s popular game “Final Fantasy IX” will be animated. When I asked the French animation company Cyber Group Studio, it was “TV animation.” I considered the background and the reason.
Animation of FF9 is “TV”
FF9 is an RPG released for PS in 2000. The story is that the boy Jitan, a troupe of traveling entertainers, “kidnaps” the princess Garnet who is about to leave the country, and adventures together with her thoughts. With the theme of “a sense of fulfillment in life,” there are also voices of some of the best masterpieces in the series.
According to the release of Cyber Group Studio, an animation production and distribution company that produces content for children and families, which was established in 2005, the content is that “an exclusive option contract has been signed for the animation series of FINAL FANTASY 9”. was. It will be produced in an in-house studio in France and will also be in charge of distribution and commercialization licensing business to the world. The release points are as follows.
Some people are concerned that it is “for children,” but it can also be read that they pay homage to game fans and are conscious of global expansion.
When I asked Cyber Group Studio directly about the animation of FF9, he revealed that this time it would be produced as a TV animation, “The world view of FF9 is wonderful. Children and families, people of all ages, this epic show I wanted to share with you. ” Regarding the story, he says, “I can’t tell you at this stage.” By the way, when asked, “What is the possibility of animating other games?”, He also told me that “I am considering games of various genres and looking for appropriate opportunities.”
The first thing that comes to mind in Square Enix’s video project is the full CG movie “Final Fantasy” released in 2001. We invested more than 16 billion yen in production costs, such as building our studio. There was a lot of talk about full CG, a surprising method, and the entry into the movie business of a popular game company. However, the box office in North America was sluggish at about one-third of the target of 10 billion yen, and the release in Japan was cut off in about two weeks. Eventually, Square (at that time) posted an extraordinary loss of 13.9 billion yen and withdrew from the movie business. As a result, sales for the following fiscal year were almost halved to about 36.6 billion yen. Now that sales have exceeded 300 billion yen, I have suffered unthinkably.
When I contacted Square Enix about the animation of FF9, he said, “The contract is true, but please contact the other party for details.” In other words, even though it is an animation of our content, we leave the initiative of remarks to the other party. If there is a precise aim for this animation, we should release it from our company. It’s an excellent opportunity to appeal.
Then, when you ask, “Why is it an anime at the current timing?”, The answer is that Cyber Group Studio has moved. At the same time, the number of anime works will increase, and it will not be unrelated to struggling with the subject matter. Even in Japan today, the number of remake animations is expanding.
On the other hand, there are inevitably reasonable expectations as long as it is made into an animation. Even though 20 years have passed since FF9 was released, content made the French animation company think, “I want to make it a TV animation for a wide range of people,” so it was highly evaluated as content. It is proof that you are.
Since then, Square Enix has also taken a solid strategy in video projects, taking advantage of the blunder. “Advent Children,” which visualized the world after “FINAL FANTASY 7”, was not made into a movie but was produced on DVD at a low cost and hit with 700,000 copies in three weeks. It was a method that incorporated the popularity of FF7 and minimized the risk.
Video content enhancement is a recent trend
The advantage of Square Enix that can be obtained by making FF9 into a TV animation is that the content called FF9 “refreshes” without creating a new game, and the value of the content increases. Of course, there is no absolute success in a video project. However, since we do not invest in building our studio, it was different from 20 years ago, even though it is the exact FF visualization.
From the perspective of SQUARE ENIX, supervising the content will guarantee the quality of the animation to some extent, and it will have a significant advantage in being transmitted to the world. Furthermore, if this strategy is successful, it can be applied to other FF series. If it becomes popular worldwide, you can complete FF9 or develop sequel content like FF7 and FF10.
The strength of the home video game console business is that it can earn a specific revenue from users. Still, it also has the weakness that the contact period with users is relatively short except for online games because it goes to the next round when it is exhausted. .. It’s also difficult to incorporate a game with story choices into an anime without any discomfort. However, in terms of business combination alone, animation with a certain broadcasting period and is easy to touch the content is compatible with game content.
Except for the Bandai Namco Group, which combines the animation and toy businesses, game companies are developing video businesses, but they are not very optimistic. Compared to manga and novels, the number of works that are visualized is small. In the first place, I’ve heard many times from the management of game companies that “animation and games don’t match.” Although significant game companies have ample cash, they are reluctant to develop new games, partly because they are successful in the game business. Game companies have been focusing on video content only in recent years. Considering how to increase the contact points of users and strengthen the content, it is inevitable that we will end up with visualization.
When Nintendo announced its full-year financial results for fiscal 2020, it stated that it had launched multiple video-related projects as a new business. Sony has also announced a drama of the worldwide blockbuster game “Last of Us” and a movie of “Ghost of Tsushima.” Animation of FF9 is also one of the trends of “enhancing the value of content by making effective use of game content outside of games.” I want to pay attention to the fact that we have partnered with a French studio instead of a Japanese animation studio.