Last year, after the huge worldwide surprise success of Bravely Default on the Nintendo 3DS, Square Enix admitted that it had begun underestimating the continued modern demand for traditional Japanese RPG’s, especially in the West. It seems that the company is now attempting to get back to their roots as a result, as they capped off their E3 conference by drawing back the veil on a brand new studio, dubbed ‘Tokyo RPG Factory’. As the name suggests, the studio is entirely dedicated to making classic-styled Japanese RPG’s, published under the Square Enix label. Just like old times!
While the outfit’s debuting project is naturally top secret, Square Enix did confirm that it’s an all-new new IP, not a sequel or revival of a pre-existing franchise, and that it is currently being referred to internally as ‘Project Setsuna’. They then showed off three pieces of breathtaking concept art, though didn’t speak about the mystery RPG any further. Even the game’s intended platform is unclear at present, though some sources claim that it’s being exclusively put together for PlayStation 4, which would no doubt be the most likely hardware choice.
Back in the good old days of the 90’s, Square and Enix, before their merger, were two highly successful dedicated Japanese RPG developers, and rivals at that. Square was actually saved from bankruptcy by the pioneering of Final Fantasy on the NES back in the 80’s, while Enix took Japan by storm, and gained an avid cult following in the West, with their marquee Dragon Quest franchise. Despite their rivalry, both developers were widely celebrated by RPG fans across the world, for making the best and most ambitious console RPG’s in the industry, and their merger was met with excitement, as it would bring Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest in particular under one roof. Unfortunately, Square Enix’s recent ‘Westernization’ has led to it straying from its roots as a celebrated RPG maker, though the company has taken steps to achieve a better balance between its Western and Eastern portfolios over the past couple of years, after a drastic change in management.
Keep questing to Eggplante for all news and updates on Square Enix’s RPG projects.