While they’ve pumped out over 30 iOS apps to date, Square-Enix is now looking to revive a few of their classic titles on an Android phone (hopefully) near you. While Nintendo has officially disavowed the notion of making smartphone games, their long-time software associate seems to have no compunction in churning them out.
According to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Square-Enix is hard at work preparing a selection of RPGs for a 2012 launch in the Android Market. Among them is Chrono Trigger (my personal favorite), the 1995 time-bending fan-favorite that first debuted on the SNES. Also on the list is Dragon Quest: Monsters, a popular Enix creation that pretty much hinges on making those iconic blue blobs fight each other, and Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, the SNES Final Fantasy game that no one really played. Square-Enix will release the games through their own Square-Enix Gaming Portal, but hopefully they see a stateside (re?)release soon.
These games will be a welcome addition to Square-Enix’s current Android line-up, which currently consists of two apps. I think Square-Enix, unlike Nintendo, has the right idea here: while it seems like Nintendo President Iwata thinks that smartphone gaming will sully Nintendo’s history, Square-Enix is using different platforms to reignite existing fanbases and test out some interesting new IPs.
Square-Enix jumped headfirst into alternative gaming platforms years ago, with games like Song Summoner making an appearance on non-touch iPods of all places. It was a novel idea, and the end result was a refreshing gimmick on top of a classic Square-esque turn-based strategy game. Nintendo needs to realize that smartphone platforms aren’t where classic franchises go to die. It can be a place where new games and IPs can test the waters, and old ones can find a new audience.