There’s been something of a PC kick from the classically console-only Japan-born publishers in recent times. We’ve had Platinum’s Revengeance, Capcom’s continued fighting game efforts and a whole host of seemingly random attention from Square-Enix. Following on from the re-release of the ancient PC ports of Final Fantasy VII and VIII in recent times, today brings Final Fantasy III to our noble borders. Unlike those, FFIII has never been encountered on our shores before, despite being ported to basically everything once it finally received an English release on DS in 2006. This version is presumably based on that, which (according to Wikipedia) improved the battle and job systems as well as adding character details while leaving the plot intact.
It’s cool to see console classics brought to PC now that everyone who’s capable of loading a modern web browser can easily run them. There’s some interesting debate as to where this could all lead. It’s been quite some time since Squeenix’s output was confined simply to the Sonybox, with FFXIII making the jump to Microsoft’s console in 2010 and its various sequels following suit. The next installment is hitting both of the latest TV-sitters whenever it leaves the development hell that’s locked it down for the past few years. Meanwhile MMOs XI and XIV have both been on PC – so what’s next?
Will we get XV at some point down the line, or ports of the obviously-doable XIII trilogy? How about the recent remakes of X and X-2? Is Squeenix testing the water for how much interest there is from a PC audience, given the incredible rise in popularity on the system with a pad plugged in (thanks, in part, to the poor quality of mouse and keyboard controls on ported titles)? Or will they simply work through their back catalogue of intensely popular 90s JRPGs, squeezing a last few pennies out of Chrono Trigger, FFIX and the like? There’s already evidence of a scattershot-strategy when it comes to releasing their classics, with mobile and even Ouya ports of some.
My bet for what’s next would go to FFIV, given it was ported at a similar time as FFIII to DS. Beyond that, it likely depends on sales, internal plans and so on. They’re struggling against a tide of emulation which offers benefits such as save states, turbo modes and graphical upgrades over the original versions, while still sitting in a legal grey area. There’s no news on pricing at time of writing, but keep an eye on the Steam page at 6pm brit-time tonight.