LOS ANGELES — It’s not quite toys-to-life, but some toys do relate to the new Final Fantasy.
World of Final Fantasy, coming to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita next year, mixes fan-favorite characters and settings from the popular role-playing franchise with two new ones, all aimed at newer and younger audiences. I noticed that the characters look similar to a Japanese toy line, so I asked producer Hiroki Chiba during an interview at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this week if there was any connection to the game. It turns out that there’s more than one.
Chiba said that the toy-like look of World of Final Fantasy is an effort to draw younger players to the title.
“When we were creating the new IP, the producer, Mr. [Shinji] Hashimoto, came to me to talk about the newer generation that has some distance from the current Final Fantasy series, which is more geared toward a realistic visual approach,” Chiba told GamesBeat through a translator. “When we started talking about this new version of the IP, we wanted to find a way to draw a younger generation to the world of Final Fantasy.”
It was convenient for Chiba that some toys were already available in Japan, in the Play Arts Kai trading arts line. And it helped that he already had a connection to them from some previous work for Square Enix.
“Regarding Play Arts Kai, that was actually based on the character designs for World of Final Fantasy,” said Chiba. “It was all created for a mobile game released in Japan called Pictologica. I worked on the world view and scenario for Pictologica as well, so the designs were created for that game first and shared between the two projects.”