Square Europe Millennium Tour Report
For the first time, the newly-opened European department of Square has organized a tour around European capitals (London, Paris, Berlin...). Square wished to promote their products in Europe and show off some upcoming games, in restricted access events. Fans could win tickets to the events in various contests. Over 200 people attended the show in Paris, with a lot of jounalists from various gaming magazines and television channels.
Square representatives discussed the future of their products in Europe, while presenting games already available (Parasite Eve 2, Chocobo Racing, Final Fantasy VIII...).
Some upcoming Square games were also demonstrated, such as, of course, Final Fantasy IX (which caused a massive reaction from the crowd) and re-dubbed PlayOnline promotional footage.
| Playable games were available as well, on about 20 monitors. Apart from playable demos of games already available in Europe (Saga Frontier 2, Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve 2, Final Fantasy VIII...), a demo movie of The Bouncer could be seen, and most importantly, three playable English Final Fantasy IX set-ups were available for fans to try out. A quick look reveals that certain names have been slightly changed, such as Freija who became Freya, while Garnet, Zidane, Vivi or Quina remained the same. |
After an Ehrgeiz tournament was held, Square's localization team answered questions from the attendees about Square's European releases.
Of course the lack of a European release for Chrono Cross and older Square hits such as Xenogears was brought up, but Square confirmed there's no way for either of these games to be released in Europe because of the amount of localization and marketing they would need. Square representatives also talked about the release of video game soundtracks (and Square merchandise in general, the only Square-related products released in Europe so far being figurines) in Europe as a possibility. There was no confirmation nor denial of the rumoured delay of the European Final Fantasy IX, supposedly due for release in "winter".
Also Square of Europe should be releasing many more games on the PS2 than they used to for the PlayStation. Square games are becoming more and more successful in Europe, which used to be regarded by many companies as a market where "people aren't interested in RPGs".
Some fans remember that the translations of certain Square games into French (translated from the US versions, by third-parties) were disappointing to say the least. The French localization team of Square explained that since SaGa Frontier 2 their games have been translated directly from the Japanese versions and by competent game specialists, because Square can now supervise the localization process themselves. Square of Europe is determined to have a close look on the translation quality of their new releases.
At the end of the event, Square gave out bags to the attendees containing nice Square merchandise: a T-shirt, a Chocobo figure, Parasite Eve 2 and Front Mission 3 straps. :)
September 28th, 2000