Square Enix is reportedly developing an animated series based on Final Fantasy 9, the series’ beloved PSone entry.
According to a recent Kidscreen report, the project is co-developed with French animation house Cyber Group Studios – which will also lead distribution, licensing and merchandising – and will begin production this year.
Final Fantasy 9 (stylized as Final Fantasy IX) was released for the original PlayStation in 2000, and shifted the series from its realistic (at the time) character models to a more cartoonish aesthetic. It therefore follows that the program would be aimed at children between the ages of eight and 13.
The game centers around a thief, Zidane Tribal, who is hired to kidnap a princess whom he ultimately teams up with to save his kingdom from the forces of evil. Since its launch, it has sold over five million copies worldwide and has become one of the most popular entries in the series.
The Final Fantasy franchise has already been adapted for television, but not directly based on a game’s story, and this new series will appeal to both die-hard fans and newcomers, according to Cyber CEO. Group Studios, Pierre Sissmann.
The news has since been corroborated by Square Enix social media manager Sunil Godhania in a recent Tweeter – so we are convinced that this is the real deal.
Huuuuuge news. The animated series Final Fantasy IX is on its way. https://t.co/7l8VeRmgGTJune 21, 2021
As for what else we can infer from the report, the number and length of episodes has yet to be finalized, and Cyber Group Studios is supposed to be preparing to bring the show to broadcasters.
The Parisian studio is a developer and distributor of children’s television, and already has experience in adapting video games into animated series thanks to their work on Mini Ninjas (you get a gold star if you remember this game ). He has also produced television adaptations of Tom Sawyer and Zorro.
Final Fantasy fever
The news comes amid a kind of rebirth for the 30-year-old game series.
AT E3 2021, Square Enix announced its plans to remaster all the first six Final Fantasy games, presenting them in a classic visual style true to the originals – that’s all major titles from the NES era to the SNES.
The studio also confirmed that the latest expansion for a more recent game in the series, Final Fantasy 14, is intended for Windows, Steam, PS4 and PS5 November 23. Called Endwalker, the DLC will take Warriors of Light to mystical new locations, including the moon.
And when it comes to a brand new installment in the franchise, we know that Final Fantasy 16 is in development and coming to PS5 – but that’s about all the details we have so far, beyond some vague information about the characters that Square Enix has shared with the one and only trailer for the game. Then, of course, there’s the upcoming PS5 spinoff action game in the series, Stranger of Paradise.
Since the release of FF16 is probably still a long way off, we might even see the animated series Final Fantasy 9 coming first …