States-side fans of video game consoles, from the first Nintendo Entertainment System to its modern successor the Wii, know what it’s like for a game that looks awesome to only come out in Japan.
At one time, for instance, there was a perception among Japanese game publishers that North American audiences didn’t have the patience for console role-playing games, and so several installments of Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy series took more than a decade to arrive in the form of remakes. Meanwhile, American dating sim fans have had to either import games or build their own, using open-source software like Ren’Py.
Japanese game publishers like Square-Enix and Capcom are starting to bring their games to Google’s open-source Android operating system now, even “name-brand” ones that have sold well on consoles like the Nintendo DS. The problem? Most of these games are only available in Japan, and will only be there for the foreseeable future. And some of them don’t even use Google’s Android Market.
Square-Enix — Final Fantasy, Chaos Rings, Chrono Trigger
According to Anoop Gantayat of Andriasang.com, Square-Enix is bringing some of its greatest console hits to Android, including a port of the iOS version of the original Final Fantasy. It’s also bringing the former iOS exclusive, Chaos Rings, to Android for the first time, along with the cult classic Chrono Trigger. A Dragon Quest game helps to round out its offerings; Crystal Defenders, a tower defense game based on the world of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, is the only title that’s currently available in North America.
Much like how Square-Enix created its own online service, PlayOnline, when it launched its first MMORPG, the company is creating its own Android marketplace to sell its games on. The market will be exclusive to Japanese cellphone carrier KDDI at first.
Capcom — Phoenix Wright
The visual novel / hidden object series about an “Ace Attorney” is seeing its first three games remastered and brought to both iOS and Android, according to Spencer of SiliconEra … at least, in Japan. No word yet on a release date or whether or not they’ll ever be brought to America, despite the objections of North American fans everywhere.
NIS — Disgaea: Netherworld
The (extremely quirky) tactics-based RPG Disgaea has already received an Android version in Japan; a microtransaction-based one where you play for free and buy items to help. According to Kotaku’s Mike Fahey, however, this one is actually coming to North America in the near future, giving fans something to look forward to.