News / Mobius Final Fantasy

Mobius team discusses player feedback, growing the game and more with Pocket Gamer

Mobius team discusses player feedback, growing the game and more with Pocket Gamer

Written by Brayden — 08 Aug 2017

In an interview with Pocket Gamer, producer Yoshinori Kitase and heads of global operations Hajime Umemura and Takashi Shiraga discussed player feedback and growing the game.

When reflecting on the game's journey from launch to now Kitase said "As the first Square Enix directed mobile title on a global scale, I truly feel that we were able to improve the playability and quality of the game with our players."

When asked about how large the team working on the game is Kitase said "The development team size is comparable to some console titles. It’s comprised of the core operations team (roughly 10 people) who directs daily operations.

Furthermore, about five people from our marketing and community teams, who serve as the point of contact with our players, work alongside an outsourced team to support live operations."

Pocket Gamer then asked how important they consider customer support and updates to be and how players have responded to updates. Hajime Umemura answered "We place a lot of importance on customer support and updates. We are constantly reviewing player feedback and do our best to respond through continuous updates. Our approach is slightly different to when we developed console games, and I believe there is a positive response towards each update.

On the other hand, the memory restrictions on mobile devices are quite severe, and on numerous occasions we needed to forego certain inclusions.

For example, during the February Final Fantasy VII collaboration event, we wanted to let the player view the story outline and cut scenes whenever they wanted after the event ended.

However, we realised that the ever-increasing data size deemed it necessary to have these features removed as it would ultimately affect regular gameplay. Perhaps some players will feel disappointed after hearing this!"

Next, Takashi Shiraga spoke about the steps taken to ensure Mobius' player base keeps coming back for more. "We hold meetings every week to check on content progression and make changes to various initiatives. We check on the content progression and activities, as mentioned, and adjust the content release dates so that there is constantly something to talk about. We also shift activities that are more newsworthy to dates that offer the maximum impact.

Of course, we not only adjust in-game content releases, but also release information quite frequently to our players through various outlets, such as our community site.

We regularly post job introduction videos and content introduction articles for our community, and also release push notifications to inform players when new content begins - as well as occasionally have fun with the messages.

It’s all hard work, but we have fun finding ways to engage with our players on a day-to-day basis."

Next they discussed collaboration with other titles. "Mobius Final Fantasy achieves high quality graphics that exceed most titles on mobile devices. As such, we are able to recreate the high quality of Final Fantasy console titles, such as Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age on mobile devices. This is something we have not seen any other mobile title.

For the recent Final Fantasy VII Remake collaboration event, the enemy 'Guard Scorpion' made an appearance prior to the main game that was not yet released.

The actual 3D CG model data for Final Fantasy VII Remake was used for this purpose. We were able to achieve the world’s first collaboration with Final Fantasy VII Remake thanks to the graphical capabilities of Mobius Final Fantasy."

Next they spoke about the game's performance. "In January, the game achieved 10 million downloads worldwide, but the number of downloads have continued to increase by the millions since then.

North America and Europe are particularly important markets as they maintain the top share in both revenue and numbers of players, on par with that of Japan."

Kitase then spoke about lessons learned during the game's life to date "Final Fantasy players tend to largely look forward to the “story experience” and the “world experience” when it comes to games, and we have come to clearly understand that the experiences they seek are different from those sought after by other mobile gamers.

In relation to the story, episodes are released once every one to two months, but if we are able to maximise our production to match the speed Final Fantasy players seek, perhaps we would be able to generate results that are further satisfying."

While Takashi Shiraga chipped in "I feel like live ops titles are similar to living creatures in that they gradually change form. Developing the title isn’t the end, and the title will continuously be worked on long after the game is released.

We learned that it is important to have the mindset to strive to develop something better while communicating with players and always being on the lookout for our game.

Furthermore, the game balance is also changing gradually. For example, when we implement new features, we would alleviate some of the older features for our new players, so the sense you get from playing the game largely differs from when the game initially launched.

Even so, we still need to guarantee a consistently fun and enjoyable experience for all players (both beginners and core players). This is extremely difficult, but it’s definitely worth learning and figuring out."

Finally he discussed where the game has informed where he is now. "The Final Fantasy titles in the mobile market were mainly ports of past games, anthology-type titles, or casual puzzle-based releases, so I am extremely proud that we were able to release Mobius Final Fantasy into the mix as an all-new title in the Final Fantasy franchise.

The development team learned how to develop high quality content in quick cycles from their experience developing Mobius Final Fantasy.

Currently, many of the development staff, including myself, are involved with the production of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Our platform changes to the PlayStation 4, but we will surely make use of our experience."

Source: Pocket Gamer