A Chat With Hiroki Fujimoto, Producer, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Since the game’s launch, the critically acclaimed FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS (FFBE) has been downloaded by more than 20 million players around the world. Recently, the game received its first major version update which features a new story arc, a new Esper and gameplay improvements that will benefit both new and veteran players. We catch up with Hiroki Fujimoto, Producer of the worldwide version of FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS in Singapore.

Fujimoto began his career at Square Enix in 1992, initially working as an Assistant Producer on E.V.O.: Search of Eden (SNES) before moving on to become the Producer for WONDER PROJECT J (SNES), WONDER PROJECT J2 (PS), ITADAKI STREET 3 (PS) and pro baseball and Mahjong titles, among other console games.

Since shifting to mobile game production in 2002, he has worked on mobile titles such as OGRE BATTLE: March of the Black Queen, SIGMA HARMONICS CODA, POKEMATE, FINAL FANTASY III, FINAL FANTASY IV, FINAL FANTASY V, FINAL FANTASY VI, NEKO JUMP and HOLEY DUNGEON, and produced the portal site for Square Enix’s mobile games.

Fujimoto is also responsible for adding Russian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Thai, Korean and Chinese language options to the mobile versions of FINAL FANTASY III, IV, V and VI. These language options were all previously unavailable to the series.

20 million downloads around the world is no small feat. Has FFBE performed as well as you’d expected?

It took us about half a year to achieve 20 million. We didn’t expect to hit it as quick. It would be good to reach 100 million within 2 years.

The 20 million downloads includes downloads from both the Japan and the Worldwide version. For the Worldwide version, the collaboration with Ariana Grande played a big part.

How did the collaboration with Ariana Grande come about?

Ariana Grande is one of the top singers in the world. In order to develop something with her, we had to prepare for, and work on, well in advance. It took us about a year or so to get things going.

Can we expect more of such collaborations?

There are no plans currently to work with any other artists in the same capacity. However, it might be something that we explore in the future.

Do you see artiste collaborations starting to become a trend within the industry?

A lot of other companies use celebrities to promote and market their games and products. But that isn’t exactly what we did.

For the past Final Fantasy titles, they all have their own theme songs. There wasn’t one for FFBE and so we looked at the top singers in the world and Ariana Grande stood out. We then created the theme song with Ariana and we’re very pleased.

We ‘re not using celebrities just for the sake of marketing, but to also increase the quality of the product for our fans. But her celebrity appeal does help to attract gamers.

What can fans expect (or should be most excited about) in Version 2?

With Version 2.0, we looked at quality of life changes. One of the first things that fans can look forward to are the developments to the home screento allow even quicker access to menus and allow for a better play experience. Additional feature updates include an improved summon function, a newly renovated quest menu and guides to aid players when gathering crafting materials.

Feedback from the community was important to us when we made the changes. But we also looked at event success rates and our own stats to see how we could create a better gaming experience for all our users.

Who are the users of FFBE – long-time fans of the series, or new gamers?

Initially, it was the RPG fans of both Final Fantasy and similar franchises. But then we started to see a lot more users that were new to the franchise that thought it was easy to pick up and play on mobile.

What kind of developments can we expect beyond Ver 2?

We’re still not done with Ver 2.0. Users can expect more improvements in the future. With Ver 2.0, there have been story updates, but we’re also looking to include more gameplay functionality and options – like raids – in the future.

*The interview was translated by a representative from gumi Asia*

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is available as a free-to-play app (with in-app purchases) through the App Store, Google Play and on the Amazon Appstore.

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