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Bravely Default Braving Its Way To New Consoles

Successful JRPG Bravely Default is striding towards more markets, shedding it's chibi charm for a more realistic feel.

The JRPG genre is kind of like Ska music... Not many people are playing them, but the ones that are become diehard fans. 

For those of you who don't know, Bravely Default is a JRPG with style that harkens back to the glory days of the Final Fantasy series. The developer, Silicon Studios, channeled the days when job systems were new and random encounters were abundant while bringing new systems of Brave and Default into the mix. This mix of old and new appeared to be the perfect blend; the game sold more than 200,000 copies in its first month after seeing Western shores. 

Let's analyze this a little more for full effect. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the latest title in the most famous JRPG series the world has ever seen, only sold about 277,000 during its release. Keep in mind that Square Enix is a collaboration of Square and Enix, both over 20 years old and having the success and brand of the legendary Final Fantasy series under their belt.

Silicon Studios, on the other hand, produced only a handful of games before releasing Bravely Default. They also released on the handheld, and outsold Fire Emblem: Awakening by 10%. Bravely Default is the top selling JRPG on the 3DS and you should own it if you consider yourself a fan of the genre. Based on profit loss and news of Square Enix layoffs, it's no wonder the company picked up and published Bravely Default

A recent GDC interview with Silicon Studios president Takehiko Terada focused in on where the developers are going with the series, now that Bravely Second has been announced. There were a few key points from this interview:

"In the future we want to have a really realistic game, not like Bravely Default which is really cartoonish."

"We may expand {the series to other consoles} in the future, but we don't have a clear plan yet. We're talking about that, maybe using other devices, but we don't have a clear plan."

These two bits of information were a little shocking to me. If I were to describe Bravely Default to a friend, I would probably say "You know, that game with the chibi characters and the job system on the 3DS?" It's a title that's known for its art style and return to JRPG roots. It's also seen great success on handheld, where JRPGs seem to be having the most success.

Now the creators are flipping the board: moving to a realistic art style instead and hinting at crossing over to, who knows, Wii U or PS4? It's a bold move but for the most successful JRPG on the 3DS, it could mark the beginning of a long-standing series and a revival of the genre itself.

Published Mar. 26th 2014
  • floyd_7113
    I like the game at it brought back memories of playing FF in its younger years. I hope they bring it to the XBOX 1 and the 3DS
  • Scrub McGrubb
    That's a pretty deceptive title to your story... I clicked it expecting some sort of announcement. Instead an executive says they may bring it to consoles in the future. You got my click with your little trick... but lost any future traffic from me.

    btw it's already known Bravely Second will retain the same art style, Akihiko Yoshida will still be working on the game as a freelancer, even though he resigned from Square last year.
  • Chris Coccaro
    Correspondent
    Hi Scrub, thanks for taking the time to read the article. I have to admit the title is misleading.. I could have used the words "Bravely Default Devs Talk On Series Future". There was no deception meant.

    I do suggest you read the interview that is linked in the article though, which goes into detail about how the President of Silicon Studios explains that the limits for the Bravely Default series does not lie solely on the 3DS and how he wants to transform the art style from chibi to more realistic -in the future-.

    Typically when the President of a company wants something done, it happens. To be clear there have been no official announcements made, but there are discussions happening in that studio right now that involve plans for other consoles. With the success Bravely Default has seen I do believe the title would be successful on other platforms as well.
  • Ryu Sheng
    Right upto the end i was like a kid in a candy store. Then when i ready they were hinting at changing the graphics style my heart sank.

    Bravely Default is one of my fave games of all time and it's damn near perfect, other than the fact it's on the 3DS. I'd love to play this on my PS3, and think it would do well on the PS3.

    I know it will need a bit of reworking to get it to work properly on the PS3 and that's fine, but don't change anything else. Keep the art the way it is, i LOVED the art and character styles from the game.

    The age old saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' comes to play here
  • Chris Coccaro
    Correspondent
    I really loved the game too, it did a perfect job of bringing the shine of older JRPGs to a new generation. I'm hoping for success and I'm hoping that Square Enix doesn't stifle the creative development of the smaller studio.
  • Ryu Sheng
    If they handle this right this could, and frankly SHOULD be the next Final Fantasy, a Final Fantasy for the current generation.

    But who am i kidding, Square have a habit of creating amazing IP that has so much potential as a franchise and then abandoning it, aka Last Remenant
  • Chris Coccaro
    Correspondent
    I also enjoyed Last Remnant! With a little polish, we could have had an IP that featured the same addicting recruitable characters feature from Suikoden as well as the same addicting gameplay of Advance Wars.

    Unfortunately, I think we're going to see a lot less focus on these other IPs what with the budget and staff cuts abound at Squenix. Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy games are the only ones I can be sure about seeing again because of their achievements as a whole.

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