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Square Enix Crushes Fan Mod

Christopher Coke Posted:
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The gaming community is constantly inventive. Amidst the best game communities are modders willing to breathe new life into the games they love, expanding them beyond their original scope, and introducing them to entire new audiences. So long as the publisher is willing to let them, of course. That wasn’t the case this week as Square Enix dropped the boot on a years-long Final Fantasy project, much to the dismay of fans. That, the Destiny controversy, Dragon Age delays, and more in this week’s RPG Files. You won’t want to miss it.

SkyBladeCloud’s team began working on an English translation patch for Final Fantasy Type-0 in mid-2012. If you’re a fan of the series, reading that name probably causes pangs of remembered disappointment. Released in Japan in 2011, Type-0 became a fan favorite on Sony’s PlayStation Portable and was supposed to make its way to the United States shortly after. Due to the flagging sales of the handheld, Square put the release off, offering few comments. It was a sad story but not a unique one.

Sky’s team wasn’t content with that and went to work on a translation patch. It didn’t take long for Square Enix to reach out and warn the modders that they would act to preserve their copyright. SkyBladeCloud didn’t seem worried, claiming that the same laws didn’t apply to him as a Spanish citizen. He should have been.

The patch finally released this June, one day before Square announced that they would be bringing the game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Quoted in the original Kotaku report, Sky claims his team’s work was downloaded over 100,000 times in just four days. Amazing numbers for a game which, outside of franchise devotees, should have been fairly unknown, even more so considering that the patch originated from an obscure third-party site. Despite ongoing conversations with the mod team, Square officially dropped the guillotine and forced any mentions of the patch to be scrubbed from the website.

As an outsider, I have to wonder how projects like this ever hope to succeed. It’s a wonderful thing when modders to take a product they love and improve upon it or use it as a launching board for their own creativity, but it’s quite another to flaunt copyright infringement in a game-maker’s face. Square made it clear from early on that they weren’t on board for this release, so why would anyone pour more man hours into a project that was unlikely to ever be allowed to exist?

I’m reminded of the situation with ROMs and console emulation. Very few ROM distributors charge to download, yet console manufacturers have tried to shut them down for years. There is the obvious issue of piracy, but there’s the other issue of control. People like Sky’s team, whether they are truly Square’s “most devoted fans” or not, don’t have a right to alter a game which doesn’t belong to them, especially when Square has played coy about releasing the game themselves for years. Taking on this project was a risk from the beginning. Living in Spain wasn’t the saving grace Sky thought it would be and I have trouble feeling sympathy for him.

In other news:

Destiny entered beta this week, beginning on the PlayStation 4 and arriving on Xbox One a day early. See Xbox fans? Bungie doesn’t hate you. Servers opened with a bang in the form of the Iron Banner event, allowing players to experience a new multiplayer map and gameplay type during the test’s first two hours. They also released a video detailing the Vanguard Armory which you can get early for pre-ordering.

In sadder news, Dragon Age: Inquisition won’t be releasing in October after all. Announced on Tuesday, the game has a new release date of November 18th in the U.S. and November 21st for the EU. The developer says that the extra time will be spent on polish, making their open spaces more engaging, and hero choices more emotional. I can buy into the polish but the other two seem like consoling patty-pats from the marketing department. Six extra weeks isn’t enough time to make any meaningful changes to the game. More likely, we could retitle this headline “Dragon Age Bows Out of an Already Crowded Month.”

Hey, that Dark Souls II DLC released! What did you think of it, Internet? Really, you gave it an 81 on Metacritic? Well aren’t you happy little campers, then? No more breaking keyboards in impudent fits of rage, now.

On a more serious note, I remain impressed by Lords of the Fallen. This game may just be my Dark Souls. I was never against its charged-up difficulty but couldn’t get on board with its extra stiff animations and too-brown settings. LotF is brighter, faster, and more of all the things I wished Dark Souls was, if this gameplay trailer is any indication. Here’s hoping it lives up to its promise.

Lichdom also aims to impress. Frankly, it makes playing a mage look more badass than any game FPS I’ve ever seen. Eyes up, Bethesda. The game officially entered beta this week and is open for buyers on Steam Early Access. The new version updates crafting, improves the UI, levels out balance, adds to the Sigil System, and, thankfully, ushers in a new round of performance optimizations.

Last but not least, we have a new game to report on! Epiphany Entertainment unveiled Majestic Nights: Season 1, an RPG set in the 1980s taking on conspiracy theories as if they were true. Interestingly, the CEO announced the game by claiming the moon landing was faked. I’m pretty sure he was kidding. At least I hope so.

And that’s all from us, folks. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Christopher Coke / Chris has been an RPG fan for as long as he has played video games. This week, you can find him taking his second tour of The Witcher 2 and eyeing a long overdue play-through of Mass Effect 3. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight.

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Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight