Nov 22, 2011
Square Enix has made their first major push on to Android for gaming, with the announcement that their Android store will launch on December 1st, in Japan. While they’ve released Crystal Defenders and digital interactive comic Imaginary Range to Android, the former has been released on every other modern platform, and the latter is hardly a major release. This is Square Enix finally meaning business about Android. Initially launching to one carrier before expanding to others in Japan, Square Enix will offer their titles as exclusives on this store, the Square Enix Market. This is similar to how EA and Gameloft distribute some of their Android titles – by selling through their own marketplaces as well as through the Android Market.
What’s interesting is not just that previously-announced Chrono Trigger will be launching in the store soon. Many other games will be making the leap from iOS to Android, including the original Final Fantasy, Chaos Rings, the previously-released Crystal Defenders, new title Dragon Quest Monsters Most Wanted, and Itadaki Street, a title based on a previous DS and PS2 release.
The obvious question for western Android users is this: how will we get to play these games? Will Square Enix launch localized versions of the Square Enix Market? Or will they just choose to offer the games through the Android Market or other similar marketplaces? As well, how much of a delay will exist with the translation of these games into English? Many of these announced titles already have English versions, so any delay hypothetically should not be a long one.
This is another notable step for the Android gaming market. While Android may never get the kind of exclusives and initial launches that iOS often gets, the chance of it catching up and being equal to iOS is only steadily increasing with each major publisher and major release that is announced.