Chaos Rings, a $12.99 Game, Locks Out Rooted Users

Chaos Rings, a $12.99 Game, Locks Out Rooted Users

Oct 16, 2012

How about this for anti-consumer behavior? Square Enix recently released Chaos Rings, their original RPG for mobile devices, to Android. There’s just one problem: users with rooted devices are reporting that they can’t play the game as Square Enix blocked the game from running after it was installed on these devices..

The slap in the face isn’t just that they’re blocking rooted devices, but that they’re expecting people to pay $12.99 for a game (all their titles are well above market prices for games, which is not necessarily a bad thing – if they want to make money at a premium price, I say good for them) and then blocking devices that are rooted. Pretty much the only thing that blocking rooted devices really prevents is save game modification. It doesn’t block piracy unless a carrier has blocked sideloading, and that’s a rarity nowadays.

Square Enix is saying that they will change this in the near future (possibly this week), but the problem is that they felt like this was necessary in the first place. DRM only hurts legitimate consumers. This is especially true as people found a way around the rooting lockout anyway. Because they rooted their devices and aren’t afraid to poke around in the filesystem and change some things. If you’re going to stop hackers, you really need to put up a brick wall, not just a small fence.

Square Enix Announces Square Enix Market for Japan

Square Enix Announces Square Enix Market for Japan

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.