Remember when Square Enix announced last year that it would be turning Taito’s classic Space Invaders into an augmented reality (AR) videogame. Well, not much has been heard of that since but Square Enix is getting even more serious about AR. The studio has announced a new collaboration with Qualcomm that could see some of its legendary IPs such as Final Fantasy get the immersive XR treatment.
Today’s announcement will see Square Enix’s Advanced Technology Division (ATD) begin working with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform to “push the boundaries of immersive gaming experiences.”
Square Enix didn’t mention which titles from its vast catalogue might get the AR treatment but its work with Snapdragon Spaces should mean all those new XR glasses being made off of Qualcomm’s Smart Viewer Reference Design will benefit. That could mean monsters jumping out of your table, epic RPG questing across the sofa or delving into a new fantasy world that you can interact with using hand tracking.
“Square Enix has always been committed to state-of-the-art game technology to push storytelling boundaries, delivering unforgettable experiences for our fans,” said Ben Taylor, Technical Director, Square Enix Co., Ltd in a statement. “We have been investing in XR and look forward to building on Snapdragon Spaces. In particular, we think the time is right with XR to innovate on games of a classic genre we are especially known for and look forward to sharing them with the world to further our mission to help spread happiness across the globe.”
“Square Enix has a rich history of bringing in deep storytelling and engaging gameplay that have pushed the potential of new gaming platforms over each console generation. We’re excited to work together and raise the bar of what’s possible in the gaming with AR glasses using Snapdragon Spaces,” said Brian Vogelsang, senior director of XR product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that Square Enix would bring an IP like Final Fantasy into AR. Fishing experience Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep was released for PlayStation VR back in 2017 and there have been other location-based entertainment (LBE) activations.
How and when this project will come to life remains to be seen. But when further details are available gmw3 will let you know.