TGS - The Future of PlayOnline
09.26.03 - 10:45 AM

At its strategy meeting today, Square Enix also talked about the future of its online service PlayOnline. Joining Final Fantasy XI as the company's newest additions to the service will be the two online titles Ambrosia Odyssey and Front Mission Online. Square Enix president Youichi Wada however also mentioned several future enhancements for Final Fantasy XI. Among them are a high-rank mission, new character motions and a player vs player mode. In December, the level cap will be raised from 70 to 75 and so-called reverse areas will be introduced. While those areas do not differ from existing ones in terms of their landscape, their atmosphere will be entirely different. During the meeting, a screenshot of a dark field covered with snow was shown as an example. Furthermore, Yousuke Saitou, the head of Square Enix's production team 10 who is also involved in the title. mentioned plans to improve the support for the PlayOnline community, for instance by offering mobile phone services.

He also reported subscriptions for the PC MMORPG Cross Gate have surpassed the ten million mark in August, mainly due to the game's popularity in mainland China and Taiwan.

As previously reported, the PlayStation 2 action RPG Ambrosia Odyssey can be played both on and offline. The game's environments will be inspired by Medieval Europe. At least four players can join and form a party. On the game's screen an HP gauge, an action slot, a chat window as well as three other gauges are visible. Similar to Final Fantasy XI, the player can also keep an eye on his companions' stats at any time.

Front Mission Online for PlayStation 2 and PC will take place during the time of the Canyon Crow forces' presence on Halfman Island. Players can choose whether they want to join the OCU or USN forces.

Ambrosia Odyssey and Front Mission Online are expected to enter their respective beta testing phase in spring 2004.

Chris Winkler