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January 2017 Retro Gaming Article


January 1, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Ariana Grande's guest appearance in Square Enix's Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius speaks to the uncertainty in mobile

Ariana Grande meeting with execs
Introducing a character associated with Grande's celebrity may open new revenue streams enabling enhancement of the renown IP across it's other platforms.
And the Internet reacts as one would expect... Detractors are filling message boards with their varied opinions of Grande as a person, actress, singer, and human. That would be significant if anyone cared. Aside from her star-power, I'm not sure how Grande got on Square's radar, but she could easily have a dramatic PR benefit.

Entertainment outlets are jumping on this story as if Grande is branching out into video games. Some gaming fans are reacting as though the woman herself was being inserted into Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. It's a character, based on Grande's likeness from her Dangerous Woman album cover.

I highly doubt you'll encounter an in-game Citibank arena headlining a world tour with magical creatures out front scalping tickets and selling swag. You can also rule out any impromptu a cappella numbers - it's a video game with a long respected history.

By the way, Square Enix is a video game company and large parts of managing & growing any business involve day-to-day decisions based on changes in the marketplace. A franchise that began in the NES era has to adapt over time in a number of ways - both direct and indirect to the actual games themselves.

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius

The game was first released in Japan in the Fall of 2015 and worldwide in June of the following year. It's available for both iOS and Android devices.

Ariana Grande playing Dance Dance Revolution If you follow mobile gaming news, you may have read stories about it's success. Some AAA games have done very well as have some shot-in-the-dark indie games that came out of left field, but there is little consistency or trending to these successes. Articles about mobile gaming these days often reveal the frustration of predicting what truly makes a successful game! Developers can't point to a sure-thing with any guarantee of success.If you've played any of the mobile versions of Final Fantasy, take a moment to look at Flappy Bird and see the disparity in success.

Benefits of Final Fantasy With Ariana Grande

Whether you like Ariana Grande or not, she has a huge fan-base that may skew outside your traditional gamer profile. Integrating her likeness as a Final Fantasy character could broaden the appeal of the game and bring in a whole new group of players. That translates into money. Her massive online following alone could tip the scales in favor of Square Enix's presence. Grande's mention of the company and game on Instagram and Twitter is tremendously valuable.

As I read the toxic online comments about her character's inclusion, I'm reminded why people suck. The hate aimed at Grande and Square shows a phenomenal lack of knowledge about business and the human condition. Grande's inclusion in FFBE may well enable the series to generate new revenue streams via mobile that enhance the IP across all platforms. Wake up folks - the world doesn't revolve around you, Ariana Grande is quite talented, and video games are fun! STFU and play :)

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