Square Enix Launches Its First Vive-exclusive Game, ‘Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR’, in Japan

Videogame publisher and developer Square Enix, famous for its Final Fantasy franchise, among others, has launched its first game for the HTC Vive, Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR in Japan.

In collaboration with game developer GREE, Square Enix has published its first Vive title, an adaptation of the company’s JRPG card-based combat game Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur which has grown to prominence in Japan with deployments across on Android, iOS, PS Vita, 3DS, and PlayStation 4 totalling more than 14 million downloads.

Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR launched today on the Japanese Steam store for ~$36 USD. The game puts the player inside the Million Arthur world, allowing them to fight alongside their party with powerful spells in turn-based combat.

The game appears to be much more than a straight port, offer a fully 3D environment, characters, and enemies, and a made-for-VR interface. In the trailer heading this article, players can also be seen wielding weapons from the game world and swinging them to initiate attacks. Users will also be able to dress up their party members in various outfits (there’s several available as DLC at launch).

The game’s Steam page officially lists support for the HTC Vive and Seated and Standing play areas. Back during the game’s announcement in 2016, HTC, Square Enix, and GREE issued a joint press release stating that the game would be exclusive to the Vive.

“We are now extensively working with the global leading Game Soft creator and developer, Square Enix and its partner, Gree to launch the VR version of Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR, one of the best-selling mobile card games worldwide, exclusively on HTC Vive,” HTC said in the release. “This strategic partnership will help foster the global virtual reality ecosystem, and deliver the most inspiring and vibrant experiences on the HTC Vive.”

It’s unclear if the game will offer some level of Oculus Rift support due to default integration with OpenVR, or if the developers have created intentional barriers against the game being played with the Rift.

Oculus faces occasional criticism over its practice of signing some platform-exclusive deals to get developers to launch their titles exclusively on Oculus Home. HTC has adopted a different approach, saying they don’t believe in or pursue such deals. The announcement of Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR’s exclusivity seems counter to that notion, though the company has largely made good on its word to steer clear of exclusives, and has even maintained Rift support alongside the Vive for its own internally developed title, Arcade Saga.

Oculus on Platform-exclusive VR Content: ‘it’s the only viable way to jumpstart the market’

Although this is the first launch of a full Vive game for Square Enix, it isn’t the first time the company has dabbled in the medium. A Final Fantasy XV VR experience was announced back in mid 2016 and is ostensibly still in the works, due to launch as an add-on to the game for PSVR. The company also ported Hitman Go (2014) for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR, and launched the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided VR Experience demo.

Somewhat outside of the game space, the company’s Advanced Technology Division developed a tech demo called Project Hikari which explores how popular manga might be adapted to the VR medium.

The post Square Enix Launches Its First Vive-exclusive Game, ‘Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur VR’, in Japan appeared first on Road to VR.

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