After leaving Square Enix in 2018 and founding his own studio in 2019, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata spoke about JP Games’ debut project and his intentions behind making games for the “social good” of that. -this.
In an interview with the Tokyo-based news site SoraNews24, Tabata said traveling for the production and promotion of FFXV introduced her to ideas about inclusive play and sustainability. This intersection has made him wonder if it is possible to do more with video games as a medium for social change. Tabata later stated that these concepts led to the creation of JP Games, which gave him “the freedom to grow” and the chance “to explore creating a game for social good.”
“Creating JP Games has given me the freedom to grow and evolve with society and technology,” said Tabata. “When I started I got several offers to make AAA games, and they were pretty good, but it would be more or less the same. First of all, I wanted to try something new and really explore. creating a game for social good, before investing time in creating more conventional high-end games. “
To achieve the goal of “creating a game for social good,” Tabata hired new talent (sometimes outside the industry) to bring in new ideas. This led to a meeting with former CEO of the International Paralympic Committee Xavier Gonzales, who after being convincing endorsed JP Games’ first Paralympic video game and first commercial project: The Pegasus Dream Tour.
The Pegasus Dream Tour is a “massive avatar RPG” where players use a “Mine” (created characters whose faces are constructed from selfie images stored on the mobile device) to participate in parasports like the wheelchair basketball. It is a free online mobile game with microtransactions and leaderboards.
Tabata said JP Games must balance “making good content” and “good business strategies” to ensure the longevity of the Pegasus Dream Tour. So, alongside in-game microtransactions, the team is developing an SDK called Pegasus World Kit that allows users to create their own virtual worlds.
“We had to think about creating good content but also good business strategies to make the Pegasus Dream Tour sustainable,” said Tabata. “One solution is to use the Pegasus World Kit, which looks like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, but instead of building games, it allows companies to build open world platforms. Since we have already created Pegasus City, we can also provide this framework for others. However, they want to create their own virtual worlds. “
The Pegasus Dream Tour is now available on Android and iOS devices. the Official Paralympic Games will take place from August 24 to September 5 in Tokyo.
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