Project Athia is Open World Like All The Cool Kids These Days

Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda confirmed for the first time Project Athia, coming to PS5 first and PC later on, will be an open-world game.

Yosuke Matsuda, President of Square Enix, was recently interviewed by Toyo Keizai, where he most notably brought up for the first time how Project Athia will be an open-world game.

In the interview, Matsuda first brought up the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the game industry, and how Square Enix took this opportunity to gather and connect its communities with its games, as if they were social networks. Like how Japanese players of Dragon Quest X and Final Fantasy XIV organized Hanami events inside the games instead of IRL.

Following that, he spoke of the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake and how the game managed to perform well in Europe especially despite the raging pandemic. Digitally in particular.

Lastly, Yosuke Matsuda spoke about Project Athia on PS5. Here’s our translation:

Yosuke Matsuda:Project Athia (Tentative title), coming to PS5 will let players freely roam an open-world. PS5 uses a light reflecting technology, Ray Tracing, and overall has greatly improved graphics. As if it was running on PC. Using these features of the PS5, we are able to depict an incredibly beautiful game. Square Enix will keep developing games tailor-made for Cloud Gaming and mobile, but we will never stop developing for PS5 and high-end hardware either. Because this is where pure tech is”.

Project Athia was first revealed in June 2020 by Luminous Productions. We translated a Famitsu interview with developers at the studio a few months ago. They most notably said that their AAA title, now revealed to be Project Athia, won’t be out in a while. Indeed, the game has no release date estimate for now.  The game will be temporary console exclusive, and will also be coming to PC.

Project Athia Teaser Trailer

Personally I’m not too fond of the trend that everything needs to be open-world nowadays. It’s pretty much the Vtubing of gaming. Some Japanese developers especially tend to think you need to do that to compete with western games and be cool and liked by younger gamers. Meanwhile Persona 5 is one of the best JRPGs of the last decade and I couldn’t care less it’s not open-world. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the trend though. Genshin Impact in particular is an upcoming open-world I have my eyes set on. In any case, we’ll see how Luminous Productions tackles this.

Square Enix is scheduled to reveal multiple games in July and August, which were supposed to come at E3 2020. One of these titles is Balan Wonderland, an action game directed by ex-Sonic Team leader Yuji Naka.

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