An animated TV show based on Final Fantasy IX is allegedly in production
Final Fantasy IX might be able to see its story told in a whole new medium, with a French production company allegedly entering an agreement with Square Enix to adapt the beloved FF title into an animated TV series that'll be aimed at kids aged between eight and thirteen years old.
The production company, Cyber Group Studios, is said to be "putting the finishing touches on a project bible", according to kids TV industry news site Kidscreen. With both that and an agreement with Square Enix in hand, the production company will begin to pitch the series to broadcasters and other partners.
Kidscreen doesn't directly source its article, but it does quote the CEO of the animation studio - who says the aim is to begin production on the show around the end of this year or early next year.
Unless you live in France and have kids, you might not be massively familiar with Cyber Group Studios, as most of their shows are kid-friendly fare that airs in mainland Europe. Curiously, the studio has partnered with Square Enix once before in the past - on a Mini Ninjas series based on the Western Square Enix video game of the same name, a family-friendly title developed by Hitman studio IO Interactive back in the 360 era. Any FF9 adaptation is likely to be a production that the company will try to take worldwide, given the international nature of the franchise.
"The games have a strong co-viewing potential. For those who do know Final Fantasy IX , this will be an [introduction],", Kidscreen quotes Cyber Group Studios CEO Pierre Sissmann as saying, "And for the many who don’t, this will immerse them in a universe they’ll love."
Sissmann is quoted alongside Cyber Group Studios COO Dominique Bourse in a second report on the matter by Animation Magazine, too.
"We are honored and enthusiastic to participate with our friends of Square Enix in such a great adventure," the pair say in a prepared statement. "The opportunity to reach such a large crowd with hundreds of millions of fans around the world as well as a new public of both kids and adults is an immense challenge that we feel extremely proud about. It is a dream come true for our teams in France and in the U.S and we already look forward to creating a great piece of entertainment that respects this fantastic brand."
Final Fantasy IX is a fairly obvious choice if you were to adapt the series for a kids TV audience, with a cast of characters, story, and general style that lends itself more to a cartoon-like adaptation - though the production company will likely have to find a way to work in and around all that existential dread that's so key to the game's themes.
Last year, FF9 turned twenty years old - and we caught up with some of the key development staff to have them reflect on its legacy. We've reached out to Square Enix for comment on Kidscreen's report.