Paris-based Cyber Group Studios has inked a co-development and co-production deal with Japanese video game company Square Enix to adapt its fantasy/adventure title Final Fantasy IX as an animated series for eight- to 13-year-olds.
In addition to producing the show, Cyber Group will also handle worldwide distribution, licensing and merchandise.
The company is putting the finishing touches on a project bible, and plans to begin pitching it to broadcasters in the coming months, says Pierre Sissmann, CEO of Cyber Group Studios.. While episode count and length had not been finalized at press time, Sissmann says the goal is to begin production by the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
Final Fantasy IX (pictured) centers around a thief who kidnaps a princess and then teams up with her to save the kingdom from evil forces. Originally launched in 2000, the game has sold more than five million copies worldwide.
The 30-year-old Final Fantasy franchise has been adapted for TV before, but this marks the first time the game’s ninth iteration specifically will be adapted as an animated kids series.
Final Fantasy is one of the most popular kid-friendly video game franchises ever, with more than 154 million copies sold worldwide, according to Square Enix’s 2020 annual report. That popularity, and a chance to expand the brand with new characters and adventures, is what attracted Cyber Group, says Sissmann.
“The games have a strong co-viewing potential. For those who do know Final Fantasy IX , this will be an [introduction],” he says. “And for the many who don’t, this will immerse them in a universe they’ll love.”