It’s understandable if you’ve never heard of Final Fantasy‘s “Dissidia” games — they’ve never been released on consoles before, after all.
The genre-bending take on Square Enix’s long-lived RPG series reimagines familiar characters, settings, and stories in the context of a fighting game. A team-based fighting game, to be precise. It’s called Dissidia Final Fantasy NT and it’s coming to PlayStation 4 in early 2018.
There have been three major releases in the Dissidia series (four, if you count 2017’s Japan-only mobile game). Two of those — Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008) and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (2011) — were for Sony’s PlayStation Portable. One, Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015), was an arcade machine.
All three are built around the same idea of pitting heroes, villains, and other entities from multiple Final Fantasy games — none of which, it should be noted, were previously connected by an overarching storyline — against one another. The first two games were strictly about one-on-one duels, but the 2015 coin-op was built around 3v3 battles.
It’s the latest game that NT draws its inspiration from, which makes sense for the sub-series’ console debut. Online play has come a long way since the initial two Dissidia games, and a console like the PS4 — with its built-in voice chat and community features — makes much more sense for a competitive game than Sony’s (sadly) increasingly irrelevant PlayStation Vita.
Team Ninja is developing the game, which makes sense given that the studio also created 2015’s arcade release. The announcement doesn’t make it clear if NT is a port or not, but an Amazon listing notes that it does feature an “all-new Final Fantasy story.”
A console release also opens up the possibility of an esports presence for this spin-off series. A director on the arcade game even admitted to that being an ambition for a hypothetical console release back in February, months before NT was actually announced.
Of course, esports adoption isn’t something that can be forced, so time will tell on that.
If you’re looking to learn more, you won’t have to wait long. The announcement also reveals that Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will be the subject of an E3 Coliseum panel that’s happening on Tuesday, June 13, at 3:15 p.m. PT (you can watch a stream of it here).