According to a report from Kidscreen, Square Enix has partnered with French animation studio Cyber Group for a Final Fantasy IX series.
Kidscreen’s exclusive says the show is aiming for a demographic of children 8-13 years old, and in addition to the series, Cyber Group would also handle worldwide distribution and merchandising. Pierre Sissmann, CEO of Cyber Group Studios, told Kidscreen “The games have a strong co-viewing potential. For those who do know Final Fantasy IX, this will be an [introduction]. And for the many who don’t, this will immerse them in a universe they’ll love.”
Apparently, Cyber Group has put the “finishing touches” on a project bible, with production beginning near the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022. There’s no word on episode count, or if the show will be a direct adaption of the game or something different. At the time of writing Square Enix has yet to comment on the news.
Cyber Group is fairly well-known in Europe, but viewers in North America may not be familiar with the studio. Its focus is entirely on children’s animation, with adaptions of properties like Tom Sawyer and Zorro, as well as original properties. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the studio has produced an adaption of a video game, as it previously worked on Mini Ninjas, which coincidentally was produced by Square Enix.
Final Fantasy IX originally released on the PlayStation in 2000 and has sold over 5 million copies to date. The game was a return to form for the franchise, bringing back classic fantasy elements in a story about a band of thieves kidnapping the princess of Alexandria. Many of the franchise’s most popular characters come from Final Fantasy IX, like the diminutive black mage Vivi. While Square Enix has released ports that have minor visual improvements and new features, the game has remained largely untouched since its original release.