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Square Enix's Yahoo Tie-up Revealed

RPG giant readying free online-ready browser game based in Sengoku era.


Square Enix unveiled its "history changing game" right on schedule today. As many expected given the tie-up with Yahoo, the new game, Sengoku Ixa, is a free browser game.

Developed by Browser Sengoku developer One-Up, Sengoku Ixa is a historical strategy game set in Japan's Sengoku Era. You set yourself up as a commander in one of 12 countries that are under the control of a famous historical general, and team up with other players to expand your territory.

Your first job in the game is to build up an army. To do this, you need to produce food and materials, which can be used to hire troops.

Your army is actually built out of virtual general cards, which can be collected via in-game points or via a "Sengoku Lottery" system. The cards have five degrees of rarity, and all cards can be used freely with any of the 12 countries.

After you've readied your army, you select the name of a general you want to attack. Other players who happen to be playing in the same kingdom as you will get to vote on going to war. If the majority say yes, it's off to fight.

Once war has been declared, you're given three days to prepare, followed by three days of combat. These "days" are real human days.

Players have two options for combat. Those who want to oversee things can manually enter commands for troops. Those who don't have time and just want to make sure their country wins can send their troops out and have them do battle automatically.

Square Enix is listed as the company that will be managing operation for Sengoku IXA, which will be distributed exclusively through Yahoo Games. But the RPG giant also lent some of its staff to help out with key areas of the project. The game's main visual was created by Yusuke Naora, who also provided illustrations for the main generals. The main theme song was made by Shuhei Kurosaka. Card designs are from a variety of currently undisclosed artists.

So how will Square Enix make money off all this? Basic play is free, but it looks like Square Enix plans on charging to obtain new general cards and make use of "convenient functionality."

If you're interested in trying out Sengoku Ixa, visit the official site. A closed beta test will be held starting on the 27th. Square Enix will be seeking participants through the 25th. You'll need a Yahoo! Japan ID to put your name down.

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