In March, Sony announced the formation of ForwardWorks, a new game studio that would focus on creating “full-fledged” mobile games based on PlayStation franchises. Today, it’s revealing the first batch of those games: new titles in the Hot Shots Golf, Wild Arms, Arc the Lad, and What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? series.
In addition, games based on Parappa the Rapper, Doko Demo Issho, and Boku no Natsuyasumi will come later on. Square Enix is also collaborating with ForwardWorks on an as-yet unrevealed mobile project, as is Nippon Ichi Software with its Disgaea and Yomawari franchises.
The ForwardWorks initiative includes something called Project Field, a Sony-developed trading card platform that works together with a smartphone app. ForwardWorks is developing content for Project Field, and the first release will be based on Level 5’s smash hit Yo-Kai Watch series.
ソニーが開発した新しいゲーム体験、リアルなトレーディングカードゲームとスマートフォンのアプリを融合させたプラットフォーム｢Project FIELD｣を発表！フォワードワークスがコンテンツを提供！ #ForwardWorks pic.twitter.com/QynA7qVti5— プレイステーション公式 (@PlayStation_jp) December 7, 2016
For now, the ForwardWorks projects are aimed at the Japanese market, as you may have guessed from the titles announced. Wild Arms and Arc the Lad are beloved JRPG series that date back to the original PlayStation, while Doko Demo Issho and Boku no Natsuyasumi have never seen releases in the West. Hot Shots Golf and Parappa the Rapper are probably the titles with the most potential to make a splash elsewhere, but there’s no word on whether any of these games will ever be released globally.
In any case, Hot Shots Golf will be the first title to launch in Japan — it’s coming spring 2017. Western virtual minigolf fans may have to console themselves with the new PlayStation 4 version coming next summer.