Hajime Tabata, known as the director of multiple entries in the Final Fantasy franchise including Final Fantasy XV, has finally announced his first new game since leaving Square Enix late last year. Tabata and his new studio JP Games have announced a partnership with the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) to develop the first ever game based on the Paralympic Games, The Pegasus Dream Tour. Speaking on the new game, Tabata stated:
This is not just an ordinary video game about sports. JP GAMES is going to represent fully the wonders that are unique to Paralympic sports in this brand-new role-playing game – a genre we excel in.
Tabata would continue by stating, “With this video game, we want to contribute to the future growth of the Paralympic Games, not just as a sporting event, but as entertainment as well.” The Pegasus Dream Tour will allow players to compete in a version of the Paralympic Games set in the fictional Pegasus City. Characters in the game are set to be able to tap into abilities known as “Xtra Power” as they participate in events throughout the game.
According to the IPC president Andrew Parsons, one of the goals of their first game is to “explore innovative ways to engage with” and garner interest from the younger generation for the upcoming Paralympic Games that take place in Tokyo next year. Parsons would state that he is excited to see Para athletes represented in video games, and would continue stating that the Paralympic Games “transform attitudes towards persons with disabilities like no other event.”
This brand new endeavor for the IPC, Tabata, and JP Games may help shine a new light on a underrepresented demographic in video games. The Pegasus Dream Tour is planned for release in 2020, and is set to come to “various platforms, including smartphones.”