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Square Enix re-releases Chocobo GP without microtransactions

Square Enix suddenly gives its 2022 kart racer a second life by making it into a standard game without any free-to-play frills.

Justin Carter

June 20, 2023

2 Min Read
Screenshot of Square Enix's Chocobo GP of a chocobo and moogle driving a kart.

Akira and Square Enix's Chocobo GP has come out again, this time without any of its pay-to-win systems. And at time of writing, Square hasn't given an explanation as to why. 

First spotted by Nintendeal, an update for the 2022 kart racer has removed its free-to-play mechanics. Its Microtransactions have apparently been phased out "for months," according to one Twitter user, and the game's timed exclusive content can now be acquired without spending real money for them.

What's more, the game's free-to-play equivalent, Chocobo GP Lite, has also been converted to an upgrade to purchase the full title. The mobile version was delisted at the start of June.

Chocobo GP released back in March 2022, and towards the end of the year, Square Enix said it would end support for the game. After the Season 5 update in late December, no additional characters or maps have been released for the game. 

Under its new version, Chocobo GP is now $50. Its season pass mechanics were a point of contention for players, which makes this a welcome surprise if nothing else.

Square Enix's struggle with live service 

The sudden revival of Chocobo GP without pay-to-win mechanics continues the weird trouble Square Enix has had with some of its live service offerings. Earlier this year, for example, it shut down Babylon's FallPlatinumGames' action title that originally released in early 2022. 

And just weeks before that, it killed its mobile battle royale, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, after over a year of existence. 

Thus far, the studio's biggest and most successful online offering appears to be Final Fantasy XIV. While that game isn't a live-service title, it's managed to outlive several of the studio's attempts at making ongoing games, and gets bigger with each expansion. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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