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Collaboration – Hatsune Miku and Brave Frontier

Recently, to my immerse shame, I’ve become addicted to the mobile game, Brave Frontier.

It’s a turn-based Role-Playing Game (RPG) app that’s available on Android, iOS and Kindle Fire, created by Japanese game company gumi Inc. The basic premise is to manoeuvre the quintessential main hero character that just simply CAN’T leave things alone. Ala Pokémon, the hero—or summoner, in this case—fights by proxy through masochistic game units who don’t mind taking the blows. Fifty shades of RPG, much?

Truth be told, with a phone already bursting with apps, I paid little attention to Brave Frontier till a friend showed me his proud capture of a game unit called…Goddess Hatsune Miku?

I downloaded the app that very day.

Hatsune Miku in Brave Frontier. She has two forms and described as "A songstress who appeared from another world".

By itself, Brave Frontier has its selling points: a solid storyline, crisp graphics, kill-me-baby attacks and anime-inspired designs. The near 1,000 game units each have character descriptions and the higher-level units even have backstories to them.

Vaguely Sailor Moon-ish—and somewhat addictive to witness, I’d admit—the game units gain unwieldy accessories, added or stripped clothing, and manifested blinding lightshows to indicate their magnificence when they evolved.

But the collaboration with Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, the persona of the singing synthesiser application created by Crypton Future Media and a tidal wave of Japanese pop culture in her own right, that was sheer brilliance. From a business standpoint, it’s a genius move. Incorporating an established pop culture icon into a global mobile app boosts its visibility significantly, especially considering the limited lifespan and popularity of apps in this day and age.

As of this post, using Android and Google Play as a benchmark, Brave Frontier has a 5 million download count (gumi Inc claims to have a total download of 10 million), is the top 10th grossing game, beating out the ever popular Candy Crush Saga, is the 12th most popular action game, and is ranked the 68th most popular free game.Over a million likes on Facebook doesn't hurt either. 

But wait, such things should be of mutual benefit, no? Why would Crypton agree to this for no advantage? Let’s break it down.

8 Oct – Hatsune Miku makes her U.S. TV debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. She performs “Sharing The World”, an English theme song to the U.S. Hatsune Miku Expo 2014.

8 Oct to 11 Oct – It’s the New York Comic Con. Brave Frontier has a booth. 
In addition to announcing Hatsune Miku’s presence in the game, attendees will be able to receive access codes to gain a max-level unit of fellow vocaloid Megurine Luka.

9 Oct to 20 Oct – The game dungeon Hatsune Miku Collaboration: Songstress of Light
 is released on Brave Frontier. The dungeon plays “Sharing The World” as the Vocaloid cheerfully slaughters your game units (I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I desperately spent trying to level up in time).

11 Oct to 12 Oct / 17 Oct to 18 Oct – It’s the Hatsune Miku Expo 2014 in Los Angeles and New York. 
gumi Inc is a sponsor.

Cameos in Hyouka (top) and Kämpfer (bottom)

This is not the first time that Hatsune Miku has been involved in such cross-platform collaborations.

Besides her cameos in anime such as Hyouka and Kämpfer, she has also made appearances in games. Some of these involve Sega’s 7th Dragon 2020 where she appeared as a non-playable character and in Phantasy Star Portable 2, where her costume was unlockable for game characters. A PV was also created, where she and Megurine Luka performed the opening song.

Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka in Phantasy Star Portable 2

Since then, Rin and Len Kagamine has joined the fray in Brave Frontier, in end November. A teaser now hangs in the air, as they are both expected to have 6-star evolution forms (evolution work on a star basis, with 6 stars currently being the highest), which have yet to be released.

Whatever, it is, I’m now trapped past the point of any hope of salvation, sucked into the heinous, treacherous world of grinding, level-ups and a constantly drained battery: the realm of a mobile RPG gamer.

So I’ll keep playing… at least until I get to see their max-level evolutions.

Who should the next pop icon do a collaboration with Brave Frontier? Leave a comment below, gumi might just answer your prayers!

Photo credits to gumi Inc.

Written by Edmund

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