In the spirit of Shaq-Fu, Beyoncé pretending to like Rhythm Heaven, and countless other videogame/mainstream media pairings, Square Enix and the NBA have announced Final Fantasy XIII as a presenting partner of the 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (Partnership with World-Renowned Fantasy Videogame Includes Visibility Throughout the Game and at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by Adidas.)
What does that mean, exactly? Well, there will be some Final Fantasy XIII commercials during the game when it airs on ESPN on February 12th at 7pm EST, with some Final Fantasy XIII banners and posters hanging around the court to match. People who have never played a Final Fantasy game will stare at said banners and posters and say "Final Fantasy XIII? How can it be 'final' if they've made thirteen of them?" They will then go back to being hypnotized by the sight of Chris Tucker and Dr. Oz as they sweat and bumble around the basketball court, effectively killing any awareness that they may have started to form of a videogame called Final Fantasy XIII.
Those who actually attend the event will even get to play Final Fantasy XIII for a bit, but does anyone who cares about NBA All-Star Celebrity things want to play Final Fantasy XIII? Does anyone interested in Final Fantasy XIII want to have their first time with the title happen in the middle of a basketball game?
Is this the least effective pairing of a videogame and a non-videogame-related event ever? Does Michael Jackson's ghost dream of making Moonwalker 2 in HD? Wasn't it cool that one time when Mario and the Black Mage from Final Fantasy had a slam dunk contest?
Please, answer these questions in the comments, and/or hit the jump for the full press release.
NBA ANNOUNCES SQUARE ENIX’S FINAL FANTASY XIII AS PRESENTING PARTNER OF 2010 NBA ALL-STAR CELEBRITY GAME
– Partnership with World-Renowned Fantasy Videogame Includes Visibility Throughout the Game and at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas –
NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2010 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Square Enix Inc. (Square Enix) today announced a promotional partnership that will make FINAL FANTASY® XIII – the latest in the world-renowned action-packed role-playing videogame series that has shipped more than 92 million units – the presenting partner of the 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
As the presenting partner of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, FINAL FANTASY XIII will have prominent exposure throughout Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, where the game will be played. The role-playing videogame, which features futuristic characters and gameplay, will receive significant presence during the broadcast on ESPN, which will televise the NBA All-Star event for the sixth consecutive year. There will also be a dedicated FINAL FANTASY XIII area at NBA All-Star Jam Session where fans will be able to preview the videogame, which will be available for both PlayStation®3 and the Xbox 360® on March 9, 2010.
“FINAL FANTASY XIII, the next evolution in videogame entertainment, will appeal to first time players and series fans alike,” said John Yamamoto, President and CEO of Square Enix, Inc., “We are delighted to be the presenting partner at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and give fans a chance to experience the most highly anticipated game of the year before it launches on March 9.”
“FINAL FANTASY is a storied brand in the videogame category and this partnership will bring an exciting new element to this year’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President of Marketing Partnerships. “A good portion of our fanbase overlaps with the young, videogame-playing audience, so it is a natural fit for us to partner with a leading franchise like FINAL FANTASY around one of our marquee All-Star events.”
The 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by FINAL FANTASY XIII will tip off on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. CST from NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas inside the Dallas Convention Center. This year’s celebrity participants will include a cast of players from film, TV, and music who will be outfitted in retro 1986 NBA All-Star uniforms paying tribute to NBA All-Star 1986 in Dallas. The game will also feature former NBA players and current WNBA players.
FINAL FANTASY XIII marks the dawning of a new era for the celebrated franchise, bringing the series to multiple high-definition consoles simultaneously for the first time in its history. The series is defined by a constant evolution, offering nothing less than the finest creative vision, graphical quality and gameplay system of its generation with every installment, and FINAL FANTASY XIII will be no exception to its legacy.
About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix), with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, develops, publishes and distributes entertainment content including interactive entertainment software and publications in Asia, North America, and Europe. Square Enix® brings two of Japan's best-selling franchises — FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 92 million units worldwide, and DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 53 million units worldwide — under one roof. Square Enix is one of the most influential providers of digital entertainment content in the world and continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.
Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. with offices in Los Angeles, California. It handles operations in North America, including development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles. More information on Square Enix can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix.com.
About NBA All-Star 2010
NBA All-Star 2010 in Dallas will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. Among the many events that will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages are the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by FINAL FANTASY® XIII, and NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. American Airlines Center will host All-Star Saturday Night, featuring the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Haier Shooting Stars, and Sprite Slam Dunk. The 59th NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, before an expected crowd of more than 80,000 – the largest group ever to witness a live basketball game. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for an eighth consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 25th season of All-Star coverage. This will be the second NBA All-Star in Dallas. The city also hosted the event in 1986.