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Pre-order bonus 'A King's Tale' for 'Final Fantasy XV' free to download from March 1

Why it matters to you

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can grab a free Final Fantasy XV spin-off (albeit a very short one) starting from March 1.

Square Enix has announced that A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV will be made available for free via the PlayStation Store and the Xbox Store on March 1. The game was previously released as a pre-order bonus for Final Fantasy XV when the game launched in November 2016.

A King’s Tale is a spin-off that fleshes out the backstory of King Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV protagonist Noctis. The game eschews the franchise’s traditional role-playing mechanics for side-scrolling beat-’em-up gameplay inspired by classic titles from the 1980s and 1990s.

The game using a framing narrative that sees King Regis telling his son bedtime stories about his adventures with familiar characters like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. The game is said to last a little less than an hour for most players, which is on the short side, but befitting of its earlier status as a pre-order bonus.

However, from March 1, anyone interested in learning a bit more about King Regis will be able to download A King’s Tale for free. The game will be available whether or not you have purchased Final Fantasy XV, according to a report from Dualshockers.

While the game doesn’t bear any resemblance to Final Fantasy XV in terms of gameplay, it seems that Square Enix is hoping that releasing it for free will tempt players into trying out the main game. It’s a teaser for the main plot — as well as a treat for beat-’em-up fans who feel underserved by the current console generation.

Square Enix certainly went all out on Final Fantasy XV, even discounting the fact that the game spent ten years in development. As well as A King’s Tale, the game was accompanied by a web series entitled Brotherhood, a feature-length movie called Kingsglaive, and the as-yet-unreleased virtual reality experience that’s in production for PlayStation VR.