Square Enix giving away free game featuring David Bowie

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Square Enix are offering gamers free downloads of Omikron: The Nomad Soul featuring music icon David Bowie until 22 January 2016*.

The company, perhaps most famous for their production of Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Dragon Quest and many more, announced the unique give away via their official twitter account offering codes to download Quantic Dream’s inaugural game which was first came to PC in 1999.

https://twitter.com/SquareEnix/status/688032055700111360/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The news that rock and roll legend, David Bowie, passed away last week was met with an outpouring of grief from a world who was not ready to see him go. Among those who remembered him fondly was one David Cage who had worked with Bowie in the late 1990s on Quantic Dream’s first ever project, Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Talking to Game Informer, Cage described his surprise at Bowie’s interest in taking part in the game:

‘I met David for the first time in 1998. It was in Wimbledon, in the offices of the publisher of my first video game, Omikron: The Nomad Soul. We were looking for a musical collaboration with a prestigious artist and I had been asked to make a short-list of artists that I would dream of working with. Bowie was, of course, number one on my list, although no one seriously thought we could even talk to him. We sent him a nice letter anyway … who knows? … and to our huge surprise, his manager answered that he could be interested and wanted to meet.

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‘Here we are in this nice office waiting for David Bowie in a meeting room, not knowing what to expect. I will always remember the minute he came in the room. He had an incredible aura, something I had never seen before or since then. He was very nice and friendly, apologized for being ten minutes late because of the traffic, and introduced us to his “video game specialist”, his son Duncan Jones (he would later become a talented director).

‘I had been briefed that Mr. Bowie would only have 20 minutes, and that I would have to be very concise. I had been working on the game night and day for two years; I had hundreds of pieces of artwork, thousands of pages of script, some 3D sets running on a PC, and I had no clue how I could share all the ideas, and the passion and enthusiasm I had for this project, in 20 minutes. Fortunately, the meeting went on for two and a half hours. Bowie listened with a lot of attention, looked at everything we showed him, and asked some relevant questions.

‘At the end of the meeting, he asked me, “All this sounds very exciting, what do you expect from me?” All we wanted was the rights to use his song “Heroes”, which would have been a fantastic asset for the game and an immense honor for a young studio like Quantic Dream (or any studio, actually). Bowie stayed silent for a second and finally answered, “No, I am not going to give you an old song,” there was tremendous disappointment in the room, “I am going to write an album for you guys.” We were all looking at each other, not sure we understood him right and wondering if he was serious. “Tell me what else I could do for you,” he said. Well, we needed instrumental soundtracks for the game, and it would be amazing to have David Bowie be a character in the game. We shook hands and wondered if all this was true or if we had all dreamed it.’

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In the game Bowie would play a dual role of a revolutionary and a rock singer of a fictional band in a technologic. It would also mark one of the first times an A-List celebrity would lend their vocals to a game as both a voice actor as well as a singer.

While not known as a break out hit of it’s time, Omikron: The Nomad Soul was a much needed success for first time studio Quantic Dream, which would then go on to produce critically acclaimed titles such as Indigo Prophecy (originally published under the name Fahrenheit), Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. The company is now currently working on a new title Detroit: Become Human which was announced at Paris Games Week in October 2015.

Currently the free download codes are only available until 22 January 2016* and only for PC so get a copy while you can, and remember a unique part of the legend that was David Bowie today.

You can read David Cage’s full interview on Game Informer, and check the official Square Enix Twitter account for details on how to download Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

*A previous version of this article had stated the game was available until 22nd of January 2015, and this has now been updated.