Final Fantasy XV May See 2016 Western Release If PlayStation 4 Sells Well In Japan

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Final Fantasy is the universally acclaimed series of the now Square Enix. Created by Hironobu Sakaguchi as a last-ditch effort, Final Fantasy title came from Sakaguchi’s feelings stemming from that time that if the title does well, he will remain with the gaming industry and it didn’t, he would’ve quit the industry and would’ve gone back to university. Many publications despite Sakaguchi’s claim also attributed the title to then Squaresoft’s allegedly facing bankruptcy.

The game was a huge success for Squaresoft and it turned around the fortune of the company and Final Fantasy became the flagship franchise. Squaresoft immediately developed a second installment for Final Fantasy. Since Sakaguchi assumed that Final Fantasy would be a stand-alone title, it’s story was developed keeping that in mind so it doesn’t expand into a sequel. The developers of the second title instead chose to carry over thematic similarities from its predecessor, while some of the gameplay elements, such as the character advancement system, were overhauled.

This approach of Squaresoft (now Square Enix) has continued throughout the series with each major Final Fantasy title featuring a new cast, new setting, with only similarities tying to the previous titles being the name of items, magic, Aeons/Summons and a few non-major characters as well as the continuation of the numbering in Roman Numerals. Final Fantasy X became the first major Final Fantasy title to receive a direct sequel titled Final Fantasy X-2. Final Fantasy titles have been released regularly by Square Enix however the time between the releases of Final Fantasy XI(2002), Final Fantasy XII(2006) and Final Fantasy XIII(2009) have been longer than the previous titles released.

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Final Fantasy XV (previously known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII) is an upcoming new Final Fantasy title for the next-generation consoles; the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Originally intended to be released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 system before moving on to next-generation consoles with a title change, Final Fantasy XV has been in development since 2006. Final Fantasy Versus XIII was the most hyped title between gamers as it moves away from traditional role-playing titles in the Final Fantasy series and introduces Action role-playing genre to the series.

Seeing the previous releases of Final Fantasy titles (from Final Fantasy VII onwards), Square Enix has launched their titles on the consoles with an install base of over one million. Mainline Final Fantasy games are extremely front loaded and sell the most in week one of the release.

FFVII: 2,034,879 / 3,277,776 (62%)
FFVIII: 2,504,044 / 3,501,588 (72%)
FFIX: 1,954,421 / 2,707,301 (72%)
FFX: 1,749,737 / 2,323,463 (75%)
FFXII: 1,840,397 / 2,322,329 (79%)
FFXIII: 1,516,532 / 1,904,313 (80%)

figures courtesy of NeoGAF user, vicissitudes.

What all this means is that at the time of the release of a Final Fantasy title, the platform it’s on must have a sufficiently large install base. Square Enix cannot release a main line Final Fantasy title on a small install base as the title does not sell well past first week.

A mainline Final Fantasy game (since PlayStation One) has never been released on an install base lower than 4 million. The smallest install base on which a Final Fantasy title was released was of PlayStation 3’s with 4.3 million at the time of Final Fantasy XIII’s release (previously it was Final Fantasy X with PlayStation 2’s install base of 4.2 million).

Since Square Enix has poured a lot of time and resources into Final Fantasy XV’s development, it is possible that at the time of its release, they would want to match at least Final Fantasy XIII’s sales in order to back their development costs. Since Square Enix has said that Final Fantasy XV will be the most highest profitable Final Fantasy title to date, it is to be expected that they are speculating over 5 million units to be sold in week one.

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Coming back to install base of consoles,  PlayStation 4 will be released in February 2014 in Japan as opposed to November 2013 launch in the West, it would make sense for Square Enix to at least wait for the PlayStation 4 to reach 4 million install base in Japan before releasing Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV is also coming to Xbox One but seeing how PlayStation is more popular in Japan than the Xbox, hence the install base of PlayStation 4 is speculated to take over Xbox One’s easily.

The question is, how long will it take PlayStation 4 to reach 4 million units in Japan? If looking at the fastest selling console by Sony, PlayStation 2 took around 65 weeks to reach 4 million units in Japan. If the PlayStation 4 sells as fast as the PlayStation 2 in Japan then it will reach the 4 million mark around May-June 2015. However there are other factors in play as well for the PlayStation 4, that is, the software lineup for the platform. PlayStation 4 is being launched late in Japan because it doesn’t have anything great or big to offer the Japanese market. PlayStation 2 already had a few games out by its time and its predecessor, the PlayStation One, was already successful. Taking this into consideration we can assume that PlayStation 4 might take around 90 weeks to reach the 4 million mark which places it around December 2015. If we use the best case scenario then the earliest we can see the release of Final Fantasy XV for the Western markets would be sometime in 2016.

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If, however, PlayStation 4 takes the same amount of time as PlayStation 3 to reach 4 million mark, it would take around 160 weeks which places the date somewhere around May 2017. But let’s hope that its not the case as Sony have learned from their mistakes and arrogant behaviour they showed with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 is shaping up to be a great console.

4 million install base or not, it would be wise for Square Enix to also take into the considerations, the feelings of the fans who have awaited a whole generation for the title to be released. It would be wise not to disappoint them with more delays and also by not releasing a half-baked version of the title.

What are your thought on this? Let us know in the comments below.

  • anon

    “Final Fantasy Versus XIII was the most hyped title between gamers as it moves away from traditional role-playing titles in the Final Fantasy series and introduces Action role-playing genre to the series.”

    ^
    omg, get your faqs right man.. if someone from SE read this and thinks that the case, chances this game flops multiplies

  • Sigurd Simensen

    if they want to hit the 5 mill mark they need to make a good game. they need those 10/10’s in magazines. this has to be a new bioshock infinite, it has to be a new skyrim. it can’t be something people can argue about liking.

  • Anders

    The PS4 is selling extremely well in Europe and North America while they only sell around 10k each week in Japan. I think Final Fantasy XV will help selling a bunch of consoles in Japan the question is just if Square Enix will dare to release XV.

  • DistantDream21

    Apparently it’s already far into development. So we can chalk that out to upgrading to 8thGenGaming Standards and improving whatever they need to improve, That being said I’d say late this year to mid next year for japan and the usual localization time for the rest of the world, or they can make it later by japan’s standards and just give us a World Wide simultaneous release.

  • Xbox One rocks

    I knew it tht this over hyped piece of shit gaystation fan bitches are raving about for years yet it still haven’t come out. Lol I told all fan bitches of gaystation tht this shity game will also come out in the xbox one lol. Gaystation exclusives are getting smaller and smaller in minutes next is metal gear lol. Failstation fanbitches going have to wait for this garbage 10 more years? Lol pathetic game from pathetic developers. They should just cancel this shit n close down their company and sell it to Microsoft that why it can do better. I feel sorry from all noobs tht is still waiting for this garbage. If this happens to xbox I will not support the developers whatsoever. Now keep on dreaming Failstation fanbitches.

    • PS4Life

      Fuck off XBoxDumb fanboy, maybe I should say fanbitch as someone who calls other something is often that themselves. That’s all I’m gonna say.

    • PS4Life

      I’d also like to add to the fact that it’s also on XBoxOne, dumb fuck. Next time you bash the Playstation make sure to A) make sure its not blasting XBoxOne out of the water in every region so far, B) the game whose article you use is exclusive to PS, C) You have ten more years of gaming experience with games that aren’t FPS.

    • hellrunrock

      So how much does microsoft pays you.. idiot :/

  • dan

    Well, isn’t Sony expecting 5 million units sold by march 2014? Historical facts might help to predict, but in case of PS4, I wouldn’t be surprised if it writes its own history and becomes the fast selling console ever…

  • VinnySplendor

    Can they afford to wait that long?

    • They can’t actually and if you read the new company strategies being pulled by Square Enix, it’s like they want to perform Harakiri in front of everyone.

      • VinnySplendor

        Seems like a lot of the gaming companies I once loved are going downhill and making really bad decisions.

  • Steven Kelley

    2015 or 2016, really? After keeping everyone in the dark for all those years and then not releasing it on the system your originally announced it for. Releasing 3 Final Fantasy XIII’s, You’re going to make us wait about another 2+ years. SE can go screw themselves.

    • Gessekai

      You have to think, this guy is just speculating, and his speculations aren’t even coming out to be correct. He’s basing the PS4 sales like the PS3’s was. Though the PS4 had the highest sales in all of console history, 1 million on the first week I believe. Now, the PS4 is at about 4.2 million units sold in the US; just announced. If that was in the US, I believe in Japan it’ll be about 4 million before June, which will put it at a Fall/Winter release for Japan, and a Winter/Spring release for the US. Once again I have no clue how he got the estimate of 4 million units by December 2015. It’s only been a few months since the release and it’s at 4.2 million, in the US. C’mon now. Though if it is going to be then, we definitely all have the right to be upset.

  • Tifa Lockhart

    Who cares about Final Fantasy 15 anymore? I mean I was waiting a long looooong time for Versus since 2006 when I was 15. Now I”m 21, when this games come out i’ll be like what 30 years old (well that was an exaggeration, maybe I’ll be 26 or 27). Anyways, there are so many good games going to be released such as Mass Effect next gen, dragon age next gen, and many more from the know-how-to-do-business folks like Naughty Dog or Bungie. Just tell Nomura-san to go retire or something.

  • Jecht_Sin

    Is that a joke? I already waited 6 years for that game, now it is 2016 and even to be confirmed?

  • musicaholicz

    Why not release it on pc?

    • 209670938609387

      Because 1) the sales would be dismal compared to console, 2) tech support for PC is myriads more difficult to handle than consoles (Unless you’re EA and you’re releasing Sim City), 3) from the performance of FFVII and VIII, Square doesn’t think history will repeat itself in a good way (despite that decent graphics hardware is far more streamlined, widespread and easier to obtain now for desktops than it ever was in the early 2000’s), and 4) Laptop players must have a “gaming-intended” laptop to see decent performance — Core i-Series or AMD Fusion on chip graphics won’t cut it, and that’s the bulk of laptops out in the wild.

  • think-man

    2016 damn thats too long, that’ll be 10 years in dev

  • Considering what happened with FF XIII, this should sell extremely well! Meaning XIII was a game the public knew nothing about, it was just a brand new experience for fans of the franchise around the world and there were so many looking forward to it. But, seeing how some people were disappointed by it, the sequel’s sales weren’t as good. The same is expected to happen with XV. But I really don’t think that Square-Enix would push it as back as 2 years from now. We’re talking about a game that has been trapped in development limbo since 2006! And making a move like this would literally kill the franchise and the company. Early 2015 makes more sense (which is still a long time for any game to release). Former CEO of Square-Enix Yoichi Wada, when commenting about the original FF XIV, stated that “the name of franchise has already been harmed and another blow like that could be devastating”, and pulling a stunt like this would only do more bad than good. Also, current CEO Yosuke Matsuda stated that they want to change the relationship they have with their customers, keeping them up to date with how the games are coming along and delivering as soon as possible. My final point comes from an interview I read with the FF XIII saga producers Kitase and Toriyama, in which they stated that “their (the company’s) goal is to release (at least) one major title every year”. After LR and since XIV is already out, I don’t see anything in the horizon for the series apart from XV. You make valid points, I just don’t see them stretching this out that far. If anything, they could take advantage of this title’s marketing power and sell it in bundles along with the PS4. At least that’s how I bought my PS3 (along with XIII).

    • That’s very well written by you.

      And yes we can positively assume that FFXV bundles will be available as well seeing how XIII also had one. But it would most likely be only for the PS4.

      This tactic in turn can favor both the organizations; Square Enix with their game and Sony with their console. Driving the sales for both together.

    • 209670938609387

      Depends on the content. If XV is in name-only and a plot continuation of XIII, I’ll pass.

      If it’s new content that ignores the “Fabula Nova Chrysalis” world altogether (like the other originally numbered titles do), I’m listening.

      • You must not know a whole lot about the Fabula Nove Chrystalis mythos all together. Allow me to give you a few pointers:
        There are different universes connected by one common tale (that a God named Bhunivelze killed his mother Mwynn and she went and hid in the world of the undead. Then that God created three fal’cie, a.k.a. Pulse, Etro and Lindzei and ordered them to find the gate to the world of the dead, a.k.a. Valhalla, then he went to sleep). These universes use this tale as a plot device, but are in no other way associated to each other. There are actually 3 tales born from this mythos:
        -FF XIII, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns
        -FF Type-0 and Agito
        -FF XV
        As I said, the characters from these different universes will never have any association with each other. F.e. you won’t be seeing Lightning in Type-0 or XV, just like Noctis would never be in Lightning’s world. However you might see the occasional l’Cie or fal’Cie…

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    at first when I saw the headline I was confused but after reading the article it makes sense now. if FF XV were to really be delayed based on this to 2016, then that means Tetsuya Nomura will hold off KH III until 2017 as releasing two major titles in one year would spell disaster for them if you ask me.

  • heavenshitman1

    Speculating over 5 million sales in a week?. Pretty serious number. That’s kinda as though they’re expeciting 100% of the install base to instantly buy that game. And considering how long it’s taking to develop.. This is all just a dangerous trend. Dev costs and times are starting to become unfeasible.
    A game doesn’t have to have stellar productions to be fun or considered great . Just a good concept and design. Think we’ll expect a number of studios to be dying this generation.

  • EX+

    This game will come to the West way before 2016. Q4 2015 LATEST.

    • West is a big territory. Q4 2015 seems reasonable enough for NA territories whereas EU territories might see an early 2016 release.

    • 209670938609387

      Doubtful. I think they want to see how technical problems fan out with early adopters first. While FFX came out after a single year of PS2’s release, this is probably made more difficult with the multiple platform release: if one machine can do something 100% well and another does it at 80%, they have to scale it back to 80% for both to work predictably.

      Final Fantasy XIII was released three years after PS3 debut. They probably improved at their processes to close some of that time from three years to two, but I believe it when they say it.