Is Square Enix Willing to Take a Loss on Final Fantasy XV?

In the last few days, there has been talk about how many units need to be sold for Final Fantasy XV to be financially successful. Despite this discussion seemingly prompted by what seems to be a mistranslated statement, it is an interesting topic. The long awaited game has been in various forms of development for a decade. Now, years after its conception, with a gigantic number of people having worked on it during its countless iterations and countless dollars thrown into the wind, is it possible for the game to be a financial success, and is that even Square Enix’s primary goal?

It seems like Square Enix believe they have a good game, maybe even a great one. The unprecedented investment that was revealed during their recent Uncovered event seems to suggest that they truly believe that this is the game to revamp the Final Fantasy series. The only problem is that in the past, Square Enix have been somewhat unrealistic in regards to sales expectations. Now, with FFXV’s project team and the game’s Director Hajime Tabata setting a “voluntary goal” of 10 million units sold, is this the number that is actually expected? This is a game that has been plagued with various setbacks over the years, some well publicized, some only alluded to, leading to endless delays and sucking out any semblance of hype as the years have rolled by.

Right now, Square Enix is in full marketing and promotion mode with custom cars, an anime series, and a CG movie in the works, but can they really create enough hype for Final Fantasy XV to be an immediate commercial success? Only one Square Enix game has come close to approaching the numbers talked about by Tabata and co. That game was Final Fantasy VII. With countless iterations, versions and releases over the past 19 years, Square Enix have sucked dry what is one of the most celebrated games of all time. With that in mind, it seems almost farcical that their latest project could possibly come anywhere close to that success with any sort of immediacy, especially as it will lack availability on certain platforms upon release.

A custom Audi R8 designed for Final Fantasy XV

So is commercial success for Final Fantasy XV their immediate and primary goal? While the financial investment in marketing suggests that financial recuperation is on their minds; perhaps the company is willing to take an initial loss on their flagship title in order to prove to the world that the Final Fantasy Series can still be dominant and to secure success for the series’ future. If they do believe that the game is truly great and they successfully convince the players and critics of this fact (by releasing a game that is actually good), then perhaps an initial financial loss will be worth the increase of positive public perception of the franchise. With the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake Series and its inevitable spin-offs, it might be prudent of Square Enix to take the opportunity of Final Fantasy XV putting the franchise back on the map in a timely fashion, just in time to cash in on the perpetual cash cow that is Final Fantasy VII. It would be a rare move in the industry, but one that could work out.  The Final Fantasy VII Remake is widely speculated to be at least three games for the core series. Add whatever spin-offs you wish and you have a solid reason to repair Final Fantasy’s foundation and garner goodwill among consumers as a long term investment at the cost of short term finance.

  • Derrick

    great article. i think you’re spot on that they shouldn’t try to sell 10 million copies, but instead aim to repair perception of the franchise!! If they can deliver a game that rates high, then the game will sell and people will believe that square is back. and that will net them priceless dividends in the future.

    • Luke George

      Thanks! We can only hope that the game is as good as they are telling us it is. I read somewhere SE calling it the “Ultimate Final Fantasy”. It’s a big call.

      • Matthew Rhodes

        I agree! “Ultimate Final Fantasy”? On a home console? Yeeeeeeeah… Sure. I just don’t see any interesting characters nor their designs. It looks like some S&M/matrix crap. I played the demo and thought. Now! If they could do FF5 or even Final Fantasy with these mechanics? That would be awesome! But, for the characters they are certainly very lack luster. Which is a shame. I haven’t bought ANY Final Fantasy after 9. Well, I did buy FF14online. I’ll just wait for the “Ultimate Final Fantasy” remake. Which is already underway. Looks like Avalanche has to save the world again from man’s greed.

  • Razma

    here’s an idea…RELEASE IT ON PC. 10 million units, easy

    • GabrielleD

      They’ll do that once they realise that they made a massive budget hole and they’re never going to fill it up, but by that time people’d be turning away from the game. Square’s digging a deep hole.

      • badassn

        That makes no sense. The majority of profit for multiplatform games is made from console games, not PC games.

    • onstrike112

      No joke! They won’t be hamstrung by hardware either. Consoles hold back gaming. Why focus on the things that hold back gaming for gaming?

      • Perry Davis

        Take a list of people that have PC’s that can handle beyond what current gen consoles can do and take a list of people who own current gen consoles and I think you’ll see why. They’re not idiots. They’re focusing on the largest market. As for why they’re neglecting to make a PC version, I have no idea. They would certainly make more money that way.

        • onstrike112

          Actually it takes little more than a mid to high range AMD APU to make such a pc… So you’re quite wrong.

    • noctcaelum

      Agree, it’s been years and pc players are still begging for a pc release.the livestream chatbox on youtube alone is plagued by people begging for a pc release.add some bonus content here and there and let the modders do the rest.then BAM!

    • Keithisonfire

      I wouldn’t release it for PC. It would just get torrented on Piratebay. Why would I buy it for $80 +tax on ps4 when I could just download the better version of it for free?

    • badassn

      They have alluded that they will, but will first release the game on PS4 and Xbox One. Question though, in what world does PC sales exceed console sales?

  • anthony optimo

    Final fantasy 13 sucked, biggest waste of time and money I ever invested. After that I kinda lost interest in Square.

  • Ness J. Wimbleton

    somewhere i read that the 10m copies was just a personal goal, not a financial requirement

    • Luke George

      Yup, that was the mistranslated statement referred to at the beginning of the article 🙂 Tabata clarified later (the link is in there somewhere) that the 10 million was a “voluntary goal” set by the dev team.

  • Keithisonfire

    They might not make a huge profit on the first game but you can bet your firstborn that they will recycle everything in this game (enemies, characters, world map, etc, etc.) and make a sequel FFXV-2 and just give it a new story and release another AAA priced game.

  • Leo Division

    +1 for the PC release

  • Yanii

    In all honesty i don’t care about this game i just want to play the FF& remake. They should have put all their time and effort into making FF7…something we know.