The Savior that Refuses to Show Up

Kotaku’s article The Final Fantasy XV Problem is a very good read on the effects that delaying XV for so long can bring, and what it means (or could mean) if when it finally comes out. I recommend you read it, particularly if you – like me – are interested in what the future holds for this beloved franchise.

While not as savvy as I am today (not that I’m particularly knowledgeable NOW, mind you), previous Final Fantasy releases have always been important to me and I’ve thought they were important to the console as well, being one of the big names in the industry.

Remember when it was revealed that VII was jumping ship from the big N to Playstation? I had gone the N route and was happy until my cousing lent me a PS1 with VII for a weekend. Needless to say, a PS1 (with VII) was my next system. And it is in part because of FF that I’ve stayed in the Playstation camp to this day.

So, is XV such an important game as to put the weight of this console generation (and future ones) on its shoulders? Maybe not, but the impact that XV could have on PS4 sales in Japan is very, very real. Kotaku’s statement about companies jumping to whichever console a Final Fantasy goes to? I don’t find that weird or implausible at all.

If XV flops will the console generation flop with it? Hardly. The console business in Japan isn’t so hot right now as it is, but they have other passions such as Dragon Quest – which is coming to consoles (even before XV!). But it would be naive to think that a name like Final Fantasy won’t move consoles. Even in a post-XIII world, Final Fantasy is still a name that commands respect. Sure, it’s not the juggernaut it once was, but it’s still a big name.

If Final Fantasy XV doesn’t do well, perhaps there’s not much of a future for console games – Hajime Tabata, XV’s co-director.

Mr. Habata’s words about the future of consoles are scary to me. Mobile games are good (some are even great) but a world without huge games that take you on adventures with wonderful worlds/characters/music, that are enjoyed best in the comfort of a sofa/chair, a good controller and viewed in a big screen… #nope.

It is undeniable: a lot is riding on XV. The future of the Final Fantasy franchise, for one. Impacted by the negative reception of XIII (and SE’s almost sexual fetish for releasing sequels for it) and XIV‘s disastrous launch (thankfully turned around with A Realm Reborn), the name itself has been brought down as of late. That its XVth entry has had such a rocky history and is so absent… isn’t helping at all. It’s reaching Duke Nukem Forever levels of ridiculousness.

SE’s finances are… look, they’ve devoted 8 years of resources (both monetary and human) to make a game that has barely been seen at all. Imagine the hole in their pockets caused by this “game”. And the hole keeps getting deeper. If the Type-0 PS4/X1 release is coming hopefully late 2015, it stands to reason that XV won’t see the light of day until at least 2016. In this best case scenario, XV would release 10 years after it was announced, which is (forgive me, Crystal) ridiculous. 10 years of expenditures will probably put XV in the uncomfortable position of having to sell a ridiculous amount of units to break even or make a profit. Also, SE is the company that thought selling 4 million units of Tomb Raider wasn’t “satisfactory” when most games would love to sell even half that amount.

Can Final Fantasy XV save consoles in Japan? Can FFXV bring back what was wondrous about the franchise before? Can Final Fantasy XV live up to the hype? Who knows. It’s probably impossible at this point. The game just can’t be that good.

Can it?

After all, despite 7 years of nothing, SE shows one single trailer with impressive displays, and fans hoped again. How long will they wait to make fans get excited again?

How long can they (and the generation) afford to wait?

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