After extremely positive reviews, and a drought of a good, single-player Final Fantasy game since 12, reports from Square Enix state that day one sales across boxed and digital versions for Final Fantasy XV have exceeded 5 million, making it the fastest selling title in series’ history.
Fans of the Final Fantasy series – myself included – can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Had XV failed–and after its well-chronicled development hell and lukewarm predecessor, this seemed like a distinct possibility–it may have not only spelled doom for one of gaming’s most long-running, cherished series, but could have also cast out ripples affecting Japanese console gaming as a whole.
Thankfully, this is now just a what-if–five million units is exceptional by any standard. The cost incurred in making and advertising this game will probably make breaking even something that remains to be seen, but money isn’t the only goal here. Square Enix has infused new life into the series, making it more likely that follow up titles in the series will sell better, and that the franchise itself will enjoy increased longevity. Make no mistake–this is a win.
Other interesting notes–the game has moved many more copies on the PS4 than the Xbox One, with a 79% to 21% break. Assuming that it didn’t require a huge investment to make the game available on both consoles, this is still positive. It does paint the picture of what type of audiences are purchasing these consoles, although it’s a skewed number. Global release plays a large role, and in Japan, Xbox One is about as popular as driving a car while sitting upside down, using your hands to work the pedals and your feet to steer. I’m not saying it’s impossible, it’s just not something you see a lot. I’d be curious to see the American split.
Bizarre similes aside, Final Fantasy XV deserves the hype. It’s a great, addictive game where the bright spots more than make up for some of the blemishes along the way. It’s a solid RPG experience, but more importantly, it recaptures the magic of the series that has been absent for too long. If Final Fantasy 16 follows this blueprint, then Square Enix truly has righted their FF ship.