Final Fantasy 16 Success Limited By PS5, Claims Former Square Enix Exec

PS5 Exclusivity Held Final Fantasy 16 Back!

Final Fantasy 16 launched to much buzz following the announcement of a new approach to the JRPG franchise. With the team behind Final Fantasy 14 leading development and a promising universe, the game had a lot of potential.

Square Enix was quick to sign an exclusivity deal with PlayStation, releasing Final Fantasy 16 as a timed PS5 exclusive. The game went on to sell over 3 million units in its first week, but it appears to have disappointed a few people in the industry.

Among such people, former Square Enix executive Jacob Navok has recently reflected on the game’s launch. He believes PS5 exclusivity was a major limiting factor for the JRPG.

Why it matters: The PS5 console had sold close to 40 million units around the release of the game. Therefore, the exclusivity contract limited the potential install base of the latest Final Fantasy release.

Final Fantasy 16

As reported by Axios, Jacob Navok believes Final Fantasy 16 is a good game at its core.

It received great reviews, securing a score of 87/100 on Metacritic, impressing critics through its action-packed gameplay and more. However, Square Enix took a major risk by signing an exclusivity contract with PlayStation.

Jacob Navok asserted Square Enix had to rely on PlayStation to sell the game. While PlayStation spent plenty of time marketing the game, it may not have gone the extra mile like other first-party games.

He further said that such exclusivity contracts put publishers at a disadvantage because:

“Your individual title matters less to the platform holder than it does to you.”

Previous sales reports about Final Fantasy 16 have been anything but conflicting. While Square Enix has publicly claimed to be pleased with the sales results, reports claim that higher-ups expected more from a Final Fantasy release.

Square Enix has begun work on a PC port for the game, expecting to release the port in 2024. However, the former Square Enix executive suggests that a day-one PC release would have been the best option for the publisher.

Nonetheless, Square Enix is continuing its exclusivity contract with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. The next major JRPG release from the franchise will launch as a PS5 exclusive again but with a shorter three-month exclusivity contract.

The next Final Fantasy release is scheduled for 29 February 2024. This release should be followed by the PC port of Final Fantasy 16 a few months later, leading to an exciting year for fans of the JRPG series.

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