Square Enix Lied to You About Final Fantasy VIII
Several weeks ago TDT reported that rumours about there being a physical version of Final Fantasy VIII Remastered were false. We had every reason to believe that they were false. The rumour started after Play-Asia (and several other online stores) put up a product page for the game, indicating that there would be a physical SKU. Square Enix put an end to these rumours by issuing a press release indicating that Final Fantasy VIII Remastered would be digital only. This was a lie tho.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will be getting a physical release before the end of 2019. Anyone who bought Final Fantasy VIII Remake digitally would be entitled to be furious with Square Enix, because they have been effectively swindled. On the other hand, this is good news for the rest of us. The game will be released on a game card that also comes with Final Fantasy VII, so we are getting access to a physical version of two classic PS1 entries to carry forward. Switch cards are great for the permanence of one’s game collection.
Square Enix probably wishes that the game was physical only though. The reason that we get nice physical versions of Switch games is because Southeast Asia has no Nintendo eshop, and so some of the more important digital releases get physical versions to sell in that region. This also seems to be the reason why Southeast Asia is getting a physical release of Dragon Quest I, II, and III. Many of these releases tend to be in English in order to cater towards the complex mix of languages spoken in this region. English is probably the world’s most widely spoken second language, likely owing to England’s colonial history, and this works out very well for us in this instance.
The Largesse of Epic Moneyhatting Has Been Exposed
We have known for a while now that the moneyhatting of Epic in order to get exclusive content for the Epic Game Store must be pretty freaking huge – how could it not be? Any deal would have to be pretty damn lucrative to get developers to steer clear from releasing their games on the world’s biggest PC storefront. Despite knowing all of this, the finer details of this arrangement has long evaded us. Well, now the situation has been laid bare, and the moneyhats of Epic are volumous to say the least.
Remedy, the studio behind Max Payne and Alan Wake, has recently released a game named Control, which is an Epic Store exclusive. Digital Bros., the parent company behind 505 Games who published the game, has this week released an earnings report which clearly details the size of the moneyhat they are wearing. 505 Games were given 9.49 million Euros (10.45 million USD) for making the game Epic Game Store exclusive. In addition to this 505 Games gets to keep a larger percentage of game sales, along with Epic guaranteeing the game sales that they were predicted to make on Steam, which likely means that they have another big check coming.
Risk and risk mitigation have long been a fixture of the game development landscape, so how could any publisher afford to refuse such an offer? Obviously these moneyhats are negotiated on a game by game basis, but if other offers are proportional to this one then it seems like an offer that is just impossible to refuse. Remedy has previously confirmed that the budget for Control was somewhere between 20 and 30 million Euros, so the 9.49+ million Euros that Epic are offering is better than 1/3 of the game’s total budget. The sales of Control seem less than stellar so far, so this deal is likely the difference between profit and loss for Remedy and 505 Games. Not sure whether to consider this a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly is impressive.
Japan Tackles Obsolescence in the Age of Throw Away Games
This week the Japan Game Scenario Writers Association have unveiled a new initiative. This undertaking will see the scripts for games that are no longer accessible in any way released to a public archive in order to be preserved. The only thing to remain of said games, save for their marketing. Such scripts will be the only hard proof that these games ever tangibly existed. Maybe they never existed in the first place? All of these shitty phone games lost in time, like tears in the rain!
The first game to receive this treatment is Bandai Namco’s Project LayereD, a game that appears to have been released some time in 2017, but which has already been relegated to obsolescence. Swept from the board! On this week’s podcast the panel briefly discussed the fact that the devs behind Octopath Traveller and Bravely Default have been relegated to working on a phone game by the name of Various Daylife.
They are talented devs, so the game actually looks kind of charming, but it is being released for a system without an adequate input method, and when it gets pulled from the App Store it will be gone with nary a trace. This is not even Square Enix’s only offender – War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius looks to stylistically channel Final Fantasy Tactics, but this attractive SRPG is a phone game that runs on gacha mechanics. When the game is delisted it will be like it never existed. This is the absolute state of the mobile gaming market!