Final Fantasy XVI Rumour Round-Up
There have been a number of rumours swirling around for several months now, and their persistence warrants mention. Many of these rumours can be traced back to a Sony insider by the name of Navtra, who accurately predicted the game line-up for Sony’s PS5 unveiling, sans Final Fantasy XVI of course. According to rumours Final Fantasy XVI was supposed to be unveiled alongside Project Athia, but for unknown reasons it was a no show. This was the only significant part of Navtra’s PS5 showcase prediction that did not pan out, so it seems likely that the information was not false, but the game’s debut was instead pushed back for undisclosed reasons – probably due to the Chinese Flu pandemic. According to these same rumours Final Fantasy XVI will be a timed exclusive, and Square Enix are eyeing a 2022 release for the game, though one would not be at all surprised to see this released date pushed back.
This all sounds very plausible. It has been four years since the release of Final Fantasy XV, and by the time 2022 rolls around the game will have potentially had a development cycle of six years. There is also every reason that Square Enix would want to make the game a timed exclusive. People are predicting that the PS5 is more likely to pull ahead of the Series X, so that it seems likely that Square Enix would want to put their eggs in that basket. Timed exclusivity does somewhat limit the potential of the game’s sales at launch, but it means that the development team only has to focus on developing one version of the game upfront, they can make use of free Sony marketing for the game, and it allows Square Enix to defer part of the game’s revenue into the following financial year, which might look a little better on the books.
Rumours have further suggested that Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) is leading the Final Fantasy XVI project. Yoshi-P has strenuously denied being involved in the project, but then Japanese developers (and specifically Square Enix employees) think nothing of lying to their audience. It is known for a fact that a large scale unnamed AAA next generation game is being developed under the supervision of Yoshi-P, but it remains to be seen whether this project turns out to be Final Fantasy XVI. Square Enix do not often dedicate AAA budgets to unproven new IPs, which makes the rumour seem plausible. That being said, Square Enix are wasting a AAA budget on the new IP of Project Athia, which looks just awful, so maybe their new company policy is to greenlight AAA budgets for any old shit that comes across their desk.
Finally, it has been rumoured that Final Fantasy XVI will feature an action battle system – which is no great stretch of credulity given the recent fortunes of the series. This rumour is based on the fact that Square Enix have recently hired Ryota Suzuki, a designer known for his work on Devil May Cry and Dragon’s Dogma. This is both the good news and the bad news. Good news in that the action battle system is in better hands than the clusterfuck that was Final Fantasy XV. Bad news in that this is not the direction that we wish to see the series move in. At any rate, this is all just rumour and speculation, so one should take it with a grain of salt.
Playasia Becomes a Game Publisher
Playasia has increasingly become a refuge for Western gamers who like big boobs and butts on anime QTs in an environment which celebrates grotesque depictions of violent tranny sodomy, yet shrieks in disgust at the mere hint of a buxom waifu. Just look at what happened to Fairy Tail last week! For years now Playasia have been sourcing English friendly Asian games that are too obscure or sexually orthodox to actually get a Western release, and getting them into the hands of Westerners who will appreciate them.
Now Playasia is actually getting into the publishing game, and will be jointly publishing Moero Crystal H in partnership with Eastasiasoft. They will be releasing the game physically through Playasia sometime in August, and will be releasing the game digitally through the Switch online store sometime in September. Moero Crystal was originally released for the Vita back in 2015, but it never received an English language release. Now the game has been visually enhanced for the Switch, and is receiving an English release that has been a long time in coming with Moero Crystal H.
Moero Crystal H is a first person dungeon crawler RPG developed by Compile Heart. The game stars Zenox the “Lucky Pervert”, who serves as the game’s protagonist, and acts as the game’s support mage. Zenox is able to recruit up to 80 monster girls in order to do battle for him. There are also extensive skinship mini games.
This project was funded by PA and EAS in partnership. There is a lot more risk (and excitement) involved in scaling the size of projects, so this partnership allows us to confidently take those steps with the time and attention required.
Localization and understanding the appeal of various titles goes hand in hand, and as fans of the source material it is easy for us to make it a priority to have the experience be as accurate as possible.
The success of this venture looks set to directly determine Playasia’s plans to publish further games going forward, however things are already looking pretty good in that respect given that Moero Crystal H’s limited edition (limited to 3000 copies) has already sold out (though the standard edition is still available):
We are watching the results of this project eagerly, and have high aspirations for future projects. There are lots of high quality Japanese titles that need English localization and we’d be honored to help bring those titles to new audiences. Slow and steady, proof of concept etc. MC has been very successful from a pre-order standpoint and the digital release will surely be equally exciting.
You really love to see it! One of the good guys of the industry getting involved like this! This author sincerely wishes Playasia every success with this endeavour, because we need more stand up companies like Playasia publishing games.
Big Japanese Sequels Fall Short
The Chinese Flu lockdown has been a Godsend for gaming companies. Nintendo raked in $3.34 billion USD during the lockdown period, which is twice the revenue that they enjoyed for the quarter in the prior year. The quarantine period spurred Animal Crossing: New Horizons to frankly astronomical levels of success, selling 22.4 million units, and it certainly did no harm to Pokemon Sword and Shield either, which sold 18.22 million units. Not every game benefited to the same degree however.
In the four months since release Final Fantasy VII Remake has sold 5 million copies. These are absolutely strong sales, yet they are not quite so impressive when viewed within context. The initial 1990s run of Final Fantasy VII sold somewhere in the vicinity of 9 million units, though, of course, that game was lightning in a bottle. The completely awful Final Fantasy VX sold 5 million units in its first day on sale, which completely blows Final Fantasy VII Remake out of the water. Final Fantasy XV had an advantage in that it also released on the Xbox One, while Final Fantasy VII Remake launched as a PS4 exclusive. That being said, the Xbox One version of the game did not sell particularly well, so it does not skew the comparison to the point of it becoming meaningless. Final Fantasy XV was the first Final Fantasy title on a new generation of consoles, and it was the first mainline Final Fantasy game released in six years, and so it presumably sold a good many copies based on hype, expectations, and the scarcity of such experiences on the PS4 and Xbox One platforms. Final Fantasy VII Remake had to launch in a much tougher environment, where consumers already knew what a current generation Final Fantasy game looked like, and, frankly speaking, had already been burned by Final Fantasy XV. That said, it does not look good for such a near mythical game like Final Fantasy VII to get creamed by an objective failure such as Final Fantasy XV.
As a point of comparison, it is much easier to see why the Resident Evil 3 remake failed to achieve the success of previous instalments. When Resident Evil VII released in 2017 it was greeted as a well received return to form for a series that had gone awry. It sold 3.5 million copies in its first few months on sale, and that figure has increased to 7.5 million copies sold in the three years since its launch. Capcom was then able to capitalise on the good will from Resident Evil VII as well as the good will from the original Resident Evil 2, in order to successfully launch the Resident Evil 2 remake to initial sales of 4.2 million copies, and eventual sales of 6.6 million copies – which is more copies sold than the original Resident Evil 2. Following on from here was a tough act to follow, and it would seem that the Resident Evil 3 remake was not equal to the task. The game was an excellent fast paced action title, albeit with a much smaller volume of content than the Resident Evil 2 remake, in much the same way as Resident Evil Nemesis had less content than OG Resident evil 2. The Resident Evil 3 remake is an excellent remake of Nemesis, but then it would seem that people did not want a remake of Nemesis, but instead wanted a sequel to the Resident Evil 2 remake, which it definitely was not. Because of that people bitched and moaned all over Youtube about how much the game sucked, and how much of a ripoff it was, when actually anyone who enjoyed Nemesis back in the day would probably find more than enough to enjoy here. Because of this overwhelmingly poor word of mouth the game has only sold 2.7 million copies since launch. This is still an excellent number, yet compared to all modern mainline Resident Evil games since Resident Evil 5 it is a sales disappointment. One hopes that through Steam sales it eventually becomes more fondly remembered than its initial reception.