Square Enix recently refuted widespread skepticism regarding Final Fantasy 16’s sales performance. Despite polarized fan reactions, they report a robust connection between the game’s robust sales and PlayStation 5’s increasing user base.
Week one saw Final Fantasy 16 sell three million copies exclusively on PS5, stirring online debates on whether it matched Square Enix’s expectations. It’s interesting to compare this with previous titles such as the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which moved 3.5 million copies in just three days on PS4 in April 2020. Final Fantasy 15 stands as the fastest-selling game in the series history, having sold five million units on the first day across PS4 and Xbox One in November 2016.
- Key reasons for the sales debate included:
- A Bloomberg report suggesting a sharp decrease in Final Fantasy 16’s second-week sales in Japan.
- Comparison with older games in the franchise which saw stronger initial sales.
- Implications of Square Enix struggling with keeping the franchise’s momentum high.
However, in a press release, Square Enix emphasizes the significant difference between PS4’s user base during the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and PS5’s user base during the release of Final Fantasy 16.
According to the statement, “With 38 million PS5 consoles shipped globally (as of March 31, 2023), sales of Final Fantasy 16 surpassed three million units worldwide several days after its release on June 22, 2023. Considering the sales figures of the renowned Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the difference in size of the PlayStation 4’s user base at the time of this title’s release, it is clear that the attachment rate of Final Fantasy 16 is relatively high for the PS5 user base.
Square Enix also highlighted their high satisfaction with Final Fantasy 16’s initial sales and their dedication to promoting the game to reach more players.
Indeed, Square Enix is notorious for their lofty sales expectations, with successful games such as Tomb Raider and Hitman internally considered underperformers despite their million copies sales. Sources close to Final Fantasy 16’s performance admitted sales slowed post-launch but denied the game’s perceived failure. The announcement of potential DLC and further development time indicate the game might still have a prosperous future.
Notably, Final Fantasy 16 parted ways with the franchise’s staple role-playing features, adopting a more gritty, action-based experience, invoking comparisons with Game of Thrones.
Our review of Final Fantasy 16 praises its fast-paced, action-oriented combat, compelling narrative, character development, and world building, on par with the best of the series. The Active Time Lore feature is seen as setting a new standard for story-heavy games, keeping players invested in its world.
Louise Wooldridge, research manager at Ampere Analysis, expressed optimism for Final Fantasy 16. Ampere Games – Analytics data shows Final Fantasy 16 as the sixth most popular title among active PS5 users globally in June. It held the second place for three days after the launch, overtaking Fortnite and Call of Duty, but falling short of FIFA 23. By the end of the month, it settled in fourth place, leading big live service titles such as Diablo 4, NBA 2K 23, and GTA 5.
Wooldridge noted the challenging market conditions during Final Fantasy 16’s launch, as well as its early release in the PS5 lifecycle compared to FF7R in the PS4 lifecycle, making direct comparisons tricky.
As the gaming community anticipates the path Square Enix will take for the inevitable Final Fantasy 17, excitement is building for the winter launch of Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Part 2, officially titled Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Speculation is also rife about a potential remake of Final Fantasy 6 within the Square Enix corridors.