Microsoft has made the case that video game exclusivity to platforms is normal by pointing out four of Sony’s recent exclusives. Among those named games is one major release coming this 2023: Final Fantasy 16.
We already knew that Final Fantasy 16 would be launching as an exclusive to the PlayStation 5, as Square Enix have announced it on Sony’s own event. However, there was still a window of doubt on whether the game would also be coming to Xbox platforms down the line. Microsoft’s naming of this game in this way seems to suggest that will not be the case at all.
This is part of the argument that Microsoft shared to the FTC to plead their case to OK the acquisition:
“In addition to direct exclusives, Sony also enters into agreements with third-party publishers requiring Xbox to be “excluded” from the list of platforms on which these publishers can distribute their games. Some of the notable examples of such agreements include games Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix), Bloodborne (From Software), expected Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix) and the recently announced remaster Silent Hill 2 (Bloober Team).”
Final Fantasy being one of the premier legacy video game franchises, Final Fantasy 16 was guaranteed to have a certain number of the fandom to buy the game. However, Square Enix has particular ambitions to meet with this game, so they are not content to just rely on their hardcore fans.
As Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida has pointed out, the series as a whole has been struggling in recent years, a situation borne from the development and reception of their two most recent mainstream Final Fantasy titles, Final Fantasy 14 and Final Fantasy 15.
The company is at a point where they are struggling to interpret the conflicting feedback from fans on where they want the series to go. Square Enix’s solution is to make many different kinds of Final Fantasy games.
This Final Fantasy will be non-traditional, while their Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection is hoped to meet the demand from older fans of the traditional turn based games.
Final Fantasy 16 was rated 16 in Brazil, with the promise of many adult scenarios and content that will only be allowed for players 16 years old and above. This includes “violence with weapons, blood, intentional deaths, torture and victims suffering. Drugs, prostitution, and sexual content both shown and talked about. Hate crimes.”
With all that in mind, Square Enix may not see this as a game for all players, but it will have the kind of appeal games like God of War and Assassins Creed will have. Some older Final Fantasy fans may not want to play a game like this, but it’s got a sure audience that can make it a million seller, even on only one console.