Square Enix has spent the last decade pumping money into the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. Originally it was announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII back in 2006, and now it’s evolved into another numerical sequential in the Final Fantasy series due to how long it’s been in development. Well, those costs have added up and the game will need to sell more than 10 million to make back its budget.
According to IGN, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata explained that over the course of its market lifespan, the game will need to sell more than 10 million to make back its budget and to post profit. IGN presumes that this also includes all of the money Square dumped into the anime, mobile games and the upcoming KingsGlaive movie.
At $60 a pop and 10 million copies (assuming it could even move that many within its first two quarters of being on the market) that’s a $600 million return. However, you would have to knock off retailer cuts, platform royalty fees and other expenses, such as licensing. So technically the $600 million whittles down to approximately $270 million. That’s the expected budget of the game and the additional properties attached to it, along with the marketing and being trapped in development hell for a decade.
To be completely honest, a $270 million ROI isn’t that bad considering how long Final Fantasy XV has been in production and the amount of exposure it’s received over the past few recent years.
The real trouble isn’t making back what they put into it (assuming sales are as strong if not stronger than what Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain achieved out of the gate last year) the real trouble is posting profits on this behemoth project. It’s seen so much bloat that turning it into something that could feed back into other projects is starting to look like a long shot.
One thing they could do to help bolster sales is make a freaking PC port… I still don’t see why this isn’t on the table, yet. Given that it’s running on x86 architecture a there’s really no excuse why Square isn’t putting some resources into luring in the Glorious PC Master Race. Then again, the Luminous Engine — which seems to be capable of producing near photorealistic imagery and light path rendering like the Fox Engine — may not be all that PC friendly. On the upside, WCCF Tech is reporting that Tabata is aware of the call for a PC version and it hasn’t decided yet how they’ll handle that situation. So there’s hope.
Anyway, it’s a strange position that Square has put themselves in and I hope things work out because Final Fantasy XV is probably one of the best looking games this generation. However, pumping the amount of money they did into this game over the amount of time that they did just comes across to me as being completely wasteful.