Xbox and Square Enix, what went wrong?
After the recent announcement of the release date of Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, which will once again be available on almost all platforms in existence except Xbox, it is clear how Square Enix It has no intention of including Microsoft platforms in its release plans and one really has to wonder what went wrong between the two companies, because there must be something behind that. There is no mention of delays in releases or time-exclusivity agreements, which have always existed and which are now considered normal especially between Japanese publishers and Sony, but of cases where Xbox is regularly banned In the exits layout, which may still include multiple platforms. In addition to the historical case of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, whose exclusive relationship seems to have ended but never made it to this console, we’re talking Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, Octopath Traveler 2, and various others.
The most widespread idea, and also tacitly supported by developers in some situations, is Square Enix games. They don’t sell enough on Xbox, but this is also the drive that has many questionable elements. Apart from that in the case of Pixel Remasters, as also pointed out by Jez Corden in his article on the state of relations between Square Enix and Microsoft, we are talking about games that are made available in any format, including Amazon Fire Tablet but not on Xbox. In any case, to abandon such a conviction, a potential audience of 50-60 million users (taking into account the Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S according to very low estimates) means to predict regular sales of almost zero, given the cost of The conversion cost of some of these titles appears to be very low, and recouping that cost would require at least modest sales, and thus may seem an overly pessimistic prediction.
The hardware architectures are already particularly similar to each other, but what’s more, nowadays, if you switch to PC, the extra work that needs to be done to launch a title on Xbox isn’t exactly prohibitive, and most Square Enix games release on the system. Basic Windows. Of course, it must be taken into account costs From licensing, certification, optimization and all subsequent support, but on a truly multi-platform title it has to be redeemed even without hitting shocking sales.
Especially since some titles will definitely be based on a potential audience, such as the Final Fantasy 7 Remake that Xbox users have always shown great interest in or Final Fantasy 16: the previous chapters released on this platform certainly sold much less than the PlayStation, but not a quantity tending to zero such as justifying the deletion of any port projects on the platform . So there seems to be some sort of “political” choice behind it, or some strategic assessment beyond simple amounts of copies, also because the trend of these exceptions is a bit erratic since it’s not about some titles whose commercial potential on Xbox has at least questionable like DioField Chronicle and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, which is released regularly on Microsoft consoles. We’ve also seen the absurd case of Octopath Traveler having the first chapter on Xbox but not PlayStation, while the second comes out on PlayStation but not Xbox: despite Square Enix’s explanations for sales and the desire to focus resources, the result is at least bizarre.
So it seems the question is related to a difficult relationship Between the two companies, as also highlighted by Corden on Windows Central, also because lower retail sales could be offset by agreements related to Xbox Game Pass, for example, but on that front, even Microsoft itself doesn’t seem like it wants to commit too much with the Japanese publisher. After the grace period that resulted in Outriders and Octopath Traveler being released at launch on Game Pass, it looks like something definitely cracked. Indeed, difficult relationships in terms of exclusive time and partnerships could date back to the infamous time except for Rise of the Tomb Raider, given that the estrangement between the two entities seems to date back to that period and to the impulsive reaction with which this agreement was unleashed among the public and the press. . Sure, the simplest explanation has to do with the issue of poor sales on Microsoft’s consoles, but the idea is that there might still be something else behind it. This may not relate exclusively to the agreements between Square Enix and Sony, but also and perhaps above all due to the lack of harmony and ability to agree between Microsoft and Square Enix.
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