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What can Square Enix do to make Final Fantasy sell FF7 level again? (Or sell more than a B tier Wrpg?)

Jul 24, 2016
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When it comes to Jrpgs on consoles it's no doubt that Final Fantasy is the biggest Jrpg franchise out there, during the launch of FF7 back in the PS1 days it's timing with the popularity of animez, arguably deceptive advertising, and Sony partnership backing after as the PS1 was taking off since late 1996, it created the environment to release the best selling Final Fantasy game all time that has yet to be matched (although XV is currently close) or surpassed by any other console Jrpg franchise, including it's own.

As the years went on Final Fantasy would struggle to really regain that peak of popularity, in fact most games sold quite a bit below that height. Later on even B-tier Wrpgs would sell at around or just just under FF7 numbers, while games like FFXIII would sell as low as some C-tier wrpgs.

My question is what can Square Enix do to regain those FF7 sales or even surpass them? What did Square Enix do wrong?

They have the music, the writers, the tools, the powerful machines, the staff, the voice actors, the animators, the world designers, yet they either are good but can't scratch that itch, or they are mixed/bad and poorly implemented.

Why can't Square Enix figure this out? Are they incompetent? Do they refuse to listen to fans? Do they have internal struggles with conflicting staff making development harder? Do they take too long to make games? Do they outsource too much? Should they change the gameplay to something more like an action rpg or go back to turn-based? Of course they did both of those and neither pulled the results needed.

What exactly did they do wrong and what aren't they doing that they did before with FF7? How do they get back or past that point? What do they need to do?
 
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Zog

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There was a time when they could release a new game every year or two. In those days the stakes were lower because if you didn't like a game the next entry wasn't too far away. There was also a time when your characters didn't jump around like acrobats.
 

Captain Toad

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I think Final Fantasy XV sold a lot better than you believe or Final Fantasy VII on PS1/PC sold a lot worse than you believe.

XV has sold 9 million units. Which are all the B-tier RPGs that are selling better than that again?
 
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Jul 24, 2016
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I think Final Fantasy XV sold a lot better than you believe

If you read my comment about XV in the OP correctly you wouldn't have wrote this because I never implied it sold badly.

Sell themselves to Microsoft.
Microsoft gives the IP back to Sakaguchi and Uematsu.
There, franchise saved.

On one consoles? And an Xbox one at that? lol. ok.

Not making the games exclusive to one platform would be a good start.
Final Fantasy has been multiplat for awhile.
 

GamesAreFun

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Jul 27, 2018
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My personal take, but to make the plot appeal to Western sensibilities it needs to be more "grounded". I'd make it less full of anime tropes - FF7 remake had ridiculous grunting & cliche dialog from the very first minute, FF13 had a nonsensical plot, and FF15 had you playing as a J-Pop boyband.

From what I've seen FF16 does look a bit better in this regard, the plot seems more mature and the characters clothing isn't comprised entirely of belts.

And drop the turn-based combat for good, though Square Enix has realised that lesson already.
 
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Cert.in.Death

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It's not entirely their fault, TBH. JRPGs were the flagship genre for years and Squaresoft was perched on the mountaintop at the apex of their popularity.

How do they inspire the market to get back to those types of games? I think they're on the right path already. Action-oriented battle systems with character hot-swapping has been their aim since they teased FF versus XIII for the PS3, and they delivered on the premise in FFVII:R. The more difficult hurdle is content density, which requires either adopting a GaaS model or iterating on a game product over time (via expansions, DLC episodes, or full-on sequels).
 

ThatGamingDude

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Aug 30, 2018
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I mean you can just come out and say you like WRPGs rather than JRPGS

Numbers don't really matter if you look to enjoy something for yourself instead of looking to enjoy something for validation from others

Example? I think FF8 is the best FF
Fuck sales, or what others say, I enjoyed the game
 
Aug 21, 2018
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My personal take, but to make the plot appeal to Western sensibilities it needs to be more "grounded". I'd make it less full of anime tropes - FF7 remake had ridiculous grunting & cliche dialog from the very first minute, FF13 had a nonsensical plot, and FF15 had you playing as a J-Pop boyband.

From what I've seen FF16 does look a bit better in this regard, the plot seems more mature and the characters clothing isn't comprised entirely of belts.

And drop the turn-based combat for good, though Square Enix has realised that lesson already.
Nothing wrong with being anime like. Persona 5 sell well and as does Neir Automata
 

Ten_Fold

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Jan 18, 2017
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FF has been selling VERY well from FF13-15 and FF7R did well. They probably won’t sell 10m copies but they can easily do 5m.
 

Reality Czar

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Not sure what the issue is, OP seems to be under the illusion that they aren't selling games as much as they were in the 90s. That seems to be totally wrong.

FFVII seems to have sold around 11 million copies in around 20 years.


By comparison FFXV has already sold 9 million.

 
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Shifty1897

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I mean even B budget title like Nier automata can do 5m
Nier Automata was a fluke, which is why it gets so much attention. B tier RPG's do NOT sell 5 million units. Look at the Tales series, their best seller sold 2.4 million copies worldwide and that was 17 years ago. FF games still sell very well, even if I think most of the time they shouldn't because they're more miss than hit these days.

FFVIIR was great though!
 

Vestal

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It’s hard to say really. My fondest memories of FF games was 4, 6, 7, and 9. 6 and 2 still hold a special place in my heart though.

Personally I think the move away from Medieval setting to a more modern setting while it worked for FF7, hasn’t really hit that high again. The only attempt at it since 9 was 12, but that was hurt by how it was released and the radical change in combat system.

Maybe 16 brings back the magic of the Medieval setting to a Mainline FF game. Ff14 has done really well since being Reborn with their story.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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2 generations ago.
Fantasian is proof those old men have a vision, and still have it in them.

Final Fantasy is dead. It's a corpse without a soul, without guidance. They really have no idea what they want to do with it, it's a AAA game designed by ticking boxes.

Dragon Quest managed to do well after all those years because its visionary (Yuji Horii) has always been there.
 
Aug 21, 2018
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It’s hard to say really. My fondest memories of FF games was 4, 6, 7, and 9. 6 and 2 still hold a special place in my heart though.

Personally I think the move away from Medieval setting to a more modern setting while it worked for FF7, hasn’t really hit that high again. The only attempt at it since 9 was 12, but that was hurt by how it was released and the radical change in combat system.

Maybe 16 brings back the magic of the Medieval setting to a Mainline FF game. Ff14 has done really well since being Reborn with their story.
I meant Dragonsong war and shadowbringer are better than majority of the stuff SE been putting out for years. Thordan, Niddog and Emet are better villan than anything other ff games been put out for years
 
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UltimaKilo

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FF lost its mojo soon after FFIX, even though FFX was great, albeit a different style. They westernized more and more, their story writing has been sub-par and they have not found anyone near Nobuo Uematsu’s genius for the series (albeit, I really like the Octopath soundtrack).

What do they need to do? Get back to their roots, take a page from Monolithsoft and rethink their entire direction.
 

Arimer

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Feb 16, 2018
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Nothing, the market is saturated right now. When FF7 launched not only was it huge graphical leaps but there was also way less good rpgs's and games in general coming out. Unless they made some huge leap in technology or gameplay they'll never recapture that.
 
Apr 27, 2017
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I mean you can just come out and say you like WRPGs rather than JRPGS

Numbers don't really matter if you look to enjoy something for yourself instead of looking to enjoy something for validation from others

Example? I think FF8 is the best FF
Fuck sales, or what others say, I enjoyed the game

FF8 sold insanely well tho

9 was the drop off.

But I agree 8 is great
 
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Sejan

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For one, I'll reiterate that Final Fantasy is still selling well.

The bigger problem for the series as a whole is that it hasn't really felt like Final Fantasy (to me) in a long time. That has really tamped down my excitement for the series to the point that I haven't finished a mainline series game (aside from FF7R) since FFX. These days, Final Fantasy feels more like generic action games with Final Fantasy references than anything else. I've personally gotten far more of a Final Fantasy experience from games like Bravely Default and Octopath in recent years than Final Fantasy has given me in 20 years. I genuinely have far more hope of Project Triangle Strategy being a good Final Fantasy experience than FFXVI.
 
Dec 2, 2018
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Nothing. Square was the home to world-class talent in the 90s, but Wada systematically destroyed all of that as soon as he ousted Sakaguchi. There simply isn't the bench of talent left at Square to revive the series, all the old greats are scattered to the winds, and they haven't been cultivating new talent. It's just plain dead.
 
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Alright

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Go back to turn-based, keep it simple ( avoid li cee, le ceed, ceed el or whatever the fuck in FF13). focus on open world battles.
 
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Fbh

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Go back to what worked. Make a fun traditional JRPG:

-Not traditional as in "Turn based", give it a fun action based combat for all I care (Hell, just take the one in FF7 Remake which was great).
Traditional as in how JRPG's used to be: A fun self contained story about a likeable cast of playable characters that goes on an adventure that takes them to a large variety of places in a fantasy world, including unique towns, cities, dungeons, ancient ruins, magical forests, etc.

- Find a combat system that works and stick with it for a while. Instead of having the next game play completely differently work on a similar system than the previous one but polish it and improve it. FFX had fun combat which they dropped for something completely different in XII which they also dropped for something completely different in XIII which they also dropped for the shit in XV.

- Make it self contained. Before you start building some multi media franchise with movies, books, anime, etc ensure the actual game can stand on its own as a great story with a great world and a great set of characters.

The moment they stopped following that formula (XIII) the franchise started declining.
 

Kenpachii

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Drop the emo kid japanese looks on there characters.

Start making western rps that aren't completely riddled with endless ui data / complicated fight mechanics and button combinations etc.

Nothing in FF15 compelled me to play it further then the demo.
 
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Sinfulgore

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Square should go back to turn-based combat in Final Fantasy games. I would love a Final Fantasy game that plays like Divinity Original Sin. They should also make final fantasy games that actually feel like RPGs. Final Fantasy games have many RPG elements but playing them I feel like I'm playing someone else's story. I want the game to feel like my story like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, or Skyrim.
 
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Pejo

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I'd rather they scale it back and give it the DQ11 type treatment and ramp up the profitability instead by not having it development hell for 10 years bleeding money the entire time.
 

ThatGamingDude

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FF8 sold insanely well tho

9 was the drop off.

But I agree 8 is great
The issue with the question OP posed is it doesn't take into account certain market factors

Yeah yeah an older product sold more units than a newer on in the same length of time, but did people have more money? What was the interest in the products genre? Did the OP take into account the massive price drop (Greatest Hits PSX titles were $25, FF15 Royal Edition is $35 in comparison) and rare port to PC (Especially for the time, since PC gamers were foaming so much over console titles we resorted to emulators)?

Square/SE has still been pumping out the good titles with the mix in of bad titles, just some nostalgia probably blinding some people into stating "We shouldn't iterate or grow our product's genre to attract current/more customers, we should just stick to the exact same formula every time"

Which is why it's perfectly acceptable to say you like early 3D JRPGs and think that the WRPG genre is stronger in the modern day
 

Dream-Knife

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Make good games?

FF7 is in a weird spot because it was such a huge game, and for many their first RPG. That isn't ever coming back. Now the FF games are largely just generic RPGs that aren't very good.

Nier was awesome though. They need to pursue original ideas and IPs. Also remaster Xenogears or sell it to Monolithsoft/Nintendo.
 

Aion002

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Make good games?

FF7 is in a weird spot because it was such a huge game, and for many their first RPG. That isn't ever coming back. Now the FF games are largely just generic RPGs that aren't very good.

Nier was awesome though. They need to pursue original ideas and IPs. Also remaster Xenogears or sell it to Monolithsoft/Nintendo.
So Nintendo can put gacha shit on it?

No Thank You Reaction GIF



Anyway, FF is fine, XV was meh, but XIV is amazing, VII Remake is awesome and they are selling well. I can't wait for XVI!
 
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