Final Fantasy's Failure Is A Death Knell For Console Exclusives

Square Enix shifts to a multiplatform strategy as Final Fantasy titles underperform, moving away from console exclusivity to improve sales.

: Square Enix's Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth have not met sales targets, prompting a shift away from console exclusivity. The company will now focus on a multiplatform strategy to reach wider audiences. This change reflects the evolving gaming landscape where exclusives are less viable.

Square Enix recently announced that its flagship titles Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth have failed to meet their sales targets, leading the company to reconsider its strategy around console exclusivity. Despite its initial hopes, being locked to a single platform like the PlayStation 5 has limited the reach and profitability of these high-budget games. As a result, Square Enix is pivoting towards a multiplatform approach, aiming to release future blockbuster games across PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. This change not only broadens the audience but is also expected to boost long-term sales, which the company still believes can reach planned milestones over time.

The shift away from console exclusivity has been a topic of discussion for a while, given the evolving landscape of game consumption and the significant changes in how games are funded, marketed, and played. The limited availability and high costs of consoles, coupled with the growing popularity of multifaceted gaming ecosystems that include subscription services and cross-platform play, have made exclusive titles less attractive to both publishers and consumers. For instance, the PlayStation 5 struggled with stock shortages and a lukewarm selection of exclusive games, which negatively affected its early adoption rates. In this context, companies have started to recognize the necessity of maximizing their market reach by diversifying the platforms on which their games are available.

Other major players like Microsoft and Sony have also begun adapting to these changing dynamics. Microsoft has released several of its titles on multiple platforms, including PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, while also leveraging its Xbox Game Pass subscription service as a key revenue stream. Meanwhile, Sony has tried to lock down exclusives through timed partnerships, but even this strategy is showing signs of strain as the market shifts. Square Enix’s decision to move toward a multiplatform strategy highlights a broader industry trend towards making games more widely accessible, ultimately benefiting players and developers alike by breaking down outdated barriers and encouraging innovation.