Final Fantasy 13 going multiplatform and also releasing on Xbox 360 alongside PS3 was a big deal back in the day, and by and large, it was felt that the franchise, after first being exclusive to Nintendo platforms and then to PlayStation, would remain a multiplatform series going forward . Recent years, however, have seen the pendulum swinging back, with Final Fantasy 7 Remake releasing exclusively for PlayStation and the upcoming Final Fantasy 16 set to follow in its footsteps.
Neither of the two (or Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth) looks likely to come to Xbox consoles anytime soon, but what exactly is the reason behind this sudden switch? While Square Enix hasn’t talked about why it’s approaching the entire series this way, Naoki Yoshida, producer of Final Fantasy 16, has said that Square Enix considered offers from both PlayStation and Xbox for the upcoming action RPG, and ended up deciding that the PlayStation deal would be best for the project.
“Final Fantasybeing one of Square Enix’s very important franchises up there with DragonQuest and the Kingdom Hearts series – when we do begin development, we do approach multiple platforms, multiple companies, about releasing the game,” Yoshida said in an interview with Game Informer. “And when you approach them, they’re going to come back to us with their offers.”
Yoshida also went on to add that the development support provided by PlayStation was another important aspect that the company considered. “It allows us to create the game that we want to create [and] it makes it easier for us to do that.”
This echoes his statements from earlier in the year, when he said that the “generous support” provided by PlayStation engineers was a “big factor” in Square Enix signing the exclusivity deal.
Whether or not this speaks to the relationship between the companies involved in a broader context is an interesting question. Square Enix has skipped Xbox releases for a large number of its titles in recent years, and last month, it was reported that there was something “functionally wrong” with the relationship between Microsoft and the Japanese publisher.
As for a potential PC version of Final Fantasy 16, though the game’s PS5 timed exclusivity period is supposed to last six months, Yoshida has said that it’s unlikely to come to PC immediately afterward, since optimizing it for the platform will be a much longer process. That said, the development team is very much interested in a PC release for the action RPG.
Final Fantasy 16 is due out on June 22.