Final Fantasy Brand Was Considered “In Danger” Pre-FFXV, Had <5M Initial Sales Target

#1
Final Fantasy is dead is something that I used to hear a lot after the multipe disappointments with FFXIII and while I won't comment on FFXIV, Tabata recently held a talk about the game at GDC where he shared new info about the initial sales goal, the challenge and pressure of developing FFXV and putting the series back on map for Square Enix.

The initial sales for FFXV were under 5 million as Square Enix wasn't confident in the new direction for the series. The series would have ended if the target was not meet.

Tabata-san explained that Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi told him that his mission was to make Final Fantasy a challenger again, by working like this was the last chance.

Shortly after Tabata-san was named Director of the game, he talked with the head of sales at Square Enix, and learned that sales forecasts for the game were quite low, under five millions worldwide. Moving away from turn-based combat had been deemed unwise, and that the Final Fantasy brand had was considered “diminished” and “in danger.”

That’s why Tabata-san set a sales goal a million units higher than the forecast, at six millions. He thought that setting a high goal would have brought the team together, forcing them to push through whatever obstacle was placed in their way.
The sales are now over 6 Million so this is another update to the previous number of 6 million shipped/digital in early January.

Tabata comments on the success of FFXV

“In the end, Final Fantasy XV was completed, and it’s finally in everybody’s hands. Within a month of release, we sold six million copies. As I said at the beginning, if we failed this time, there wouldn’t be a next time, which means that probably this isn’t our final Final Fantasy. The series will probably live on.”
So Tabata is ineed the savior of 'offline' Final Fantasy as a brand



Source (1, 2)

Bonus: Cute story of Tabata and his little daughter. Worth a read :)
 
#2
SE would have killed off one of their biggest franchises if FFXV didn't sell over 5 million units? Porbably an exaggeration, but come on.
 
#7
Sales wise, it may still be safe (even though that's arguable, especially in Japan). Critically wise, there's a clear drop in quality for the serie.
 
#9
SE would have killed off one of their biggest franchises if FFXV didn't sell over 5 million units? Porbably an exaggeration, but come on.
Not exactly. I imagine the shitty phone games and remakes would continue. It's the decade-long huge-investment new entries in the franchise that I bet they'd back off of.
 
#10
But GAF told FF XV was a giant failure!?

Good that FF survived the XIII era, that one could sink any franchise
I find the hate-on that GAF has for FF XV to be hilarious. It's a situation where people are legitimately mad that the game isn't as bad as they hoped it would be to justify years of shitposting about the project.
 
#11
“In the end, Final Fantasy XV was completed, and it’s finally in everybody’s hands. Within a month of release, we sold six million copies. As I said at the beginning, if we failed this time, there wouldn’t be a next time, which means that probably this isn’t our final Final Fantasy. The series will probably live on.”
I remember that leak in which it was said that if XV failed XVI was not happening and people said it was crazy talk.

:aaah:
 
#12
SE would have killed off one of their biggest franchises if FFXV didn't sell over 5 million units? Porbably an exaggeration, but come on.
I'm assuming that SE had these thoughts when FF brand was really in the shit with 14 disaterious launch and such.

Remember this project was rebooted in July 2012.

FF would continue to make mobile games for sure though.
 

Inuhanyou

Believes Dragon Quest is a franchise managed by Sony
#13
Don't really care about PR for Tabata being the 'savior' as if he was Sakauchi incarnate. They would not have canceled their biggest IP in favor of nothing just because it under performed especially with FF14 raking in the money and cash flow and FF7R already being well into production.

Most likely they would have just scaled down production costs for their next single player venture and it still would have cost more to make than any game in Japan by any other studio.
 
#16
I like the "bonus story" about Tabata and his daughter from Kotaku:

Kotaku said:
One day during the development of Final Fantasy XV, as director Hajime Tabata was leaving for work, his six-year-old daughter came up to him and gave him a hug.

“Without letting go,” Tabata said at a panel during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this morning, “she asked me, ‘How much longer will you be busy?’”

Tabata didn’t know how to respond, he said, so he told his daughter that it was going to be a while.


“On hearing that, she held her tears back,” Tabata said, speaking through a translator. “With a big smile, she said, chin up and keep up the good work, daddy. Then she went back to her room and brought me a picture drawing of me working. It wasn’t a good drawing, actually. She obviously put her worry for me ahead of her own loneliness. Seeing her fight to hold back tears hit me very hard as a parent.”

Shortly afterwards, Tabata met with his team at Square Enix and put together an event: Family Day, where they’d all bring their parents, spouses, and children to work.
 
#20
SE would have killed off one of their biggest franchises if FFXV didn't sell over 5 million units? Porbably an exaggeration, but come on.
Hope you would have enjoyed the countless mobile FF games more of the MMO FF games.

Personally, it would have killed the series for me if the offline FF was dead to them.
 
#25
I'm glad the series seems to have turned a corner. The XIII era was not good at all for series, or S-E generally.

Hopefully we'll get some more Final Fantasy spin-offs soon, another Final Fantasy Tactics A3 is long overdue.
 
#27
I'm still really confused about where FF is right now.

Cause Gaf loves it so much and wants every FF to be like that, reviews are good, sales are good.

Yet every, every casual ff fan i know in real life, here in France, tells me they, and there friends, didn't buy it or bought it and sold it after 1 week.

Since the beginning i talked about that, and a certain "core" ff audience being absolutely abandoned by that game. At that point i don't know anymore how true is this or how new is FFXV audience.

We'll see.

But i fear (or do i hope ?) the game was big cause of the insane wait and hype, but it hides a bad bad situation for the brand.
 

Bronetta

Ask me about the moon landing or the temperature at which jet fuel burns. You may be surprised at what you learn.
#30
But GAF told FF XV was a giant failure!?
GAF told me FFXV was a massive success.

I hate this "GAF said" crap. GAFs made up of thousands of unique posters each with their own unique views and opinions.
 
#31
it's not. it's a good game.
You're not going to convince anyone who does NOT like the game no matter what.

Game is great. Has some problems which I know many of the other GAFfers will point out in great detail but I liked it a lot. Glad that it's still being supported.
Cause Gaf loves it so much and wants every FF to be like that, reviews are good, sales are good.
Eh???

Core audience or not the series was going to evolve. Look at Resident Evil or other franchises. I like turn based gaming a lot and wouldn't mind it at all if XVI goes that route but I'm also open to try other mechanics and story forms.

Except puzzles.
 
#33
I doubt this would happen. Even with XIV's huge failure they did enough to recover the game making a reboot. The same could be done with the single player games if FF XV hadn't match their targets.
 

Chairman Yang

if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
#35
The Final Fantasy brand is still in danger. One decent mainline game isn't going to counteract years and years of damage inflicted by Square's horrendous brand management.
 
#36
I'm still really confused about where FF is right now.

Cause Gaf loves it so much and wants every FF to be like that, reviews are good, sales are good.

Yet every, every casual ff fan i know in real life, here in France, tells me they, and there friends, didn't buy it or bought it and sold it after 1 week.

Since the beginning i talked about that, and a certain "core" ff audience being absolutely abandoned by that game. At that point i don't know anymore how true is this or how new is FFXV audience.

We'll see.
Thats anecdotal and obviously not indicative of anything when you look at the numbers provided here.
 
#39
For me ffxiii is a flawed but brilliant game while ffxv is an unfinished tech demo that had the potential to be a brilliant game but botched it in the middle and never recovered
The Final Fantasy brand is still in danger. One decent mainline game isn't going to counteract years and years of damage inflicted by Square's horrendous brand management.
Its not even decent. Its a bad openworld game with a very clunky disjointed tagged on last part.

Ffxiii at least had a brilliant battle system
I'm glad the series seems to have turned a corner. The XIII era was not good at all for series, or S-E generally.

Hopefully we'll get some more Final Fantasy spin-offs soon, another Final Fantasy Tactics A3 is long overdue.
XIII is so much better than XV
Although XIII is a bottom tier FF
 
#43
Just as I realized I'm done buying new games in this franchise and will just pick up ports and remasters of the ones I already know I like instead.

Great job, Square-Enix!
 
#44
I'm still really confused about where FF is right now.

Cause Gaf loves it so much and wants every FF to be like that, reviews are good, sales are good.

Yet every, every casual ff fan i know in real life, here in France, tells me they, and there friends, didn't buy it or bought it and sold it after 1 week.

Since the beginning i talked about that, and a certain "core" ff audience being absolutely abandoned by that game. At that point i don't know anymore how true is this or how new is FFXV audience.

We'll see.

But i fear (or do i hope ?) the game was big cause of the insane wait and hype, but it hides a bad bad situation for the brand.
The trophy stats already show that a good chunk of people who bought it not only finished it, but also did the optional quests post-game. This is nothing to sneeze at for a big RPG like FFXV and paints a completely different picture than your post.

Maybe you just have a different set of friends since the large majority of people that I know really enjoyed it. It also set new series record in China for sales.
 
#46
So that's why FF7R's in a weird state. No one working on it knew if they could keep working on it, until FFXV broke 5 mil.
SE was doing episodic stuff across the board, Hitman and Dues Ex(was suppose to be much bigger than what it end up being due to SE).
 
#47
I really liked my time with FFXV. Glad it succeeded and that there will be more. I'm finally happy in the direction that FF is headed after that entire XIII generation of shit.

That said, I hope they don't totally give up on Turn-based. It's still a valid gameplay style despite what the teens on GAF would have you believe.
 
#48
eh, after Tabata and Toriyama i actually i don't want any new mainline FF games, bring on the remakes.
Shit man...I'm basically just sitting around hoping for something to come along to give me that FF feeling, cuz even if FFXV didnt play like ass, nothing about it scratches the itch that FF used to.
 
#50
The game is great, glad it sold well for them. I hope this means from now on the mainline games aren't turn based, that's a thing of the past.
No one wants to play a AAA turn based rpg on their TV.