Final Fantasy 16 is a big PlayStation exclusive in light of Microsoft’s acquisitions
Microsoft’s announcement earlier this week of its intention to buy Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion is likely to be one of the biggest gaming stories of the year. The news is so significant that its ramifications will be felt throughout the industry for years to come, even by parties not directly involved in the deal. Sony is arguably the entity that stands to lose the most, as future franchise titles like Call of Duty are likely to leave the publisher’s ecosystem. For a number of reasons, history ensures that upcoming exclusive PlayStation games like Final Fantasy 16 are much more important now.
Each of Microsoft’s attempts to bolster its Xbox division has the effect of amplifying the focus on the strategies of its biggest gaming rivals. two major Western publishers, is a subject that is as much the subject of discussion as the acquisitions themselves. While it’s possible Sony will end up dealing with its own big-name purchases, some of the groundwork to stay competitive in the industry has already been done. In light of Microsoft’s acquisitions of Bethesda and Activision, obtaining exclusivity from Square Enix Final Fantasy 16 in particular, looks like an even more shrewd trade deal.
Final Fantasy 16 JRPG Status
One of the main reasons why Square Enix Final Fantasy 16 is a big exclusive for Sony, that’s its JRPG status. Even though Microsoft has taken significant steps to make some of the biggest Western RPGs exclusive to its platforms, thanks to the Bethesda acquisition, it still doesn’t have an active JRPG series it can promote. This has largely been the case since the days of Xbox 360, when the publisher actively sought out titles like blue dragon and lost odyssey, as a means of attracting fans of the genre to its ecosystem. Although Sony does not directly own Final Fantasy 16, so it’s still a significant way for PlayStation to stand out.
While it’s true that Microsoft’s two recent purchases have seen it acquire two Asia-based development studios, there’s no denying that Microsoft is still lacking when it comes to software makers based outside of the US. Where is. As it stands, the new Activision Shanghai will join Tango Gameworks as Xbox Game Studio’s second non-Western team. Given the history of support from first to Call of Duty series, and the latter’s expertise in horror, it’s hard to envision either making a game that can directly confront Final Fantasy 16 soon.
Unlike Microsoft’s western-RPGs, Sony has taken steps to make the PlayStation ecosystem the de facto home of the JRPG genre. The affair that is about to see Final Fantasy 16 released exclusively on the PS5 console, is neither the first nor the last of its kind. If rumors are to be believed, Atlus’ Persona 6 could also be locked to PlayStation.
While it’s true that none of these exclusives are likely to sell as much as the next one. Call of Duty, both franchises are beloved by fans. If gamers want AAA JRPGs in their lives, exclusive games like Final Fantasy 16 sure it will be hard for them to ignore the PS5. Making the platform essential to so many people, especially in Japan itself, should help keep Sony’s console relevant despite Microsoft’s acquisitions.
The western appeal of Final Fantasy
Although Final Fantasy 16 seems poised to embody the JRPG hallmarks that made Square Enix’s franchise a gaming icon, it’s also worth noting that recent installments have leaned into mechanics that have historically been more commonly found in Western RPGs. Real-time combat systems that emphasize action have featured in major entries such as Final Fantasy 15 and the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, alongside more traditional JRPG turn-based mechanics for example.
When Final Fantasy 16 is finally launching on PS5, all signs point to a hybrid approach being implemented there as well. When it comes to Microsoft’s acquisitions and its library of Western RPGs, this blending of the two worlds should help Sony promote the game as an exclusive that can appeal to multiple fans and tastes.
Sony’s ability to compete
Over the past few years, it’s become apparent just how different Sony’s and Microsoft’s plans are for the current console generation. While the latter seems more rooted in the methods that brought it historic success, Microsoft has instead turned to acquisitions in an effort to make Xbox Game Pass a content-rich service that’s hard to ignore.
So far, while Sony has responded by bringing in individual studios that have often worked with PlayStation in the past, it hasn’t acquired a publisher the size of Activision Blizzard. Even though PlayStation is one of the most profitable players in the gaming industry and Sony has earmarked money specifically for acquisitions, it remains to be seen if the company is willing or able to take on the power of purchase of Microsoft.
If Sony is ultimately unable to bring another publisher into its proprietary family, that won’t necessarily end its ability to challenge Microsoft’s plans. Deals with Square Enix for exclusive games like Final Fantasy 16, is an alternative strategy likely to pay off for both parties.
Besides the marketing potential Sony receives from big-name third-party exclusives like this, this type of deal is much cheaper than buying and then running an entity like Square Enix. In the context of PlayStation gamers debating Sony’s continued health and longevity in the gaming industry, more than anything else, exclusives like Final Fantasy 16 are great examples that help show how the publisher can stay competitive in the future.
The uniqueness of PlayStation
Since the arrival of the PS4 and its emphasis on being a game console first and foremost, Sony has improved in promoting the identity and importance of its ecosystem to the industry in the sense large. Exclusive offers with third-party games like Final Fantasy 16, are perhaps the second way Sony can continue to point this out.
While its first-party release and software like Forbidden Horizon West will always be the games that get people through the metaphorical door, having third-party exclusives on PlayStation will help keep the platform relevant and distinct from the competition. As troubling as it may seem for gamers to have franchises they’ve loved removed from their platforms, both through deals and acquisitions, it seems like a sad reality that won’t go away anytime soon. early.
With Microsoft potentially removing some of modern gaming’s greatest franchises from PlayStation, including two of its original mascots, it will be increasingly important for Sony to highlight the uniqueness and continued value of the ecosystem. In many ways, the publisher is going to have to examine how Nintendo made itself irreplaceable in the 90s, after the arrival of PlayStation caused a similar exodus of third-party content from its shores. Having one of the franchises that initially helped make PlayStation a byword for gaming, already in its corner, is a great way for Sony to start this daunting process.
Final Fantasy 16 is in development for the PS5.
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