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Square Enix seems happy with Final Fantasy 16 sales, but imagine if it released on more than just PS5

In this world, only one console capable of running Final Fantasy 16 exists.

Square Enix has revealed that it's not at all concerned about the sales of Final Fantasy 16 so far. The game, released exclusively on PS5 on June 22, shipped and digitally sold a combined 3 million units in its first week.

The figure is below recent releases in the series, and though Square Enix never officially revealed sales targets for the game, remains lower than one would anticipate the next mainline entry in the storied Final Fantasy series to sell.

But, according to Square Enix, the game's sales are "extremely strong." The publisher's argument is that the install base of PS5 is smaller, compared to that of the PS4 when Final Fantasy 7 Remake - which sold 3.5 million copies in three days - released exclusively on the platform.

"With 38 million PS5 consoles shipped globally (as of March 31, 2023), sales of Final Fantasy 16 surpassed three million units worldwide several days after its release on June 22, 2023," Square Enix told IGN.

"Taking into consideration the sales figures of the acclaimed Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the difference in size of the install base of the PlayStation 4 at the time of this title’s release, we can see that the attach rate of Final Fantasy 16 is considerably high, given the PS5 install base."

The company added that while it's happy with the game's performance so far, it will "continue to carry out a wide range of initiatives to encourage even more people to play the game."

Setting aside the differences between a remake and a new mainline entry, Final Fantasy 16 sales also lag behind Final Fantasy 15. That game released in 2016, and managed to sell over 5 million units at launch - making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy ever (a record that's yet to be broken).

Of course, the main difference here is that Final Fantasy 15 was released simultaneously on PS4, and Xbox One. The game would later reach over 6 million sales just a couple of months later - well before it even arrived on PC.

While there is merit to Square Enix's argument about the attach rate of Final Fantasy 16 vs earlier titles, the situation is not all that much different from the one Final Fantasy 15 released into. That game came out in November, 2016 - three years into the life of the PS4 and Xbox One.

Final Fantasy 16 launched in June, 2023 - two-and-a-half years into the PS5's life. At this point in time, there are over 38 million PS5 consoles in the wild. Around the release of Final Fantasy 15, over 50 million PS4s existed, alongside over 30 million Xbox One consoles.

While Final Fantasy 16 will undoubtedly continue to sell more in the months and years to come (as the PS5 install base grows and the game drops in price), Square Enix's is being disingenuous. The company ignores the existence of Xbox Series X and S consoles, as well as PC. Perhaps, had the game released on more platforms than just PlayStation 5, its first week sales would have matched or even exceeded Final Fantasy 15's.

Even outside of the comparisons to past Final Fantasy games, all three of those figures are quite poor when viewed alongside major hits like Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarok and so many modern titles with existing roots.

If anything, sales of each new mainline Final Fantasy game should be growing the fan base; easily butting heads with the year's biggest releases. This should've been even easier for Final Fantasy 16 to achieve, considering it was designed as a proper action game, inspired by God of War and Game of Thrones - all things that position it well to be many players' first foray into the series.

Unfortunately, the longer Square Enix continues to pretend PlayStation is the only console that exists, whatever audience willing to dip its toes into the series will have to look elsewhere if they do not own a PlayStation. Let's hope that, sooner or later, Square Enix realises that it needs to meet players where they are.

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