Square Enix FF Bomb: Market Impact of the Final Fantasy 16 Release

Final Fantasy screenshot.

Highly anticipated video game releases cause noticeable ripples through the gaming market. Recently, Japanese entertainment conglomerate and game publisher Square Enix experienced a significant shakeup in its market value following the release of Final Fantasy 16. 

The Square Enix share price peaked earlier this year prior to its June 2023 release of FF16, but then quickly declined by 16% this August. As of November 2023, that dip has lowered by nearly 30%. What does this mean for the company at large?

Square Enix’s Market Downturn: The Numbers 

The aftermath of Final Fantasy 16’s release has seen Square Enix grappling with a loss of nearly $2 billion in market value. 

What caused this downturn and led to such a significant market shift? There are a few important factors at play.

Final Fantasy 16’s Impact: A Deep Dive into the Game’s Release

To comprehend the market fallout, it’s crucial to examine the release of Final Fantasy 16 itself. While the game is not fully responsible for the share decline, it solidified many other factors leading up to a highly anticipated launch. Poor reception of the game, development issues, critical reviews, and player feedback seem to have influenced Square Enix’s market standing.

Game Development and Quality Control

Before Square Enix released FF16, the industry witnessed the company survive several notable flops, including Marvel’s Avengers and Forspoken. Several mobile games also failed upon launch. 

When Square Enix released Final Fantasy 16 on Play Station 5 (PS5), poor game development and unfinished segments failed to meet high expectations. Gamers and shareholders had doubts about the new FF16 release which were unfortunately confirmed by the insufficient quality. 

Many fans complain that Square Enix is releasing too many games in a short period, and therefore not paying enough attention to overall quality. Their games come out as one-off items without the structure they deserve, leaving fans disappointed and wanting more organized storylines.

Mixed Reviews and Player Feedback

Despite the anticipation surrounding Final Fantasy 16, the game received mixed reviews from both critics and players. 

Many fans noted an overall positive experience during gameplay but credited nostalgia of old characters from previous games in part. Other reviews explain FF16 as an overall “bloated,” “boring,” and “soulless” experience that disappoints both long-time players and new.

Competitive Landscape: Will Next Year’s FF14 Expansion Pick Up Slack? 

In such a dynamic industry, the success or failure of a game is often intertwined with the broader gaming landscape. Shortly after the market bomb following FF16, Square Enix announced an expansion pack for Finally Fantasy 14, a widely popular RPG that many players know and love.

Hardcore fans of FF14 are likely not going to skip new expansions of the highly favored game, even if the newer release of FF16 and other games were disappointing. In short, this year’s market shifts will likely not impact the future FF14.

Square Enix’s Response: Company Statements and Strategies

Square Enix’s reaction to the market downturn is key to understanding the current scenario. The company made statements that sales were strong despite their market share decrease, noting more than 3 million copies of the PS5 version sold during launch week. 

To address its reputation of inflated sales expectations, the company assured fans to expect improvements, development updates, and new expansions.

The Future Outlook: What Lies Ahead for Square Enix?

As gamers navigate the fallout of Final Fantasy 16’s release, fans and analysts begin to look forward. 

The company still plans to release new games as well as awaited expansion packs for existing worlds. To save their reputation, it’s likely that their marketing and business strategies will pivot in the year 2024. Hopefully, developers and publishers can get a handle on the quality control to meet the high expectations of fans. 

A Pivotal Moment for Square Enix and RPGs

The decline in market value following Final Fantasy 16’s release represents a pivotal moment for Square Enix. The interplay of game reception, market dynamics, and the company’s response will undoubtedly shape its trajectory in the coming months.

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The post Square Enix FF Bomb: Market Impact of the Final Fantasy 16 Release appeared first on GameZone.

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