- A trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth hinted at its availability outside of the PlayStation 5 by late 2024, sparking discussions about a potential Xbox port.
- Financially, broadening to Xbox could benefit Square Enix, as Final Fantasy XV saw significant sales on the platform.
- The fate of these games on Xbox remains uncertain, with decisions pending from industry leaders.
Most don't associate Square Enix's best-selling franchise, Final Fantasy, with the Xbox platform. As a matter of fact, very few games in the franchise are available on Microsoft's consoles. You can only imagine the surprise of audiences when Final Fantasy 15 was a multi-platform release at launch in 2016. Unfortunately, this never happened again. But, this has yet to stop fans from asking, especially after the premiere of the latest trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Aside from the February 29, 2024 release date, Square Enix sneaked in a tease that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is headed to platforms outside of the PlayStation 5 as early as in the latter half of 2024.
While most argue that Square Enix is likely hinting at the PC port of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, it's fair to wonder if an Xbox port is on the card as well.
Phil Spencer, Xbox's head, recently shed light on the matter during an interview with IGN at Gamescom 2023. Although the conversation primarily revolved around Spencer's announcement of porting the MMO Final Fantasy 14 to the Xbox Series S/X, platforms, the interview couldn't help but touch upon the possibility of other Final Fantasy titles debuting on Xbox. Spencer, maintaining an air of mystery, refrained from making any concrete statements. However, he tantalizingly hinted that updates regarding this topic might be on the horizon, urging fans to "hear more" in the not-so-distant future.
Microsoft later denied that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is headed to the Xbox Series S/X right around the same time.
Of course, no one expected the news of the Xbox port of Final Fantasy 14 to come last month. So, who's to say that the two companies won't shake hands on a similar deal soon?
As the last few days of September approaches, all eyes are now firmly on the Tokyo Game Show, scheduled to start on the 21st. Both gaming giants are set to attend. This has fueled speculation that the two might engage in talks regarding the potential introduction of Final Fantasy titles, especially Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Final Fantasy 16, and the much-anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, to Xbox.
Given the unpredictability of the gaming industry, predicting the outcome of such discussions remains a challenging endeavor, but still.
The chances of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth making its way to Xbox without its predecessor, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, are slim. But, there's a way around this. Square Enix already confirmed that it's releasing a bundle for the PS5 containing both games of the FF7 Remake trilogy. What's stopping the company from releasing the same package on the Xbox?
Then again, even if Square Enix to release the games on Xbox, the transition might not happen immediately, owing to potential complexities in exclusivity deals and agreements.
TLDR; Square Enix could port Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth to the Xbox, just not anytime soon.
It's impossible to overlook the financial angle of these discussions, especially given Square Enix's ongoing predicament. Drawing comparisons from the past, Final Fantasy XV showcased impressive sales figures, selling 5 million copies within 24 hours. However, it took a significantly longer period to double this number, even after Square Enix had employed a bunch of different aggressive sales strategies. In terms of overall sales within a specific timeframe, the same game overshadowed the sales of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake in much less time.
If we assume that only 20% of FF15's numbers came from the Xbox One, it's still a substantial market that Square Enix is purposely ignoring. These gains could potentially increase Square Enix's profit and share prices.
It remains to be seen if either Final Fantasy 16 or Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth are headed to the Xbox. The best-case scenario is Square Enix is playing the waiting game. It may be using FF14 to test out the waters and see if the numbers still make sense. After all, video game development costs aren't cheap. By porting games to multiple platforms, Square Enix needs to decide if the potential profit outweights the added costs and risks of multi-platform game development.
In the end, while speculations and predictions run rampant, the ultimate decision lies in the hands of moguls who will determine the future trajectory of these beloved titles.