Final Fantasy XIII will be released in Japan exclusively for the Playstation 3 in December. The highly-anticipated game will then be localized for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America during early 2010. While it will be by far the best-selling high-definition RPG coming from Japan, Final Fantasy XIII won’t come close to matching the sales of the most popular game in the series, Final Fantasy VII, which sold nearly 10 million copies worldwide. Here are a few contributing factors as to why this will be the case.
Declining Popularity of Japanese RPGs
Japanese RPGs is a niche genre until Final Fantasy VII came along on the original Playstation. The compelling story in addition to the high-production valuemade it a revolutionary title and, as a result, Japanese RPGs entered a golden age. However, the genre has been fading away in popularity ever since. As a result, there are little interests in Japanese RPGs during the current high-definition era. So, while Final Fantasy XIII will still end up selling well, it won’t come close to the popularity of Final Fantasy VII due to the decreasing interests from the genre.
Final Fantasy VII is the follow-up to one of the most acclaimed video games of all time in Final Fantasy VI. Furthermore, it brought the popular series to the 3D realm for the first time. Final Fantasy XIII, on the other hand, follows what many fans considered to be the disappointing Final Fantasy XII. Furthermore, the jump from standard definition to high definition isn’t as big as 2D to 3D in a gaming sense. It is therefore highly unlikely that Final Fantasy XIII will outsell Final Fantasy VII.
Years of Development
Final Fantasy XIII also suffers from a long development cycle. The game was first shown years ago in video form. It is just now showing signs of completion. The years of wait has definitely done a number to the hype and anticipation surrounding Final Fantasy XIII. Although the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 game is gaining some steam once again now that it is close to release, the hype still isn’t where it should be in order for it to catch Final Fantasy VII.
Small User Base
Final Fantasy XIII was originally supposed to be a Playstation 3 exclusive game. However, Square Enix decided to port the game to the Xbox 360 because of the small user base. Even with the combined install numbers, the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 still doesn’t match the original Playstation’s. Thus, Final Fantasy XIII won’t come close to matching the sales figures of Final Fantasy VII.