Final Fantasy games set to arrive on Switch and Xbox as Square Enix drops PlayStation exclusivity

Final Fantasy VII Remake Tifa Lockhart (Square Enix)
Final Fantasy VII Remake Tifa Lockhart (Square Enix)

As part of a new business plan to attract more customers, Square Enix said in its financial report that it would start selling future titles on several platforms, including Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and PC.

The statement from the 32-page report reads: “For HD titles, the Group will aggressively pursue a multi-platform strategy that includes Nintendo platforms, PlayStation, Xbox, and PCs.

“Especially, in regards to major franchises and AAA titles including catalog titles, it will build an environment where more customers can enjoy our titles.”

This means that Square Enix will no longer be releasing new games from its popular franchises, such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, as PlayStation timed-exclusives.

Instead of waiting months or years for the exclusivity rights to expire, they would simultaneously release titles on several platforms, including Xbox, PC, and even Nintendo Switch, on the day of release.

Why is Square Enix pursuing a multi-platform strategy?

The company reported a 2.6 per cent increase in sales and a 15.8 per cent decrease in profit in its Digital Entertainment sector, which includes video games, for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2024. This is even with the sales of Foamstars, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Final Fantasy 16, and Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster.

Regarding HD games (the subcategory that Square Enix uses to group all of the titles mentioned above), the business suffered a large operational loss of ¥8.1 billion, which is around £41.9 million.

While Square Enix has revealed the sales figure for Final Fantasy 16, it has not yet disclosed one for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the second game in the company's trilogy of Final Fantasy 7 remakes. Both Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth were released as PlayStation 5 exclusives. Square Enix's financial report only stated that it had "launched many titles but some failed to live up to profit expectations, especially outsourced titles and some AAA titles" and that it had "suffered from an incomplete journey to better profitability in HD game development". At the very least, it appears that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is included in that.

How will the multi-platform strategy work?

Square Enix stated that it woulc "build an environment where more customers can enjoy our titles in regards to major franchises and AAA titles including catalogue titles" as part of its multi-platform drive. All of this suggests that mainline Final Fantasy games will no longer be exclusive to the PlayStation, though Square Enix hasn't revealed any information other than Final Fantasy 16's impending PC release.According to Square Enix, there is also a move from quantity to quality as well as an attempt to provide "ensured fun". The release of significant Final Fantasy games may now be spread out a little further, as Square Enix has been criticised for launching too many of them in an excessively short amount of time.

This implies that Square Enix should be able to release more fresh, forthcoming Xbox JRPGs without worrying about PlayStation exclusivity rights getting in the way. Maybe Xbox ports of games that have been requested by fans for years, such as Final Fantasy XVI, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, could be released.Furthermore, given its new approach, Square Enix may be able to bring back some of its lesser-known but no less adored properties, like Parasite Eve or the Chrono series.