On Thursday, Square Enix announced that multiple Final Fantasy titles will debut for the Xbox One and Switch. Keeping the initial six titles aside, Final Fantasy games were never ported to any console other than Sony’s, until recently. There’s a long history to why the developers decided on that, and the reasons were briefly discussed by EuroGamer’s senior editor Imran Khan.
Posting several tweets (first spotted on NeoGaf) on the matter, Imran explained as to why Final Fantasy devs were lost and how it turned the Final Fantasy series into PlayStation’s prime asset.
Squaresoft, the original creators of Final Fantasy, had a deal with Sony to develop PlayStation-exclusive titles. But soon after Square merged with Enix, forming Square Enix, the deal was voided. This has a story behind it as well.
It all started with the failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. It was a 2001 CGI movie that received unforgettably bad reception and was criticised by the masses. Following its failure, Squaresoft was on the verge of extinction and that’s when Sony jumped in for the rescue.
“The reason for this was that after The Spirits Within, Sony bailed Squaresoft out by purchasing 18% of their stock. Sony sold that share in 2014, but at the time the Wii U was the Wii U and the Xbox One was seemingly lost in the woods. The Switch was the first chance to do it”, Imran wrote.
As theorised by many, Square was barred from publishing titles for consoles other than Sony’s PlayStation due to the exclusivity deal. The former created a shell company, namely The Game Designers Studio, to tackle this situation. However, after Square acquired Taito, another Japanese video game company, Game Designers Studio collapsed.
“None of this has ever been confirmed, but it’s been 20 years and this is the first time those PS1 games have landed on other consoles”, Imran wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Final Fantasy VII, FF IX, FF X, FF X-2 and FF XII are coming both to Switch and Xbox One the next year.
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