Hajime Tabata Lies About Final Fantasy XV Profitability
Do readers remember the time when Hajime Tabata stated to Game Informer that Final Fantasy XV would need to sell eleven million copies for it to break even? Lusipurr.com certainly remembers! We tend to take note of the finer details, so as to use them as nails to hammer liars to the fucking wall at a later date. It was Tabata that put that eleven million figure out there – nobody put those words in his mouth – and certainly nobody would dispute that figure given that Final Fantasy XV spent over ten years in development.
This week Hajime Tabata has been backpedaling hard when asked about the title’s profitability. Tabata was questioned by the sycophants over at DualShockers, who unquestioningly reported back that Final Fantasy XV was profitable on day-1 after shipping [not selling] five million units to retailers. Eventually Square Enix would go on to announce that they had shipped six million units to retail, but this is a far cry from the previously stated eleven million unit figure. Did every single owner of the game also purchase a season pass and a collector’s edition of Kingsglaive? Even if we allow for the possibility that Hajime Tabata may have slightly embellished the eleven million figure, that still leaves one hell of a discrepancy. Even accounting for enthusiastic exaggeration, a discrepancy of six million serves as one hell of a margin for error.
More to the point, if Final Fantasy XV did break even on day-1 then why not announce so on day-2? Square Enix must have known what a meme their failure of a game had become, particularly after talk of an eleven million break-even point, so why not silence their detractors immediately after launch? Instead they chose to sit on this information and bide their time until the opportunity presented itself to divulge it to the gormless fuckwits over at DualShockers! Something does not smell right here, fam.
This is not information that Square Enix is at all confident in repeating, yet they had to put it out there when asked, so as not to spook the investors. This is information that comes with one hell of an asterisk, and that asterisk is attached to a footnote that specifies that it only relates to the Final Fantasy XV project which began in the wake of E3 2013 when Tetsuya Nomura was unceremoniously turfed from the project. In other words this was a lie of omission. Nomura had developed large and diverse swathes of playable areas from the PS3 version of the game which will never see the light of day, and much of his work on the PS4 version of the game was also scrapped once Hajime Tabata took the reins. Sales of five million is a very nice figure, but why are we to believe that it is sufficient to cover the cost of multiple iterations of Final Fantasy XV when it was not apparently enough to cover the much more modest development of the Tomb Raider reboot?
Resident Evil VII Ships 3 Million
From one sales figure to another: Resident Evil VII. Just how much can a couple of weak entries in a long-running series hurt a franchise? Resident Evil 4 was Capcom’s greatest success critically [though not commercially], and it paved the way for greater commercial success in subsequent installments. Resident Evil 5 was hailed for its co-op gameplay, and when played in co-op it was a good game – though when played in single player it was a mess, and beyond this many people lamented its abandonment of the traditional Resident Evil spooky atmosphere. Then Resident Evil 6 came along, and the game was just bad in every aspect – and not even its co-op gameplay was well received by the same people that had lauded the Resident Evil 5 multiplayer.
Now Resident Evil VII has hit the market, and from the look of the game’s first three-ish weeks of sales figures Capcom will be crossing their fingers that the game has longer legs than is the norm. One says sales figures, but then in actuality what Capcom has given us is the number of units that they have shipped to retailers: three million units across PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Assuming that those games actually sell through, then three million is a nice number to sell. It is not exactly Final Fantasy XV numbers, but then Resident Evil VII looks like it was a lot cheaper to make. What is interesting however is that Resident Evil 5 sold 8.5 million copies, and Resident Evil 6 sold 5 million copies, so Resident Evil VII will have to sell a further 2 million copies to even match the performance of what is considered to be emphatically the worst game in the series. Then again, perhaps a more charitable way to view the situation is that it is very impressive that Resident Evil VII has [potentially] managed to sell 3 million copies given that it is such a radical departure from what Resident Evil has been for the last ten years and as such was by no means certain to find an audience.
Giving Shovelware the Redlight
We have all known for the longest of times that Steam Greenlight is a horrible cesspool of garbage. Hell, things on Greenlight have become so bad that ragging on Greenlight games has practically become a cottage industry unto itself – but then the machinations of Steam progress in Valve time, so it comes as no surprise that nothing has been done about it. Until now.
Over the next few months Valve will be phasing out Greenlight, and in its place they will simply require developers to fill out an eform with their particulars, and pay a fee for every game they release. Valve have described this fee as ‘recoupable’, and have suggested that it could be anywhere between $100 and $5000. Basically the idea is that they want it to serve as a deterrent against unscrupulous developers submitting every asset-flip shitpile that they happen to fart out, but at the same time they do not want it to be overly punitive to legitimate indy developers.
“We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline”
The logic of this move is unassailable: if developers believe their games belong on Steam, then they can put their money where their mouth is. Of course some developers are crying poor at the prospect of paying a modest fee, claiming that developers will be forced to sign with corporate publishers in order to afford submitting their games to Steam:
“For the love of god, don’t make the fee to high!
The beautiful thing about Greenlight is that small studios can have their game on a great distribution place like Steam, if you charge $5,000, we’ll need either a successful crow-funding campaign, or have an actual sponsor, making us not independent developers anymore.
Think very carefully on how you guys are going to make fee work, it can completely ruin the indie game scene on Steam.”
One would suggest that developers that cannot afford a relatively small Steam fee probably should not be having their games released on Steam. Of course the nonsense does not end with personal sob stories, as super salty swindlers have been employing crazy mental gymnastics to suggest that a small recoupable fee will drastically affect the price of games on Steam:
“For small indie studios, startups and one man projects the fee could be a financial risk.
The fee will make little and cheap indie games more expensive. So the cusomers will indirectly pay the fee. From my point of view the fee is only good for valve to make more money and not for improving the quality of the games.”
The consumer will not be made to pay for anything. Steam’s submission process will not affect the pricing of games, and if ‘little’ and ‘cheap’ indy games do become more expensive then the market will react accordingly – but the saltiness does not end there:
“Good job, Steam, what is the next step? the digital wall?
Make Vidya Great Again!
“ just came up with a new slogan for Valve – ‘Let’s ruin!’ or ‘We choose money!’
ruin things to make something ‘better’ is not the modern way of solving the ‘problems'(?) or it is about to make more money? <-(the game made by small developer, just see the price)”
These idiots simply do not understand that better for consumers and better for for swindlers are two very different and mutually exclusive concepts. Valve has chosen to throw their lot in with the consumers – and the swindlers can go and get fucked. The responses to this announcement serve as wonderful justification for the actions being taken, and this move honestly stands to benefit legitimate developers by making their games more visible. Stay salty, shitbags!