Square Enix’s hit PS5 exclusive Final Fantasy 16 has been out and available on Sony’s newest console for just about a week now – and quite a few people are calling it one of the best PS5 games of all time. In just under that week, Square Enix has reported that it has “shipped and digitally sold three million copies of Final Fantasy XVI on PlayStation 5″ – an impressive feat. However, when you look at the initial sales figures of other Final Fantasy game, these FF16 numbers pale in comparison. Why? Well, the PS5 itself may actually be the reason behind that.
Now, we know what you might be thinking, and this isn’t going to go down the ‘console war’ route – even though console exclusivity does play an important part in this. The reason why we think the PS5 itself may be to blame, rather unintentionally, is that there are simply fewer consoles out there that can play FF16 than there were to play older Final Fantasy games. We’ll explain.
As per the figures, usefully sourced by Game World Observer, Square Enix reported that Final Fantasy 15 shipped over five million units in one day – which is truly staggering when you compare those numbers to FF16’s sales. In addition to this, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake shipped 500,000 more units in half the time when it released in 2020. Square Enix revealed that it sold three and a half million units in the first three days of availability, if you want specifics. This, again, is very impressive.
But, what does this all have to do with the PS5? Well, for starters, Final Fantasy 15 was available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when it dropped. By 2018, Sony reported that the PlayStation 4 console had reached over 90 million lifetime sales – meaning that, in theory, there were over 90 million PS4 consoles out there able to play FF15. When you add the near-40 million Xbox consoles out in the world by 2018, that’s over 130 million consoles out there waiting for FF15.
In January 2023, Sony reported that the PS5 had shipped 30 million units to date. We don’t know exactly how many more PS5 consoles were sold between now and then, but it seems very unlikely that it would match the additional 90 million consoles needed to match the potential reach FF15 had when it dropped. So, the fact that Final Fantasy 16 is a PS5 exclusive could be the reason why the sales figures are muted in comparison to it’s predecessor.
But, that might sound unfair because Final Fantasy 15 is one of the few games in the series available on Microsoft’s console. So, what about the sales of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Well, although somewhat more similar in sales numbers, there were still at least three times as many PS4 consoles out in the world when it dropped – when compared to the number of PS5 consoles out there when Final Fantasy 15 released. And, you have nostalgia to contend with. FF16 is a new story in a new world, Valisthea. The Final Fantasy 7 Remake is just that, a remake.
While there may not be any supply issues when it comes to PS5 consoles anymore, there were severe shortages when the console came out and this stunted growth could really be the reason why it hasn’t sold quite as well as expected given the recent successes of the series.
One thing that makes matters even more interesting, though, is that Final Fantasy 16 actually had some pretty incredible marketing in the lead-up to launch. You could see Clive’s iconic Invictus sword in the actual Tower of London in England, for one, and several Japanese subway stations were decorated in some truly astounding Renaissance-like Eikon art. However, that was clearly not enough to spur more people to pick up Final Fantasy 16 on launch.
All this being said, though, Final Fantasy 16’s sales numbers are still very impressive. When you think about it, the numbers suggest that almost 10% of PS5 consoles available right now have FF16 installed on them. Of course, more units would have been sold between now and January 2023 – so, the number is going to be a little less than 10% – but, that’s still a truly staggering feat. When you think about all the other upcoming PS5 games out there, you have to wonder whether they’ll be as successful?
Is Final Fantasy 16 one of the best games of all time? Well, we’re going to let you be the judge of that. However, the fact that it’s slowing a little slower than it’s predecessors shouldn’t worry anyone – that’s just because there isn’t as many places to play it. If you’re looking for more Final Fantasy, though, you can find out more about the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth release date here or why we won’t rest until we get this unique FF16 feature in Destiny 2 right here.