It's April 2012, and we're fast approaching E3.
Square Enix has yet to truly promote their remaining FF titles in the West: XIV 2.0, Type-0, and Versus XIII.
Luckily for MMO fans, XIV 2.0 will be featured at E3, meaning the game will have a chance to show off its complete
redesign and attempt to redeem itself in the wake of an abysmal launch for the sake of players both lost and new.
However, I have to wonder how successful XIV 2.0 can be. When it comes to the market in 2013, Project Orbis
will no doubt become less a collection of rumored features and more a tangible product. Square is counting on
the game's PS3 launch as a reboot, but we don't know how sustainable the platform will be in the coming years,
especially with Sony's next platform on the horizon; the PlayStation this generation wasn't exactly the ubiquitous
console it was in the last. Potential players will have to consider this with respect to the dedication and commitment
demanded of an MMO.
On the other side of the spectrum, Type-0 was released in Japan almost 6 months ago. We've had no news on the
actual game since its localization confirmation, so we don't know how or when it will be released. I hope the most
difficult aspect of the process has been finding good voice actors, since, as I recall, this game uses over 30.
Nevertheless, Type-0 has its own hurdles to overcome as well. Assuming that it won't come out on the PSP, it can
be released as a download-only game on PSN, a PSV exclusive, or some type of combination of the two. I don't know
how well games do on PSN in general, but I can't imagine them being as successful as any physical counterparts that
may exist. Additionally, the PSV has tapered off in sales dramatically, with sales in Japan finally reaching lower than 10,000.
This, along with the PSV's categorization as a "social/mobile" gaming device, likely translates to unimpressive sales in
the West as well. Regardless of what platform Square decides on, they will need to heavily advertise this fairly ambitious
game as a standalone installment in the FNC Compilation rather than some random FF spin-off relegated to "just a
Versus XIII hasn't had decent information in a year. It's been cut from promotion multiple times because it never had a
solid release window. Given that it's been in full production for at least as long as Type-0 has been out in Japan,
it shouldn't be foolish to believe that this will be Square's last chance to promote it at E3. Like XIV 2.0, it will presumably
be coming at the end of the generation. Despite a likely appearance at TGS, I think missing this E3 would be squandering
a huge opportunity. XIII-2's sales have shown that either fans are unsatisfied/wary of XIII, or the franchise as a whole
has taken a hit. Combine the latter with the fact that Japan now tends to prefer portable gaming, and I find it hard to
believe Versus will do XIII numbers again in the West, let alone its own home territory. Fortunately, we know that an FF
developed by a different team offers a reboot of sorts to the series, so Versus can demonstrate this at E3. I believe it
already has some elements that may appeal to "Western gamers".
So what do you guys think of all this? Does Square Enix really have their work cut out for them in the near future or am
I just being a raving lunatic?