How Square Enix Is Managing Hype Expectations For Final Fantasy XVI

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How Square Enix Is Managing Hype Expectations For Final Fantasy XVI
Screenshot: Square Enix

Wonder how things are coming along with Final Fantasy XVI? You’re not alone. Nier creator Yoko Taro does, too, and today during a Square Enix live stream for the virtual Tokyo Game Show, he brought up the upcoming game.

Square Enix producer Naoki Yoshida was supposed to be talking up and playing Final Fantasy XIV, but since he’s also producing Final Fantasy XVI, Yoko couldn’t help himself.

“Today, we’re doing a program on [FF]XIV,” replied Yoshida, adding, yes, they announced the new Final Fantasy. “We want to focus on [FFXIV’s] development until 2021,” he continued.

“There’s no teaser site at the moment,” he said. According to Yoshida, the plan is to launch the teaser site in the latter part of October, including some info about the world and the characters. “After that, we’re going to focus on development.”

“This time,” Yoshida, “we really worked hard. I didn’t want to release, like, a movie or amazing rendered footage with, bam, the logo.”

“As much as possible, I wanted to show real-time in-game footage,” Yoshida said. However, since the footage hadn’t been optimised and tuned, creating the trailer was somewhat exhausting at this point in the game’s development.

“But, if it were just a rendered trailer, there would be comments I’ve seen in America and elsewhere like, ‘See you in 2035!” Yoshida once again stressed how he wanted to show the actual game in motion, instead of something just to sell the game.

Screenshot: Square Enix Screenshot: Square Enix

One thing that has always dogged the recent mainline Final Fantasy games is the expectations the Square Enix PR machine creates.

The launch trailers are stunning, but it’s not much later until actual game footage is revealed. But we should be excited by the actual game, not prerendered trailers. Development takes a long time, but since fans have seen rendered footage right away, they have no idea how far away the game is. Now, as experience has often taught us, the default is to assume they are very far off. Everything becomes abstract, save for the hype. Disappointment can ensue.

Yoshida, it seems, is trying to avoid all that, showing the game in motion right away and managing expectations immediately. This means fans can focus on the world, the story, the characters, and the gameplay earlier in the process in a much more grounded and tangible way.

Smart move, Square Enix.  

Comments

  • As much as I love the high production value CGI trailers that Final Fantasy is know for, I definitely appreciated seeing something concrete from the gameplay. Good move by Square.

    Small point, but I think the article is confused about what a launch trailer is. That is, a trailer launch on the day (or day before) the release date. An announcement or reveal trailer is probably the word you’re looking for.

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