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Final Fantasy XIV To Follow Dragon Quest's Lead?

Final Fantasy XIV To Follow Dragon Quest's Lead?

Written by Darryl — 13 Dec 2008

Incase you are unaware, Dragon Quest X was announced for the Nintendo Wii earlier this week at a Dragon Quest press conference. Although Dragon Quest IX being on the Nintendo DS caused a bigger stir, this is still quite a statement of intent for Square Enix.

This move shows that Square Enix obviously believe that they will gain more profit from the next installment being on the Wii as opposed to the DS and it also means that they don't see the Playstation 3, nor the Xbox 360 in the same light as either of the aformentioned consoles.

Dragon Quest is a franchise which has little penetration anywhere outside of the Japan and even though Dragon Question VIII did a respectable job in attempting to change that, its popularity is nowhere near that of Final Fantasy on Western Shores. While this is quite obvious, what isn't so obvious is that Final Fantasy games still ship more copies in Japan than they do in North America or Europe despite having much fewer consoles in the region.

In the case of Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix were too commited to development for the Playstation 3 to be able to do anything else, and the Xbox 360 has such a small amount of penetration in Japan, that it wasn't worth them porting it. However, the announcement that Final Fantasy XIII will be released everywhere else on the 360, coupled with the announcement of Dragon Quest X on the Wii shows that they certainly aren't afraid to mix things up.

So, what does this mean for the inevitable Final Fantasy XIV? Square Enix usually release 2-3 main Final Fantasy games per console generation, which means that Final Fantasy XIV will most likely hit before we start seeing anything concrete about the Playstation 4, Xbox 720 or Nintendo Wii 2. If Dragon Quest IX is successful on the Nintendo DS, and the Wii's popularity continues to be miles ahead of both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 it wouldn't be illogical to assume that since they had no problem putting Dragon Quest X on the Wii, they'd certainly have no problem putting Final Fantasy XIV on the Wii too.

Dragon Quest IX incidently comes out in Quarter 1 2009 in Japan, so it will certainly be interesting to see how the sales compare to Dragon Quest VIII, which was on the Playstation 2. If Dragon Quest IX sells less than expected, it could suggest to Square Enix that its primary market aren't willing to accept it being on a less graphically intensive console. This could also be the same for Dragon Quest X, but Final Fantasy XIV might already be in development prior to its release.

There is also the possiblity of it being completely multi-platform, since Crystal Tools is a multi-platform engine. It just depends how much revenue they wish to try and milk from the franchise. This would solve all their problems and it would throw Square Enix's supposed loyalty completely out of the window, as they'd be supporting everyone.

Only time will tell.

Darryl was playing Final Fantasy before he was even born - quite a feat! Often very opinionated on the Final Fantasy franchise, you will often find him musing about small details. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.