We’re just days away from one of the biggest launches of the year, as Final Fantasy fans around the world prepare themselves for the launch of Final Fantasy XV. The reputation of Square-Enix’s most recognizable franchise, and arguably the quality of the experiences on offer, has been on the decline for many years. The title of “greatest Final Fantasy of all time” is always a topic of hot debate, but this is typically a conversation tied exclusively to the earlier titles in the franchise.
Seldom do we hear of anything past Final Fantasy X entering into this conversation – that release was 15 years ago. And while Final Fantasy X is mentioned in the same breath as the all-time greats for some, others fight to the bone citing the legendary (or infamous) Tidus’ laugh as cringe-worthy turn for the worst in regards to story telling. Being a big Tidus and Yuna fan, it wasn’t until the release of Final Fantasy X-2 that my interest in the RPG juggernaut started to dwindle, and to this day has never really been reignited. However, even before its release, I’m considering Final Fantasy XV as one of the greatest video game launches of all time.
Ignoring my child-like desire for Final Fantasy XV to be the best game in the franchise thus far, there’s a multitude of supporting reasons that truly puts this release on another level. The quality and variety of media, content, promotion, and hype surrounding its release is unprecedented in the gaming industry, which is a good thing as the team have had plenty of time to prepare for this launch.
Final Fantasy XV’s original roots can be traced back as far as 2006, when it was originally announced as the PlayStation 3 spin-off Final Fantasy Versus XIII. In the ten years since its announcement, it has become another beast altogether. Whether the fruits of their labor will payoff can only be judged after the masses relay their verdict post-release, but with the game set aside for a moment, there’s a huge list of reasons supporting what could be Square-Enix’s defining moment and our industries most exciting release of all time.
MTV and Brit Awards winner Florence + the Machine in collaboration with Square Enix supported a trailer with their own rendition of the classic song “Stand By Me:”
Taking place parallel to the events of Final Fantasy XV, “Kingsglaive” is an opportunity for fans to get invested in supporting characters of the game prior to its release. While not an instant success, it has managed to culture a 7/10 rating on IMDB.
Then we have the animated miniseries, “Final Fantasy XV: Brotherhood.” Spanning five episodes, it focuses on the primary cast members of Final Fantasy XV: Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolos, and Prompto. “Final Fantasy XV: Brotherhood” is available to watch for free on YouTube.
For those looking for a little entertainment, there’s the mini-game “Justice Monsters Five.” After spending some time with this mode, it is sadly not in the same realm as Blitzball, Triple Triad, or Tetra Master.
Another experience for the gaming audience to really get behind is “A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV.” Set in a fictitious setting 30 years prior to the events of Final Fantasy XV, A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV offers fans a side-scrolling action brawler experience. Sadly, this is one experience that is limited to those in the United States.
Another big name in music lends their talents to Square-Enix as a collaboration with Grammy award winning DJ and Producer Afrojack, which marked the beginning in a long line of well-constructed and well-delivered trailers.
In a slightly easier to digest format, this is just some of the content and marketing surrounding Final Fantasy XV’s upcoming release:
- Florence + the Machine Stand By Me
- Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV anime miniseries
- A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV Game
- Justice Monsters Five – Available on mobile platforms and in-game at release
- Special themed menu at renowned chef Jamie Oliver’s London-based restaurant
- Jaw-dropping trailers
- Several playable demos spread out in the build up to launch
- Afrojack tracks
- Kingsglaive movie
- UK-Based cinematic event offering exclusive footage and content
- They have advertisement boards on the bus stops in my home town (basically, nowhere relevant to anyone)
As a long-time Final Fantasy fan, I want Final Fantasy XV to succeed for obvious reasons. Setting that aside, I want it to succeed for the industry. If the game flies off the shelves, breaks records, and meets Square-Enix’s traditionally over-the-top sales expectations, it could just influence future releases to offer a broader variety of content for fans to digest prior to launch.
There’s also a chance the game flops terribly and nobody ever goes to similar lengths to promote a release – but let’s not talk about that.