Saturday, April 2, 2016

About That Final Fantasy 15 Reveal...

Yep, there was a big marketing stunt for Western fans of the Final Fantasy franchise this week. Rather than go over the details, etc., I'll just let RazorFist deflate the hype a bit before going on.

What he didn't do is go into all of the stuff revealed at the event. Allow me to summarize: all of the additional stuff is meant to use the Transmedia concept to justify the ridiculous production costs via justified marketing, additional revenue streams, and creative use of Star Power.

Star Power is what we saw with the reveal of Florence Welch (of Florence & The Machine) doing a cover of Stand By Me for the game's score and soundtrack. It's what we saw with Sean Bean, Lena Hedley, and Aaron Paul being cast and featured in the CGI tie-in and side-story for FF15: Kingsglaive. It's what the marketing team hopes will bring in Normies who otherwise wouldn't give a shit.

The special and very special editions are additional revenue streams. Buying the parts you want piecemeal is an additional revenue stream. DLC? You know it. The soundtrack and score? Yep. More revenue paths means more revenue and that justifies things to the moneymen in the company, especially after this long a cycle. Those able to buy it all up front will, and the rest will buy it in pieces as they go; the frugal fans will wait for the big bundle sales in a year or so. Nothing lost for Square Enix here.

The five-episode anime series? Justified marketing. Getting Welch, Bean, Hedley, and Paul? Justified marketing. Justified because it's masked, or incorporated, as part of the final product instead of what it is: making efficient use of resources and assets already employed in the making of the game itself to help sell the damned thing to as great an audience as can be had.

So, while this may well be a much-desired return to form, all this flash and dross has the wise wondering that the substance will be lacking- and that could wreck this franchise for years to come (and force it to rely entirely on the MMO--FF14--to carry the banner). Square Enix is hoping for a miracle.

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