PlayStation will lose Final Fantasy exclusives, as Square Enix announces plans to bring more of its games to Xbox and PC

Promotional screenshot of Final Fantasy XVI
(Image credit: Square Enix)

What you need to know

  • Square Enix has released their Financial Reports for the end of the Fiscal Year of 2023-2024.
  • In the report, Square Enix declares that it will begin shipping future titles on multiple platforms such as Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and PC as part of a new business strategy to bring in more customers. 
  • As part of this new business strategy, Square Enix plans to create new titles based on some of its older IPs.
  • Square Enix is a publisher/developer that's responsible for creating some of the biggest JRPG franchises in gaming including Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, and more.

On May 13, 2024, Square Enix released to the public (shared via @Genki_JPN on Twitter) a document containing the company's financial reports for the end of the Fiscal Year 2023-2024. The report includes an important announcement from Square Enix that it plans to focus on releasing future games on multiple gaming platforms as part of a new business strategy.

The full statement can be found on page 12 of the 32-page report and it reads:

"For HD titles, the Group will aggressively pursue a multiplatform strategy that includes Nintendo platforms, PlayStation, Xbox, and PCs. Especially, in regards to major franchises and AAA titles including catalog titles, it will build an environment where more customers can enjoy our titles."

What this means is that Square Enix is going to stop releasing future games from their major franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest as timed-exclusive PlayStation titles. They'll ship games out on multiple platforms such as Xbox, PC, and even Nintendo Switch on release day simultaneously instead of months or years for the exclusivity rights to expire. 

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The reason for Square Enix's new business strategy is that according to page 2 of the report: 

"In the HD (High-Definition) sub-segment, consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024, increased compared with the previous fiscal year due to the release of titles including “FINAL FANTASY XVI,” “FINAL FANTASY PIXEL REMASTER,” “DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince,” and “FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH.” 

Square Enix then notes, "However, operating losses grew due to higher development cost amortization and advertising expenses, as well as higher content valuation losses versus the previous fiscal year."

This means that while sales were up, operating losses were also higher because the games were more expensive. Square Enix hopes to combat this issue by releasing their games on multiple platforms instead of being constrained to a single console like the PS5-exclusive Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth currently are.

On top of committing to more multiplatform releases, Square Enix plans to revive some of its older IP with new games as noted on this quote from page 8 of the report:

"In addition, the Group will strive to increase its success rate in SD games by launching a carefully curated selection of titles. It will additionally explore ways to leverage its rich library of IP."

Analysis: Could we see more Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games come to Xbox day one?

What this means for us gamers is that hopefully, we'll be seeing more new upcoming Xbox JRPGs from Square Enix without having to worry about PlayStation exclusivity rights getting in the way. Perhaps we'll be seeing some Xbox ports of titles fans have been requesting for years like Final Fantasy XVI, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters.

Not only that, this new strategy could see Square Enix revive some of its lesser-known but just as beloved franchises like Parasite Eve or the Chrono series. I know I would pay for a new Chrono Trigger-style game.

Could this be what Final Fantasy XIV's and Final Fantasy XVI developer, Naoki Yoshida was eluding to when he hinted at the possibility of Final Fantasy XVI coming to Xbox after the PC port was finished? We'll have to wait and see if Square Enix's new multiplatform business strategy pans out to find out.

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is! 

  • fdruid
    Yeah, I'm gonna be the one to say it: Rats are abandoning the ship.
  • John McIlhinney
    I would imagine that Sony releasing many of its own exclusives on PC is a sign that releasing exclusively on PlayStation is not the best option financially. Sony has paid developers to do so in order to make up that shortfall but it seems like everyone is working out that it's not enough. It just makes sense that any game developer would want their game in as many hands as possible. There may be or have been some legitimate reasons for certain games or developers to avoid a particular platform but they are either disappearing, e.g. Xbox doing more to properly understand the Japanese market, or are simply not enough to override the reasons to diversify.