This was supposed to be a mighty week for the site – hot off of a wonderful and first time experience at PSX, I had stories to write, games to cover, and perspective to give but then it happened. The dreaded con-cold hit and, since Monday morning, I’ve been down for the count. It’s amazing that a ‘cold’ gets written off so easily but when I’m down with one, even though I’m at home with access to every tool I’d normally use to run the site, I don’t have the slightest bit of energy or headspace to do it. So if content on the site seemed a bit light this week, you now know why. By yesterday, I was finally feeling mostly better and as fate would have it, our lovely host decided to take a nosedive for nearly 24hrs, rendering the site useless.
No more of that I say but I won’t spill the beans quite yet – just know that some big changes are afoot for SRN. As always if you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for our weekly newsletter and with that shameless plug aside, let’s get to some thoughts on the industry.
Final Fantasy breaks record
I’ll be writing more in depth about this on the site next or maybe what I’m about to say is more than enough. It’s been reported that Final Fantasy 15 just had the best launch in the franchise’s history, which sounds impressive – but perhaps not that impressive when you think about it. Excluding FF13, FF15 is the only modern Final Fantasy game to launch on two major platforms, PS4 and Xbox One while previously, they were PlayStation exclusives.
On top of that, we live in a world where you can buy games at more places than ever before, including orders from Amazon and of course digital downloads which means your copy is available to be played at midnight. But perhaps the biggest “no shit” reason is that FF15 is the accumulation of nearly 10 years worth of pre-orders, if you think about it. Try not releasing a Call of Duty game for a decade and see what pre-orders are like. What matters from here on is how well the sales momentum keep up and judging from the praise the game’s received so far, 15 million units sold in the long term isn’t out of the question.
This is one of those news pieces that in context is no news.
The Game Awards
For anybody who tuned into The Game Awards on Thursday night and follows SRN on Twitter, you’ll know that I partook in the traditional “snarky live-tweet-a-thon” that usually happens around such events. Of course part of it is in jest and despite moans and groans, I rather enjoyed the show, or what the show can be. For those who’ve watched the awards in the past, you’ll remember that it first started out as the Spike Video Game Awards which, as you might have guessed, aired on Spike TV.
After 2013 and nearly a decade on air, Spike would eventually drop the show and producer/host Geoff Keighley would shift forums by live streaming the entire thing on any platform possible. I won’t get into the specifics of the show but as a whole, I have a lot of respect for Geoff and find what he’s doing important. Previous iterations of the show had such a “gamer douchebag, bro-fest” stench to them that I felt embarrassed watching them. Was this really what the gaming generation was all about?
In the last two years, Geoff has done a monumental job at transforming the series into something more mature by taking cues from more prestigious ceremonies like the Oscars. His job is certainly not over but a multi-billion dollar industry that nearly everyone around us partakes in (yes, your parents playing Candy Crush counts), and creates thousands of jobs, and helps push new frontiers like HD and now VR, gaming to the greater public needs a better face and a show like this is one such way to achieve that.
The team at Naughty Dog deserves no less respect or recognition than ILM, just as the wonders of a tale from Insomniac Games should be recognized as much as an Oscar that’s handed to a Dreamworks flick and I think Geoff is dragging the industry in that direction.
This is more prevalent to those of you who’ve subscribed to this newsletter and less for those who will see this next week but Allegra and I will both be attending PSX this weekend. In addition to a keynote at 10am, there will be plenty of panels, including Death Stranding, where Hideo Kojima and co. will talk about their much hyped game.
If you’ve got questions or want to see something specific, let me know on Twitter @SonyRumors or @SohrabOsati.