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Final Fantasy XV - Sales Thread

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy Discussion' started by SonOfEtro, Dec 1, 2016.

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  1. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    I think it's both. FF15 is the highest selling game because it's the highest profile release there's been (until DQ, it will likely remain so, and DQ may not even pass it thanks to the 3DS and Switch versions) -- but as a series if you plot a year-on-year or game-on-game decline the decline FF15 has had is higher than the average and higher than the overall decline in the Japanese market between 2009 and 2016.

    Like, if the entire industry is down, okay, we expect all games to be down, broadly, except for wildly successful exceptions (such as Persona 5). So, then we plot: what's the average percentage THE INDUSTRY is down? If a game is more down than the average, there is clearly a factor besides the decline at play. This is the case for FF15 in Japan. Surely this makes sense to you?

    As far as the reason beyond the wider market, I think it's mostly about the Western influence exerted over the game's style being rejected by a segment of the player-base, and quality/polish issues, which Japanese games surely rag on more. It's not exactly a massive mystery.
     
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  2. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    If the game is doing better than literally every game it's being compared to, then no, the issue is objectively the market.

    Edit: It's not a small difference, either. It's got a huge lead. It's beating Pokemon thrice over. Which is shocking to me, but the numbers are the numbers.
     
  3. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    Right, this is simple. I can't be bothered to crunch the actual numbers but if you go to GAF people there have done this in detail:
    • Let's say the market is down on average 36%. The average game is down 36%, console sales, etc. There are outliers, discrepancies 5-10% in either direction, but on average: 37%. The market is clearly having a rough time.
    • If you're the best-selling game, that's great. You were also the biggest (or one of the biggest) beforehand, and that dominance remains.
    • However, your decline is 56%, a full 20% more than the industry average. WHY is that? What is it that you're doing that makes you perform out-of-line with the rest of the market? Why is your game having an EVEN ROUGHER time than the industry average? It's doing well, but based on what other products are doing and your previous size/prestige, it should be doing BETTER.
    In a sense, percentile examination of performance is more important than sales, because that tracks performance within a bracket. It's absolutely possible to be the biggest/best in a particular category and still be suffering a collapse that's far beyond and far more dangerous than your peers. Indeed, it's on this sort of basis that stock markets have crashed in the past, haha. This is just a microcosm of that.

    What do you say to the additional 20%? What is it, scotch mist? Does it not exist?

    If you're a publicly-traded company such as Square, you begin to set your investor targets and analysis for upcoming titles with your figures based off the industry-wide reporting. By this logic, by the way, the company would've predicted in this scenario I'm pitching sales 20% higher than the reality, because sales fell 20% behind the industry average versus the previous performance. Incidentally, if you go back and read the investor slides from the Q2 financials from Square they go into detail about this very issue and predict certain games will perform above the line of market performance and certain games will perform below it.

    This stuff applies in reverse, too: if the industry is on an uptick and you're growing but also growing behind the general curve, your growth is less meaningful than the gains made by your weaker peers that are larger in relative terms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  4. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I'm done with Gaf as of yesterday.

    You're trying to figure out what the factor is. Is it the game, or is it the market? The market is down. The game is up compared to the market. And by a lot. Are you saying this is the ONLY major franchise to release a title in Japan since its inception? Or that FF is THAT much bigger than the competition? Because if you're not, none of the rest of your factors are involved in that equation. It would seem like Pokemon is kind of a big name, too.

    Don't get me wrong, I get what you're saying, but it reads more like massaging the numbers to reach a desired conclusion. There are any number of potential causes for the differences you're talking about.

    Either way, leaving it at just the numbers comparing it against the number of consoles sold at the time is severely distorting the truth, no matter how you slice it. And to the point that it borders on bullshitting. I'm not trying to argue that it's objectively the greatest game of all time or anything, but it's clear that by FAR the major factor is the market. And that FFXV appears to be fighting against that trend better than any game available for the console.

    Your own post a few pages back called people out for denying anything that didn't conform with their agenda AND called this FF situation "dire". I contend that the data shows without a doubt that the situation is no where near dire, and I might suggest that you're arguing towards an agenda.
     
  5. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    The game is the best-selling PS4 game in Japan, but it has seen a sharper declined compared to the performance of the FF franchise last generation than the market average. Therefore the game is not up compared to the market. The game has sold well, but has sold less than the general market performance would've had you expect.

    The game is down 56% on 2009, whereas the Japanese Market is actually only down in the region of 35% since 2009. Do you see what I'm saying? This isn't hard, it's just maths.

    The numbers are good. It sold a lot. But the decline is steeper & harder than the decline in the market. FF is declining more quickly than the already fast-declining Japanese market.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  6. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I never didn't get what you were saying. Your math is still faulty. You are still comparing different eras and that is distorting your numbers. Unless Final Fantasy had an even bigger stranglehold on the Japanese market in 2009 than it appears to have now, then you are massaging numbers.
     
  7. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    The entire act of studying the market decline is about studying different eras. The same methodology is being applied to PS3 attach rate versus PS4 attach rant, Persona 4 versus Persona 5, blah blah. You study the past to find patterns and map movement and predict trends. There are people employed at Square and every other publisher for whom this is their entire and sole job.

    To use an extremely crude analogy:
    If the major games franchises in Japan all jumped off a skyscraper (and let's throw the laws of gravity out of the window for a moment here and say not everything falls at the same speed): FF jumped from a higher floor, but is falling more quickly. It's still the highest, but it's falling down the remaining floors at a faster pace than the others that jumped, and so eventually it will pass them unless something changes. It's easy to point at FF now and go "but it's still the highest up!" but we actually need to look at the velocity at which it's moving and compare it to its peers and the rest of the industry over in Japan.

    Like, there's no agenda, I liked the game plenty, it's bought RPG Site over 1 million pages of traffic in 2 weeks - I'm very happy about it. But it's just facts and numbers. Square are no doubt banking on wider performance in new markets like China and stronger performance in the West to offset just how steep the decline is, but the decline is there, and I repeat: the decline is higher than the market average.

    I'm honestly not sure why you're bringing up Pokemon, since 1) it's on handheld and 2) it's moving in the opposite direction to the rest of the market, IE it's growing when everything else is shrinking.
     
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  8. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Chocobo Knight

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    It's beaten Pokemon thrice over in the last week, which was Pokemon's third. It had more than double the sales of FFXV in its first week.
     
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  9. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    Out of respect, I'm just going to agree to disagree, and I'll take back the agenda stuff. To be fair, that was a direct result if your 'do you get it yet? Lines. Which, after the other comments from you earlier in this thread really comes off like you have a problem with me) But, I still think your methodology is introducing a ton of factors of unquantifiable influence with the result being a distortion of the numbers.

    There are any number of factors to bridge that gap. It's a completely different landscape. There are more varied choices with more varied prices, bridging and entirely circumventing genre guidelines. That alone could account for a difference in market share. I'd have to think AAA games in general are probably struggling, especially when indie games can be unique and significantly cheaper. I don't know if there are any other 30 year old franchises to compare it to, either. Certainly none with the crazy recent history that this one has.

    This title has alienated a lot of long time fans for the sake of picking up new ones. Which means the market they're trying to corner consists of a different fanbase. This game is so different from the previous installments by definition, and the landscape is so different between eras that I don't see the intellectual value of comparing it to FFXIII necessarily at all. In this new era, currently, in the world we inhabit, it's currently kicking ass in that market. And it's not like the PS4 just came out and there aren't any major titles yet. There is a sufficient sample size. So until there's more data to the contrary, like reports of stores sending back stock or sonething to that effect, I'm going to go ahead and consider number 1 in the market with a bullet to be a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  10. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Couldn't this just be down to the death of the mainstream that seems to be afflicting both games and anime? If the rest of the market targeted the remaining niche more heavily while FFXV sought to remain mainstream for the sake of Western sales, that could explain the difference.
     
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  11. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    It absolutely could, but this obviously has enormous implications for FF that don't exist for, say, Persona. The series may have to significantly retool itself to survive in its current form... which is why this is interesting, and why we should be looking beyond the twist of the market itself.
     
  12. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I agree that it's interesting. But I feel like it's interesting because they DID retool, and we are watching them clobber the market because of it.

    I'm much, much more interested in how it plays out long term because right now feels a little bit like when XII came out, which was also wildly different from the past installments, but eventually gained favor over time. A lot of the stuff in this game is an acquired taste and the internet isn't exactly known for its collective ability to remain rational and not jump to conclusions.

    If indeed they are setting out to fix some of the glaring issues, like XII, the perception of the game could change with it. If it does, it could well lead to a steadier trickle as word of mouth spreads. Given the marketing, initial mistrust due to XIII and early bugs, there's reason to suspect there may end up being a significant improvement in post launch sales, proportionally, compared to previous titles. And that changes everything, because it would go directly against the trend as posted on the chart a page back. If that trend shifts back in the other direction, it might represent a breakthrough. Or it might just mean that past data is no longer predictive in this new environment.

    Either way, fascinating.
     
  13. Storm

    Storm AVALANCHE Warrior

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    do we have digital numbers already?
     
  14. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    @Storm For the West no. For Japan, Famitsu's numbers include digital.
     
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  15. Ahall88

    Ahall88 Balamb Garden Freshman

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    So the attach rate is 23% or something in Japan? (I forgot just how many PS4 have sold in Japan.)
    FFXIII was 36% right?(Talking about first week only of course.)
    So, while it's encouraging that XV is putting great numbers for a PS4 games, it's still a pretty sharp fall.
    Maybe this will start moving more PS4s in Japan?
    I'm no expert when it comes to sales though, so maybe I'm talking over my head, lol.
     
  16. Rogue-Tomato

    Rogue-Tomato Yevonite

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    It's always quite annoying comparing game sales from 2 different eras - And in this case, vastly different as they're 7 years apart. That might as well be 100 years. The entire gaming landscape is different now, especially given the arrival and dominance of mobile gaming.

    Comparing FFXIII sales to FFXV is fine from an insights point of view but given the amount of variances present when each title launched it's sort of foolish to do a direct comparison using only the 2 sets of data - game sales and console sales, besides, the console sales stat is only relevant when you use console sales to find out a games ''market share''. For example (made up figures ahead), if FFXIII sold 1 million copies in week 1 and FFXV did 650,000 in week 1, that is, on face value a sizeable decline - However, if there were 30 million PS3's in peoples homes 7 years ago and 8 million PS4's in peoples homes now, then you could actually say that FFXV is the one doing better.

    It's far easier to make the figures sound good or bad when people use percentages - Boasting about ones pay rise of 15% means nothing until we know what their salary is. :embarrassed:
     
  17. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    As has been discussed in detail in this thread, if you take console install base into account and calculate attach rate for that console based on those numbers, FF15 is still significantly down in Japan and tracking below SE's expectations. It's doing well in the West, though.

    The market is vastly different, but FF13 is an important comparison point for FF15. Tabata himself is on the record saying that 'major success' for them would be 10 million copies, but a decent realistic target would be to outperform FF13. That's from the horses' mouth.
     
  18. Squirrel Emperor

    Squirrel Emperor Nuts Staff Member Moderator

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    Maybe “jolt” isn’t the word I want to use but making the brand “exciting” again is more appropriate as Japan seems to be losing interest in it.

    Because Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII also did what you just described too!

    But I don’t think Final Fantasy in the past decade has really competed against itself. It has become more of a movie blockbuster experience than a novel experience like it used to be. Stories are getting shorter and lack important details and character development has taken a hit all in favor of amazing production values. Combat is also becoming more about being a visual spectacle too. But it all leads to imbalanced game design from start to finish. There is no consistency, something I think was present at one point in time with the series.

    And I think a lot of that has to do with modern AAA game development as it would be difficult to take what was done in the past and achieve similar results today. It's pretty much the reason why Final Fantasy VII Remake isn't just one game and if they were to remake Final Fantasy VI, it would probably be divided up as well.

    Or maybe Square Enix doesn’t have their priorities straight or have any good game designers. Who knows.
     
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  19. Nova

    Nova AVALANCHE Warrior

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    A question for @Squirrel Emperor

    What are your expectations for FFVII:Remake's sales performance in its own right?
     
  20. Crystal Power

    Crystal Power ShinRa SOLDIER

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    This is very true. Fans are actually divided strongly on what the series is or what it should be in the future. I think it's bad when fans are now in heated arguments if the series is turn-based or action, and not just a personal preference thing but literal loathing of one or the other styles. It could just be another reason why humans are hopeless and not a FF issue, but I can't think of another series that fans actually are pit against each other in core gameplay. Maybe over features and small gimmicks but never core gameplay that they refuse to play older games in the series due to it's genre.
     
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