As somebody who was a huge fan of the fifth generation of video games, the middle era of Final Fantasy is a particular favorite of mine. I dropped hundreds of hours into the sixth through twelfth entries, and loved every minute of it. As I’ve transitioned over to PC gaming as my primary hobby, I’ve definitely missed the series with each new installment coming out, which is why I was ecstatic to see that Final Fantasy XIII is coming to Steam in October of this year.
This has been some time coming, with Final Fantasy VII and VIII being ported over in the last couple of years and earlier installments (III and IV) being released very recently. That, as well as news that the entire FFXIII series will be coming soon, means that all of a sudden a healthy chunk of this franchise is available. I’m absolutely thrilled to hear this news, and can’t wait for even more of them to come to Steam. In fact, I believe Steam (or PC at least) is in some ways a far better place for past, present, and even future Final Fantasy games than consoles, and here’s why.
Bigger Audience = More Money
One fact that people tend to forget when talking about Final Fantasy as a series is that it wasn’t always a massive blockbuster like Grand Theft Auto or Metal Gear Solid. It’s always been popular, but it wasn’t until the release of Final Fantasy VII that the series exploded. Due to that spike in popularity, Square’s focus then shifted to making Final Fantasy games into EVENTS with state-of-the-art visuals and finding a place in storytelling that goes beyond the term ‘epic’. They even succeeded for a while, but by the time Final Fantasy XIII came out in 2010, it fell victim to high production costs and unrealistic fan expectations of ‘what a Final Fantasy game should be’.
Square Enix seems to be in a weird holding pattern in which they are expected to make bigger games all the time but with a smaller install and fan base. For that reason, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to expand over to PC fully. Doing so would only increase their audience and result in more sales, so why any company would choose to limit its audience and appeal just seems ridiculous.