KeybladeMaster (User)

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The Critical and Commercial failure of Final Fantasy XIII-2

KeybladeMaster | 930d ago
User blog

Now I know a lot of you are looking at the title and thinking to yourselves "this is flame bait and he doesn't like XIII-2 because he hated XIII". That statement for the most part is untrue. While it's true that I wasn't a fan of XIII, I still thought XIII-2 was an okay game. It had it's moments. It just that it still didn't have the good/likable story and characters that I expect from a Final Fantasy title. But we aren't here for that. We are here to talk about facts and numbers.

If you think XIII-2 is a great game by all means own that opinion. I am not here to say that the game is a bad game and you shouldn't buy it. I am here to give the cold hard facts.

While peoples definition of failure is different, what I am about to show you will show a definite downturn in the Final Fantasy series. Like I said everyone is entitled to their opinions but let me talk about facts now. If you turn your attention to the numbers below:

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is one of the lowest scoring HOME CONSOLE Final Fantasy's, example:

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (79): http://www.metacritic.com/g...
Final Fantasy XIII (83): http://www.metacritic.com/g...
Final Fantasy XII (92): http://www.metacritic.com/g...
Final Fantasy XI (85): http://www.metacritic.com/g...
Final Fantasy X-2 (85): http://www.metacritic.com/g...
Final Fantasy X (92): http://www.metacritic.com/g...

It is also one of the lowest selling HOME CONSOLE games of the franchise (according to 1st week sales (And for the sake of saving me time to crunch all the numbers lets just use Japan first week sales for all these games I am about to list)):

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (538,774): http://www.vgchartz.com/gam...
Final Fantasy XIII (1,464,964): http://www.vgchartz.com/gam...
Final Fantasy XII (1,819,872): http://www.vgchartz.com/gam...
Final Fantasy XI (Sorry guys cant find any solid data on this game :-( )
Final Fantasy X-2 (1,561,553): http://www.vgchartz.com/gam...
Final Fantasy X (1,906,152): http://www.vgchartz.com/gam...

Again my point is not to tell you that your opinion doesn't matter, because everyone's opinion matters to someone. It's just that numbers never lie. And the numbers for XIII-2 are really not as hot as Square Enix would like people to believe. Square had to expect more from a Final Fantasy game and, from a business stand point, XIII-2 failed on them. Maybe this might cement the point that A LOT of OTHER fans don't like XIII and that having the XIII associated with any future FF title would only hurt that game in sales (looking at you Final Fantasy Versus XIII). Again these are the numbers and the numbers speak for themselves.

Godmars290  +   930d ago
In all honesty, crap like this needs to stop.

Bad enough someone tried to suggest that FFXIII-2 was "selling like gangbusters" while offering no evidence only to throw out the troll label when actual numbers were presented, but something like this is no better.

The game's out. If you like it you like it. If you don't - if the demo did nothing to mend the bad taste FFXIII left some including myself with - then you don't. By all indication Square is moving on past its general mechanics and theme after the DLC, so should everyone else. Stop calling it the best recent entry in the series much less the worst.
KeybladeMaster  +   930d ago
In all honesty I am just presenting the cold hard facts. I am not saying it is a bad game. I never said that. I played the game. It was okay. End of story.

All I am doing now is presenting the facts of this recent entry into Final Fantasy. I am not saying it's "the worst" or "the best". I am just giving the numbers. I don't understand how this is trolling or anything of the sort. Like I kept saying throughout the blog, I am giving the numbers. Nothing more, Nothing less.
TeaDouble_E  +   929d ago
Well said KeybladeMaster, here have a bubble.
Spydr07  +   928d ago
Edit: Realized I just don't care.
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FredEffinChopin  +   928d ago
I honestly don't even think you yourself know what your point is.

No matter how many disclaimers you pepper this write-up with, it IS flamebait, and you ARE aiming to discredit the game based one the statistics you presented.

1. When you tried to preemptively combat the inevitable accusations of being a person who dislikes the game, you also made it clear that there was some truth to it.

2. "Again my point is not to tell you that your opinion doesn't matter, because everyone's opinion matters to someone. It's just that numbers never lie."
????
So opinions don't matter, they're just wrong sometimes? I suppose you believe the Wii is the console-to-own this gen? It did sell an awful lot....

3. Your idea of failure is pretty twisted. Just because a game isn't universally praised for being stellar doesn't make it a failure.

So why the title? When you look at this write-up, there is nothing of substance whatsoever. It's metacritic scores, sales figures, and about a half-dozen disingenuous disclaimers as garnish.

I'm sure you don't think you're trolling or flamebaiting, but I'd like you to take another look at what you wrote and tell me that it isn't both of those things.

Again, what is your point?
iamtehpwn  +   930d ago
In fairness, Final Fantasy has been on the decline sales since Final Fantasy VII, selling 10 million. Each has been selling less and less. No other FF has come close to those numbers since. And that doesn't mean XIII-2 wasn't a profitable venture, to make a game in a year and release was a pretty quick turn around, and a smart business decision.

It is also unanimously agreed upon even by who didn't like this game, that XIII-2 is better game than at the least, than XIII and X-2, it's most compared games. Most people who said XIII-2 was far better still ended up giving it a lower score than XIII.

With regards to "Versus XIII", a game we know so little about it... I recall when we knew about as much about XIII as we do Versus XIII now, we imagined it'd be same sort of solid title. The "but Nomura is making it" logic dries up when Kitase, one of the genius men who's been involved with FF from the start was heavily involved in the development of XIII. People are excited about it because it sounds good on paper, but I think we should be cautiously optimistic until we see more. FF fans have a tenancy of jumping the gun.
KeybladeMaster  +   929d ago
I find it strange that you were optimistic and positive leading up to XIII-2's release but with Versus XIII we need to be "cautiously optimistic". That's a double edged sword my friend.
iamtehpwn  +   929d ago
Yes, and that is because we were getting new XIII-2 trailers, preview articles, footage, and information on a weekly basis. The development of the game was very openly talked about and shared since it's announcement. So my proposition was, shouldn't we at least give them a chance to rectify their mistakes?

Of course, I'm not saying we shouldn't be excited for Versus XIII, but there is this messianic view toward the game right now, as the salvation for FF. It may very will be just be that, but all I'm saying is, we should at least wait for more than 1 gameplay trailer (which only featured under 4 minutes of gameplay). Versus XIII is probably going to be amazing, But the mentality we have of saying it "it'll be the best FF evar" is one we should at least wait and see.

We're also hyping the game to impossible heights, and that leads to a higher chance of disappointment even if the game does turn out to be fantastic. To hype a game as the "savior" to franchise as big as FF is already an incredibly fierce and bar raising statement to make as-is.
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DA_SHREDDER  +   929d ago
sorry pwn, but I cant agree with that statement. The battle system alone was what killed it for me. They would have had to literally changed the game mechanics from the ground up to get my attention again. Again, like I said before in other threads from the bottom of my heart. Die Squeenix die!!
Godmars290  +   929d ago
All you're saying is that as soon as the vXIII hype machine starts, regardless if there's an about face in terms of what's already been shown, you'll become excited for it like Pavlov's dog.

Judging by what little that has been shown and said, as I've said before, its coming off more a Romeo & Juliet as set amidst Yakuza families who use magic rather than a Final Fantasy but maybe it still has a chance to at least be a good RPG. Even despite the incompetence Square Enix has been showing with Squaresoft's IP.
Megaman_nerd  +   929d ago
The "but Nomura is making it" logic dries up when Kitase, one of the genius men who's been involved with FF from the start was heavily involved in the development of XIII.
--------------
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Kitase was just the producer for XIII. He hasn't worked on a FF game since VIII.
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iamtehpwn  +   929d ago
Are you serious? Dude, where the hell have you been? Kitase has been involved with almost every FF since Final Fantasy V:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

He was the Director of FF7 and 8, produced X and Co-producing Versus XIII.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   928d ago
@pwn

You do realize that producers have very little involvement in the creative process right?
TheColbertinator  +   927d ago
@iamtehpwn

Kitase produced several FF games but production simply means you are in charge of advertising,financing and media exposure.Few producers have any impact on their projects and Kitase simply promotes FF these days.

Nomura on the other hand does character design,story writing and direction for his games which makes me feel optimistic about Versus XIII.
GupX19A  +   929d ago
This little article is fact stating and trolling at the same time. XIII is a low point for the series, everyone gets it, but internet folks love to beat it down and they need to get over it. Case in point, XIII-2 is easily a better sequel yet gets lower reviews because everyone has just jumped on the hate bandwagon instead of actually judging the game.

These sales numbers are pretty accurate, but pointing out the obvious in a self-contained article is trolling at its finest. Direct sequels never sell as well. There's no need to stomp on Square while they're down and hurting.
PshycoNinja  +   929d ago
I don't get how stating facts means you are a troll or a person is trolling.

Keyblade is just stating the facts here for everyone to see. Key was very respectful in this blog regarding everyones opinions. It seems to me he is just stating the fact. I didn't know XIII-2 sold so low and I am sure that not many others knew either. So again tell me how is it trolling if he is putting up facts to just let people know what is going on with XIII and XIII-2 critically and commercially.

And I disagree with direct sequels never sell well. Ever heard of Uncharted or Call of Duty? Both sell better with each new sequel.

And how is Square down and hurting? huh? On their twitter they believe that they have created a masterpiece! I was under the impression that Square did very well until I saw this blog. Good on Key for checking his facts and to bring to light how XIII-2 really is doing.
izumo_lee  +   929d ago
I find it kinda funny the reason that FF 13-2 has the sales it has is cause of the PS3 crowd. I know that vgchartz is not really reliable but i was flabbergasted by the difference the PS3 sales compared to the 360.

PS3 - 1.6 million
X360 - 360k

Source - http://www.vgchartz.com/wee...

Anyways back on to the topic of this blog. Face it this was a quick cash grab from Squarenix with the release of FF 13-2. They had all that content left over from the previous game, so it was natural to use it for another.

Fans of Final Fantasy (myself included) are kinda stubborn when it comes to the franchise. We will continue to support it regardless on how bad the game is or not. We always hope & believe that each game will be better than the last, if it is not we just hope the one after will be just like with Final Fantasy Versus 13.

Final Fantasy has been around for a long time & many of us were there from the very beginning so there is a passion for the series. So all this negativity for 13 is justified cause we expected something 'better' than the last. Sure that may be unfair to expect hence why there is so much disappointment in where the series is headed.

Personally i hope they keep the name Final Fantasy Versus 13. If the rumors are true that Nomura was not pleased in the direction that 13 was developed. Why do you think there is the word 'Versus' is the title? It is to be the exact opposite of what FF 13 is, to go against the philosophy that game became. For example Versus has everything a long time fan of FF wanted, we all know what that is so i won't list them. And say what you will but the game for now is only for PS3. It will be interesting if & when the game is released that it will be what we fans wanted from the very start of this gen.

Of course regardless if Versus will be the greatest FF game ever made /s, it will still be hated on by some.
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darkpower  +   929d ago
A few issues about your numbers:

1. Your source. VGChartz haven't exactly been the most reliable source ever about sales figures. You know how many times they've been wrong about PS3 vs. 360 numbers every month? I'd dare to say that you using VGChartz makes a lot of your arguments invalid.

2. Even if VGC was a reliable source, not much was known about when 13-2 was going to come out (I didn't even know that a release date was set on the game, much less know when it was coming out). There wasn't much in the way of hype being created for the game. The other games came out after a ton of hype that was supporting them. That and it didn't exactly get released in a point where people would be willing to buy games. The gaming climate is usually not as strong during these months for some reason. That leads me to my next point.

3. You're only basing your assumptions about sales on the Japanese numbers (again, from VGC). SE has been making FF games more "Western like" lately, which means that more of the western territories like the US will be willing to try it out. Also, I noticed that you were only listing the PS3 numbers. As much as I know the Japanese hate the other system, keep in mind that FF13-2 was also released on the 360, making you have to look up those numbers, too.

4. Lastly, we ALL know what we've been thinking of Metacritic over the years. I could go on forever about the issues surrounding Metacritic.
PshycoNinja  +   929d ago
1) Actually VGChartz is pretty on point when it comes to their numbers. Sure they are wrong sometimes, but for the most part they are dead on. They are always in the ballpark of how much a game sales. Every once in a while they might be 10,000 or so off but thats really not much for first week sales of games. BTW Media Create (who is the official sales tracker in Japan) had XIII-2 at about 500,000 when XIII-2 released. So VGC and Media Create are both wrong?

2)Every Final Fantasy fan knew when the game was releasing. Stop making excuses for the game. If any region knew when FFXIII-2 was releasing it would be Japan. The Japanese populous (for the most part) didn't buy the game. And the game released in December in Japan (usually the strongest sales period of the year). And I don't know if you have been living under a rock but Square has been hyping this game for a year now. SH*T they have ads everywhere on TV, everytime I go into gamestop they have posters everywhere for the game and it's had a barrage of trailers released every other day all last month.

3) That excuse is a very poor excuse. So sales in Japan (where Final Fantasy sales the most) doesn't matter anymore? Get over yourself. And really? 360 numbers. Fine here you go: http://www.vgchartz.com/gam...

Is that what you wanted to see? In FFXIII-2 first week on the 360 Media Create's number 20 (That's right FFXIII-2 for 360 didn't even break into the top 20 in it's first week) barely did 10,000 which means that XIII-2 on 360 did LOWER than that. Is that really going to affect the numbers... really?

4) So a site that brings together all scores from almost every site (same thing with every FF from X up to this point) isn't valid?

Again all your excuses are very poor ones. You are grasping at straws here and are either too blindly in love with XIII and XIII-2 to see it or your just trying to find something to disprove facts. These are the facts. Move on. As Keyblade has said in this blog:

"Again my point is not to tell you that your opinion doesn't matter, because everyone's opinion matters to someone. It's just that numbers never lie."

"...these are the numbers and the numbers speak for themselves."
darkpower  +   928d ago
1. Umm...go back and look at some of the sales figures, month-to-month, of the PS3 game console from the past few years, then compare them to the NPD data figures from when they actually released them. Very interesting, indeed!

2. And...how long did FF13-2 have between release and when it was announced compared to the time window of the other games? Really? Whatever hype machine you saw was buried by just about everything else that the rest of us saw.

3. Wait a sec! What the hell? Get over myself? I'm only stating the opinion that the figures that were linked were only for the PS3 and not for the overall data amongst all of the systems that they were released for. You're that offended about me bringing that up? And it doesn't matter if it affected anything or not. The fact is that the game was released on two platforms, and there was only data on one that was linked via the blog. Period! And I didn't even say that they would make any difference and that because he's talking about total sales, he has to factor that in. It would be the same if we were talking about the sales for, say, Arkham City. If you only talk about one system's sales for that game without factoring in the other platform's sales of that same game and then base an opinion around one platform when the other platform might discredit you, then you're not going to be viewed as viable. You have to factor in ALL of the figures when you bring up these things no matter HOW minute they may be, not just those you want to cherry pick. Don't get all mad about it!

4. So...Adam Scheffler's whole rant about Metacritic, or the user scores being sabotaged, or biased game critics...those never happened, right? None of the questions about what sites Meta uses for its critic scores have ever been asked, right? I'm sorry. I guess I should've just completely ignored that anything ever happened about MC.

And...why are you getting so offended about what I said? I'm not "blindly defending" anything except simple, common sense and things that if you've ever been on N4G for more than a few years, you would understand. You have to come in with ALL the facts, with creditable sources, when talking about things. This is something that any journalist or writer will do. I'm saying that in the case of VGChartz and Metacritic, the numbers may in fact lie because the way they get those numbers might be seriously flawed. I'm not defending any game, and in fact, I've yet to play 13-2. I've played 13, though, and I thought the game wasn't that bad. Could've been a lot better, but I enjoyed it. That doesn't mean that I have to justify anything to anyone, so why would I feel the need to here.

Or maybe me bringing this up shows you that something you want to believe is true isn't. Maybe there's something else about Metacritic and VGChartz, or an opinion that they validate for you, that I didn't validate that made you want to punch a kitten. Perhaps you want to believe those PS3 sales figures that VGC pulled out of their asses back in 08-09! Maybe you WANT to believe some of the scores that Metacritic has for some of the games you hate people liking. I don't know. Thing is, we can talk about if the presumed sales figures and ratings are correct for 13-2 all day long. That's not the issue here with you. It's what you think about VGC and Meta.

Again, not sure what crawled up your ass and bit you when you read my post!
KeybladeMaster  +   928d ago
@darkpower

I see where you are coming being a person who is very skeptical of those two sites for a long time. However I have come to the realization that while VGC does get things wrong when it comes to hardware, they still get within ball park range when it comes to software. Regardless of weither VGC hit the nail on the head with the numbers on FFXIII-2 or was 100,000 off it still doesn't change the fact the XIII-2 has sold the least.

And concerning Metacritic, I don't like that site either but it still brings together most scores from a lot of sites and puts them together. Adam Sessler doesn't like metacritic because he is trying to set an example of how gamers need to move away from the metacritic mentality. Kudos to Sessler for sticking to his guns and removing G4 from metacritic. Still just like VGC, metacritic is still in the ball range when it comes to the average reveiew scores. Dont believe me? Compare N4G's average score from over 165 reviews to metacritic's and see what you get:

http://n4g.com/channel/fina...

It is the same average.

Listen I am not here to tell you or anyone else that you are wrong, but these numbers are extremely accurate. Otherwise I would have never put this blog up. You cannot disagree with these numbers. You have every right to disagree with peoples opinions, that's fine. But to disagree with these numbers is just telling of what you really want to see and not what is really in front of you.
mechlord  +   928d ago
Um.....what are bitch-slapping each other over this time?

right...

ff13 sucked big time(check)
ff13-2 kinda sucks (check)
ff sales are declining with each major installment (check)
square is fucked (check)
Wada need to walk (check)
ff need a fresh start (Super check)

so...i doubt anyone questions these, why are discussing again?
Pyrrhus  +   928d ago
Not everyone thinks ff13 sucked big time. Nor does everyone think ff13-2 kinda sucks. Thankyou for your oppinion but I believe there are quite a number of people out there that have enjoyed both ff13 and ff13-2, despite the glaring problems.

The only thing I see on your list with total agreement is that Wada really needs to go.

But hey, to each their own.
Megaman_nerd  +   928d ago
not everybody thinks that the Star Wars pre-quels suck but the truth is that they are really bad, specially compared to the originals. There's always going to be someone that likes even the biggest crap you can think of but that is not the point.

FF quality went down the drain and the sales followed suit, now that's the point. And thank god that's happening because if people keep buying their garbage then the series will only get worse.
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Godmars290  +   928d ago
The one thing that FFXIII and XIII-2 do say is that it was bad idea that Wada took preference for the Xbox over the PS3. That he choose to standardize and defuse XIII's production focus which ultimately created XIII-2 and critically weakened the FF IP.

Mind you that started with FFX.
maniacmayhem  +   927d ago
He took preference over the ps3. So these games wouldn't of been so bad if they were only on the ps3?
That is hilarious and absolutely wrong.

It would have made no difference at all.
Vortex3D  +   928d ago
I'm one who like FF XIII but don't like XIII-2 because the time paradox in the game simply makes no sense. The time paradox clearly is an excuse in trying to make XIII-2 less linear by sacrificing the story logic.

Gamers often called only after 20 hours into XIII before it gets fun. XIII-2 to me is complete deja vu for the first 20 hours before it gets fun where I finally get to places I haven't seen. But by then the game is almost over. The time paradox excuses of never run into oneself is just lame.
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Dno  +   928d ago
is this game a million seller in a couple of weeks being out World wide? o it is? o ok.......
mechlord  +   927d ago
You really dont know the financial track record of the titles in this series....
Dno  +   927d ago
actually i do. ive been a fan for 15 years spent 5 years on ff11 and had f14 since launch. this game was made in what a year and a half and its a spin off. Comparing it to its main series number is stupid.
Bobby Kotex  +   927d ago
Why is HOME CONSOLE capitalized?

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