Square-Enix To Strive For Worldwide Simultaneous Releases
I remember working at EB for a while, and whenever a new Final Fantasy came out, I'd have to ignore the first date we saw simply because it wasn't realistic for North American consumers. This was typically the case back in the PS1 days, of course, but things are changing rapidly...even for industry veteran, Square-Enix.
The publisher now understands that certain Japanese titles appeal to Western gamers almost as much as they do to Japanese gamers, and S-E is taking that to heart this new generation. Rather than taking the time to translate their titles and ship them overseas 6-8 months after the game releases in Japan, company president Yoichi Wada now says- "We aim to make simultaneous releases a standard." (Forever-Fantasy, Nikkei) The first example of this new goal is The Last Remnant, which will be Square-Enix's first official "simultaneous worldwide release." Obviously, this implies that future projects - like Final Fantasy XIII - will receive the same treatment, so no more scrambling about for a half-dozen different release dates for a half-dozen different regions!
The world is becoming united under one video game flag, and everyone is starting to realize that gamers all over the world want truly huge titles at the same time. One region doesn't always want to wait while others get it earlier. Look at the two biggest on the immediate horizon; Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4 will also be launched simultaneously worldwide. It's a new world order, we say!
3/10/2008 Ben Dutka