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#1 Posted by Taesoawful (85 posts) -

http://www.dualshockers.com/2017/02/07/final-fantasy-xv-broke-even-development-costs-day-one/

Many have been speculating on how many copies Final Fantasy XV would need to sell in order to break even, and DualShockers asked just that to Director Hajime Tabata during a recent visit to the Business Division 2 development floor in Tokyo,

Tabata-san clarified that not only Final Fantasy XV already has already broken even with its development costs, but it did so on day one, which means when it launched on November 29th.

Square Enix announced almost immediately that the day one shipments, including digital downloads, were over five million copies, marking the fastest selling Final Fantasy game ever at its debut. This means that those five million copies were enough to recoup costs, even if we don’t know by how much.

In January, we heard that the number of copies sold had grown to six millions, so it’s safe to assu

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#2 Posted by Fugoy (110 posts) -

That's nice. After such a ridiculous development it's good that they were able to salvage it and even make a profit.

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#3 Edited by Puchiko (846 posts) -

Guess this means we are getting FFXV-2, Noctis Returns FFXV-3 and Dirge of Aranea FFXV?

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#4 Posted by pompouspizza (1556 posts) -

That's great to hear, the game is fantastic.

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#5 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

I wonder if they include the entire time spent making it in the budget, or from when they decided it was going to be XV. Either way it sounds like it's been a great success for them.

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#6 Edited by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

That game sure disappeared quickly.

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#7 Posted by Atwa (1690 posts) -

I just don't believe these blanket statements that companies make these days, because they have all long histories of manipulating anything they can to make themselves look good.

Since they said the game sold five million in the first week, a million since then isn't really great. And I can assume that this probably means the game just about broke even in terms of financials, which isn't what Square hoped for I am sure. They probably want to make some money.

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#8 Posted by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

Oh man, 5,000,000 units in a day at 60 bucks a pop that's million bucks (x 300).

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#9 Posted by ripelivejam (13130 posts) -
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#10 Posted by xanadu (2034 posts) -
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#11 Posted by afabs515 (2005 posts) -

That's great to hear, the game is fantastic.

Yup.

Really hoping that means we see a sequel that addresses some of the flaws in this one, most of which seem like they came about as a result of the extremely long development cycle of this game. I'd really like for them to focus more on character development and try and tell a story on a smaller scale. The pitch of four JRPG bros going on a road trip to meet up with lead-bro's girl on the other side of the country and road trip hilarity/issues ensuing with a Final Fantasy backdrop is still very appealing to me. I love the hell out of this game, and it's one of my top 5 favorite games I've played, but I was pretty bummed out when even the scenario present in the Episode Duscae demo (the guys needing to take on odd hunting jobs to get money to fix their car) wasn't there, and instead there was an incredibly disjointed and borderline nonsensical "epic" plot in its place. Also they should fix that camera. No game has ever made me hate trees more than FFXV.

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#12 Posted by ThePanzini (727 posts) -

Nice to hear but doesn't really say alot considering most of the cost would have been spent creating the Luminous engine which is sunk cost as their moving to UE4 and you spend equally as much marketing AAA game as you do developing one.

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#13 Posted by GundamGuru (786 posts) -
@puchiko said:

Guess this means we are getting FFXV-2, Noctis Returns FFXV-3 and Dirge of Aranea FFXV?

Sigh, I really hope not. One of Final Fantasy's traditional strengths was the very fact they were never related, beyond some small callbacks and cameos.

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#14 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

Nice! I hope this means a FFXVi will be greenlit

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#15 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

300 million breaks even? That was an expensive game. How much did GTAV cost again?

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#16 Posted by liquiddragon (3291 posts) -

@probablytuna: You're not considering the cut retail and platform holders get plus marketing cost. In film, it's a rule of thumb that marketing cost = production cost and I suspect, games are approaching that level.

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#17 Posted by roninenix (213 posts) -

That game sure disappeared quickly.

You think so? Single player games kind of do that, but this game still had a lot of coverage and was well received by quite a lot of people. At the least, it didn't disappear as fast as Titanfall 1 & 2, and those had major multiplayer aspects to it.

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#18 Posted by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

@bojackhorseman said:

That game sure disappeared quickly.

You think so? Single player games kind of do that, but this game still had a lot of coverage and was well received by quite a lot of people. At the least, it didn't disappear as fast as Titanfall 1 & 2, and those had major multiplayer aspects to it.

I don't know, I feel you heard about games like Skyrim and The Witcher 3 for months on end after release, spawning multiple internet memes and stuff. FFXV just doesn't seem to have hit that cultural aspect.

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#19 Posted by AlexW00d (7571 posts) -

@zevvion said:

300 million breaks even? That was an expensive game. How much did GTAV cost again?

Didn't they spend a hundred million on advertising alone for GTA V or was that something else?

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#20 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5989 posts) -

@liquiddragon said:

@probablytuna: You're not considering the cut retail and platform holders get plus marketing cost. In film, it's a rule of thumb that marketing cost = production cost and I suspect, games are approaching that level.

This isn't really the case in games actually.

Marketing costs for AAA games (usually) far outweigh development costs, and have for the better part of a decade, if not more.

There's not that many hard facts about game budgets, but we've had the example of CoD MW2 for some time. About 40-50 million to develop, 150 million to market. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/18/business/fi-ct-duty18

There are many anecdotes out there that support the above ratio. Think this older story has a decent run down of budgets over time http://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649

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#21 Posted by liquiddragon (3291 posts) -

@geraltitude: You know what, that makes sense. Film production does pay well almost across the board, especially in good productions. I'm trying to do sketchy math in my head and I think I'm leaning towards bullshit on FFXV turning a profit as of this moment. Maybe, MAYBE, they are close to even but even that's pushing it I think. Who knows though, I could be waayy off. It's sometimes fun to talk about but these conversations always come off silly. Everyone's just pretending they know way more than they do.

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#22 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5989 posts) -

@geraltitude: You know what, that makes sense. Film production does pay well almost across the board, especially in good productions. I'm trying to do sketchy math in my head and I think I'm leaning towards bullshit on FFXV turning a profit as of this moment. Maybe, MAYBE, they are close to even but even that's pushing it I think. Who knows though, I could be waayy off. It's sometimes fun to talk about but these conversations always come off silly. Everyone's just pretending they know way more than they do.

Definitely!

If were to take Tabata very literally, I would hear that FFXV has returned on it's dev costs, not total costs, and that's not insane to me.

Consider that GTA V took about 4-5 years to make, and cost ~265 million total. From what was rumoured/reported, ~$150 million was spent on marketing. If we make two big assumptions about team size and pay, it's not crazy to extrapolate about $150 million for every 5 years of development (rounding up quite a bit here). So, if FFXV was in development for 10 years, a 300 million dev cost could be possible. Like you said, we really don't know about this stuff but maybe not a crazy way to metre stick this.

One thing I do know about that may put this in perspective: consider that films have A) WAY fucking higher salaries for key people and B) unbelievably crunched production schedules. Because of the latter, you really need volume of people, and that's a real multiplier on cost. This is how huge movies end up with multiple effects houses crunching for 6 months to punch out 50 minutes of effects.

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#23 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

@alexw00d said:
@zevvion said:

300 million breaks even? That was an expensive game. How much did GTAV cost again?

Didn't they spend a hundred million on advertising alone for GTA V or was that something else?

Sounds familiar... though if they spend 100 million on marketing, I kind of doubt they spend at least another 200 million on development. That said, FFXV was in development for what, 10 years? I guess it makes sense it's expensive, but still damn.

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#24 Posted by Castiel (3468 posts) -

Still waiting for Square Enix to finish the story before I begin playing it.

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#25 Posted by Savage (781 posts) -

It may be that Tabata (and Square-Enix) consider FF Versus XIII and FFXV as separate projects with separate budgets, making Versus a canceled project with written off development costs. As the transition from Versus to FFXV happened during 2012, it amounted to a full-scale reboot of the project with a change in leadership, staff, engine, and platforms. So if Tabata's recent comment is only accounting for the cost of the FFXV project, which took about 4 years (and comprised his only involvement), not the full 10 years stretching back to the beginning of the Versus project, then it becomes plausible that FFXV could have broken even in its first week with 5 million in sales.