Final Fantasy is a long-running franchise that started up in 1987. It is named thus because the franchise creator Sakaguchi Hironobu was uncertain about his career as a video game writer after his involvement with a number of video games that had failed to secure much success, so much so that he was considering returning to school when he pitched what would become the first Final Fantasy game. Said release proved to be a massive hit with around 2 million sales, thus paving the way for the rest of the releases that have followed in its footsteps.
So far, the Final Fantasy franchise has had 15 main installments. The latest is Final Fantasy XV, which came out in 2016. However, it is important to note that there is a remarkable number of Final Fantasy spin-offs, which are not limited to RPGs but have ventured out into genres that range from fighting games to racing games. One excellent example of these spin-offs is the Dissidia series, which consists of fighting games featuring both heroes and villains from the main Final Fantasy games, while another excellent example is the Final Fantasy Tactics series, which played an influential role in the formation of the genre of isometric, turn-based RPGs. With that said, this isn’t even counting the remakes of various main Final Fantasy games, with an excellent example being the remake of Final Fantasy VII that is underway at the moment.
Having said this, it should be stressed that the Final Fantasy franchise isn’t even limited to video games, which is perhaps unsurprising considering how popular it has proven to be. More than one of the games have been translated into other mediums, with examples including but not limited to books, manga, and movies. However, there is Final Fantasy media with no direct connections to any one of the games, with a particularly infamous example being the 2001 movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Suffice to say that while said movie was very impressive from a purely technological perspective because it was the first animated feature movie to use CGI to depict photorealistic humans, it was something of a disaster from a purely financial perspective, so much so that it put an end to Square’s rather ambitious movie-making plans at the time.
How Much Is the Final Fantasy Franchise Worth?
Summed up, it is clear that while the Final Fantasy franchise possesses enormous staying power, it hasn’t exactly experienced a smooth and uncomplicated path to financial success. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within might be one of the best-known stumbles of the franchise, but it isn’t the sole example that can be uncovered by those who are willing to search. For that matter, it should be mentioned that the Final Fantasy franchise had been seeing falling sales in recent times, though that trend came to a close with the release of Final Fantasy XV, which proceeded to sell 5 million copies. That sales figure was very fortunate because it proved that the Final Fantasy franchise still possessed commercial power. Something that had been called into question from certain quarters because of those falling sales.
Regardless, the gist of things is that while well-made Final Fantasy games can still sell millions and millions of units in a reasonable time frame, the power of the franchise is not enough to permit complacency on the part of the people who are responsible for running it in the present. This is particularly true because one Final Fantasy game can be very different from one another when it comes to aesthetics, gameplay, as well as other important factors, meaning that someone who likes one of them isn’t guaranteed to like the others. As a result, while the Final Fantasy franchise possesses considerable name recognition, it isn’t like, say, EA’s FIFA franchise, which can churn out similar games in year after year without crashing its sales numbers in the process.
Put together, it is safe to say that the Final Fantasy franchise is a very valuable property, which is natural when it can be considered one of the true cornerstones of the video gaming industry. However, it is nowhere near the top when it comes to ranking the best-selling video game franchises, meaning that it is probably not as valuable as those contenders.