What's with this whole episodic thing, Square Enix? What's the fascination with spreading a release throughout a year? I mean we've seen games do that with payed DLC packs (the bastards) in order to make more money in the long run. But the likes of Life Is Strange amounted to the price of a single Triple-A title, as is presumably the case with Hitman and the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Square Enix have made it clear that any of their franchises are likely to become episodic. If its happened with Hitman and Final Fantasy, the likes of Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Just Cause and Kingdom Hearts 3 joining them isn't exactly farfetched. But what do we all actually think of this process? It made sense for Life Is Strange, which was almost like a TV show anyway, but for Final Fantasy 7 and [Hitman (2016)](tag:3677378)?
Hitman 2016 & Final Fantasy 7 Remake - Square Enix & Their Love For Episodic Games
After having engaged with the beta for Hitman, I'm ludicrously excited for this world of assassination. The gameplay is superb, the maps are enormous and bustling with NPCs and the varieties in terms of assassinating your targets are remarkable. Additionally we have the promise of playing one of the greatest games of all time in an updated version with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. What's not to like about these two products?!
But you'll notice that once Square Enix announced their release strategy (in this case for Final Fantasy 7, which they claimed was too big for one release) everyone was fairly pissed off:
Are we really supposed to believe this game is so much bigger than the likes of Grand Theft Auto 5 or Dragon Age Inquisition? Sorry but this stinks of Square jerking fans around for more money. - Max Sterling on Forbes
This outrage is predicated on the case that Square Enix are ultimately going to charge gamers more than the cost of one singular triple-A game. Truth is, we've no idea how pricing will impact on the release of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. However, it's unlikely that they're following Hitman's example, which actually still only costs $60 - we'll just be getting the full product over time.
Will this happen with Final Fantasy 7? Maybe. Perhaps we'll end up paying $100! But if extra money isn't the goal (as it doesn't seem to be the case with Hitman)...
What's The Point, Then?
There are 3 reasons I can think of as to why Square Enix might do this:
- Sales - Gamers are more likely to buy a Hitman game if it only costs $15 at the start and they can choose whether or not to buy the rest. It's a clever way to entice those that may be inclined to wait for the full game to go on sale and capture us with great gameplay so we just keep coming back for more.
- Reviews - With several different releases throughout the year, reviewers aren't really going to be able to handle Hitman the way other games have been in the past, same with Final Fantasy. They won't know what the overall narrative is like, they won't know how the whole product comes together and they won't know if it gets worse or better after the first episode. Could work in their favour.
- Customer Support - If tons of people buy the first instalment of Final Fantasy 7 Remake or Hitman, Square Enix will actually be making money during development. Therefore, they can see whether additional funds can be added to Hitman or Final fantasy 7 in order to improve its content. There's no point spending tons of money on a game if no one enjoyed the first mission and you could have simply saved it.
Are You Excited For Their Release Dates?
But what do you guys think about this new release strategy that Square Enix have employed? Are you still excited for the release date of Hitman's first instalment as well as Final fantasy 7 Remake's one? We feel that elements of this plan could be beneficial, but we'd like you to let us know where you stand in the comments below.