So here’s a riddle for you. How many episodes does it take to finish a videogame? In recent announcements, Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition for mobile devices; iOS, Android and Windows 10.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition will be told in ten episodes. All episodes will be available upon release and for purchase with the exception of the first episode which is available for free.
The first piece to solving this puzzle is knowing why Square Enix would decide to turn a game that was never in the episodic to begin with. Assuming you wanted to play the entire game from start to finish, purchasing the game as a bundle would make more sense. Honestly ask yourself, are you really going to purchase a bite-size portion of the game? What is this, McDonalds? Are you supposed to order the fries with no burger and no soda?
Normally when a video game or a television season releases as an episodic series, it’s done so over time. You have the option of either buying each episode/season or you can wait patiently for everything to be released and pay a smaller amount. However, it would seem as though Square Enix have decided to throw away tradition and go down the beaten path.
It’s not so much the cost that scares me (albeit a little scared) but rather Square Enix execution. Gamers are constantly on their toes, and watching how these video games are being released into the market, fearing that a new way of selling video game will catch fire to the video game industry.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that video games are being released in episodes. We see that in games such as The Walking Dead, Life is Strange and indie games. But who releases an episodic video game all at once? And then, to top it all off, give you the option of either buying them individually or bundle, when it’s obvious that it’s much cheaper to buy it as a bundle. Square Enix might as well save me the math equation and just sell the game at a flat price. However, Square Enix would rather have its consumers read between the lines on their next marketing scheme.
Clearly this is a sleazy marketing tactic. It’ll either convince people to spend $19.99, or convince them to spend a couple of dollars here-or-there. That kind of spending quickly turns into $29.91 if you decided to buy all episodes individually.
So, to go back to my original riddle; how many episodes does it take to finish a video game? For Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, a game that originally had none to begin with, the answer is none. The bigger mystery is why Square Enix would even want to do this for their mobile game. The only thing to do now is wait and see how consumers respond to video game market.