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Square Enix finally throws in the towel on ‘exclusive’ games

We've heard a lot about the surprisingly lacklustre sales tail for Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, both of which launched as PS5 exclusives, limiting each game's respective market reach. Now, Square Enix seems to be acknowledging that exclusivity deals aren't making much sense for the company, confirming plans to ‘aggressively pursue' multiplatform development. 

This isn't a new revelation for Square Enix. During the 2010s, Square Enix finally began supporting PC, bringing the entire Final Fantasy franchise over to Steam, before later bringing over games like Dragon Quest 11, Kingdom Hearts and smaller RPGs like Octopath Traveler, Bravely Default and others. However, Square Enix tried its hand at exclusivity again with Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which remained as a PlayStation exclusive for almost two years, before also signing exclusivity deals for both Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and Final Fantasy 16.

As part of the company's latest earnings report, Square Enix acknowledges that profits are down, in part due to platform exclusivity for recent major releases. As a result, Square Enix is shifting to a multiplatform strategy moving forward, with plans for more games to land on “Nintendo platforms, PlayStation, Xbox and PCs”.

In particular, Square Enix sees PC as a ‘growth market' and wants to do more to win PC gamers over. No specific details on what this will include have been announced yet but one quick and easy thing they could do is bring Kingdom Hearts to Steam, as the series has been exclusive to the Epic Games Store up to now. We should also be getting a Final Fantasy 16 PC announcement very soon, as the developers are in the ‘final stages' of polishing up the PC version of the game.

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KitGuru Says: Square Enix has a chance to turn things around here. The company has gone back and forth on game exclusivity arrangements over the past decade. Perhaps now multiplatform support will finally stick. It can't be a healthy business model to release exclusive games if even platform holders like Sony and Microsoft are trying to find ways to get games on to more platforms without ticking off the console-buying audience. 

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