In a couple weeks on March 30th, SquareEnix will be hosting a 2-hour event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles entitled Uncovered Final Fantasy XV. It is expected that at this event we will finally find out Final Fantasy XV’s release date. We will probably also see new footage of the game and learn more about its story and gameplay mechanics.
As excited as I am for more information about the game, I can’t help but ask myself why they are having this event.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the biggest convention for game announcements and media coverage, is coming up in June. SquareEnix took the stage last year in their own E3 press conference to announce new games and provide details on other upcoming titles.
So why would they opt for a stand-alone event months ahead of E3? Initially I believed that this signified the release of Final Fantasy XV no later than August of this year. SquareEnix should want at least three months of marketing, so it wouldn’t make sense to wait until E3 to begin the media blitz for any release date before September. However, the latest rumor from Gematsu about the game is that it will be releasing on September 30th, 2016.
That would mean the Uncovered Final Fantasy XV event is being held six months before the game’s release. Why? What would be the point of having this event when E3 is just a few months down the road, over three months before the rumored release date?
I believe they have good intentions, but I feel like they are trying to reach the casual audience here as opposed to the more traditional Final Fantasy players that will be paying attention during E3. This smells an awful lot like the Xbox 360 MTV reveal, only with less Doritos and Mountain Dew. I doubt they’ll go to that extreme, but still.
Assuming the game’s release date is in fact September 30th, what then? Are they even going to have Final Fantasy XV be a presence at E3? If so, we’ll have already had our fill from the event in March, so anything new will likely be swallowed by other E3 announcements. If the game skips E3, then they’d really be stretching the final run up to release. Granted, they can go to Gamescom in August, but that convention doesn’t have the same visibility as E3.
Instead of being one of the defining voices of E3 2016, SquareEnix has chosen to let Final Fantasy XV speak now and ask us to “please be excited” when the game releases in six months. Of course, the September 30th release date is still just a rumor. Should the game come out before then, I feel the Uncovered event is justified. However, in a year with lots of Game of the Year potential, SquareEnix is taking an awful risk letting their biggest candle in years burn too bright too soon.
Whatever the case may be, they can still count on me to be there day one.