With over 1 million copies sold worldwide, over 600,000 outside of Japan, Bravely Default’s success may have slapped some sense into the people at Square Enix.
The company well known for some of the greatest RPGs of the SNES era, had seemingly lost the plot as of late, particularly with the extremely popular Final Fantasy series. Having veered away from the traditional Japanese RPG model, recent Final Fantasy games have seen a serious dip in sales, surprising for a series that was once a guaranteed seller.
Enter Bravely Default, a throwback to the 16-bit era of turn-based JRPGs. Despite lacking the name recognition of a series like Final Fantasy, Bravely Default sold incredibly well, even outside of Japan. These sales figures have caused Square Enix to reevaluate the direction Final Fantasy has been headed. In a recent interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Square Enix president, Yosuke Matsuda, stated “In the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise… we lost our focus…. and not only did (those games) end up being games that weren’t for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren’t even fit for a global audience.” He went on to say “On the other hand there are games like the JRPG (Bravely Default that) we made for the Japanese audience with the proper (and familiar) elements… (That) ended up selling well around the world.” It seems possible that Bravely Default’s success may help return Final Fantasy to its roots, likely a more turn-based JRPG approach.
A sequel to Bravely Default, entitled Bravely Second, is already in the works. There has been no confirmation of a worldwide release as of yet, but it would be shocking if they decided to only release this in Japan, particularly after the surprising success of the first game.