The release of Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is less than two weeks away, and as if right on cue, recent reports from Square Enix indicate that the original version of the game has sold just over 9.6 million copies worldwide since its release in February 1999.
While its mark on the Final Fantasy franchise is sometimes overshadowed by the fanfare that surrounds Final Fantasy VII, it's hard to ignore just how important the game really was to the series as a whole. For starters, the game was the first in the series to have three characters exploring the same environment at the same time. Additionally, a card game was introduced with the expressed purpose of keeping players interested during times where the game seemed to drag on without the presence of cutscenes. These additions, with a great cast of characters, helped it to become the top-selling game in the United States for three weeks, leading to it grossing over $50 million worldwide in just 13 weeks. Now, after almost twenty years, Final Fantasy VIII has sold just over 9.6 million copies worldwide, making it the third best-selling game in the series to date.
This recent development is certainly good news for Square Enix as it looks to release a remastered version of the game this September. If the remastered edition sells well, it could serve as the blueprint for determining which games in the series are likely to get a remake or remaster in the future.
Information on the new sales numbers comes from Final Fantasy Union who goes on to say that, despite what rumors may suggest, there won't be a physical version of the remastered edition. Having sold just over 9.6 million copies, Final Fantasy VIII now ranks as the third best selling game in the franchise, behind only Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X, respectfully. Given that the game cost just over 16 million to make, this is certainly a nice return on investment. The remastered edition of Final Fantasy VIII will be available on the Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, and PS4 starting on September 3rd for $19.99.
The fact that the game sold so well early on, especially in the United States, speaks volumes about the level of appreciation that consumers had for the game. Given how many great games have been released in the franchise over the years, placing third all-time is certainly an amazing accomplishment.
The fact that digital copies of the game continue to sell to this day on platforms like Steam is a good sign going forward, as it seems to indicate that younger generations are interested in the older games within the franchise. If Square Enix does a good job of marketing the remastered edition, it could lead to greater sales for the remakes going forward.