Square Enix handles the announcement of Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster physical releases in the worst way possible

It’s fair to say that fans have been eagerly awaiting a console announcement of the excellent Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster games that have been available on PC for a while. Well, as part of the series’ 35th anniversary celebrations, Square Enix granted everyone’s wish… sort of.

It seems that the six Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster games are indeed coming to PS4 and Nintendo Switch (no Xbox, though, much to the chagrin of the six Xbox owners who play JRPGs and don’t have any other consoles) in spring of 2023, likely around March. Much like on PC, the games will be available individually or as a complete bundle on the consoles’ digital storefronts.

A significant part of the announcement was that, as many people had been hoping for, there would be a physical release of the complete Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection for both PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Available in both a standard and collector’s version, it looked like the dream of having Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster I-VI easily accessible in physical, collectible form on a single console was finally becoming reality — even if it would set you back £65.

Except it didn’t quite work like that. Square Enix announced the physical releases for the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection in the middle of the night for most of the world, and promptly sold out of the standard edition, which apparently is also only available in “very limited quantities”. That means those who wanted a copy of the collection for their shelves but weren’t willing to pay £250 for a lenticular sleeve, two vinyl records, an artbook and some pixel figurines were left completely out of luck by the time they were up and about.

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collector's Edition

Square Enix’s wording on the standard edition is oddly ambiguous. The news post announcing the physical releases notes that “a small run of a physical standard edition, FINAL FANTASY I-VI COLLECTION, will be available exclusively from the Square Enix Store from Spring 2023” — which some took to mean that the standard version will only be available to purchase from Spring 2023.

But this isn’t the case; a few people did successfully manage to preorder a standard edition during the three-hour window where they were actually available — and many, particularly in North America and Canada, found themselves hit with what were absurdly expensive shipping costs for a single PS4 or Switch game case.

At the time of writing, Square Enix has offered no clarification whatsoever on whether the Standard Edition will be made more widely available for preorder, or if more copies will be made available. The North American Square Enix store allows prospective purchasers to sign up for a waiting list, but the European store simply notes that it is “no longer available”.

Considering Final Fantasy is one of the biggest franchises in the world, the handling of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster physical release is absolutely baffling. The numerous limited-press houses across the world have all discovered the value of open preorder windows when handling high-demand releases like this, as this then allows them to determine exactly how many people really want them and print as many copies as required, leaving no-one disappointed but the release still authentically “limited”.

For a company as large and supposedly as business-savvy as Square Enix to completely ignore the lessons learned elsewhere in the industry in this way is bizarre and infuriating to see, and Final Fantasy fans the world over — including your Editor, who is still on holiday but annoyed enough to write this anyway — are quite rightly very upset and annoyed at how this situation has been handled.

Here’s hoping there’s just been some sort of colossal misunderstanding somewhere and whoever’s in charge of ecommerce at Square Enix simply forgot to press an important button or something. But I’m not holding my breath.

If you want to try your luck for a standard edition or splash the cash on a collector’s edition, you can do so here.

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Pete Davison
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