The retro-style JRPG has exceeded Square’s expectations.
A commercially successful, Nintendo-exclusive, retro JRPG from Square Enix is something few would have predicted before Octopath Traveler sprang into being, but it may not be the last of its kind.
Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki was at a Square Enix earnings conference today and tweeted that Square had a lot to say about Octopath Traveler. The biggest news from the conference is that Square Enix said to expect more games like Octopath Traveler in the future.
As for whether future Octopath-likes will be Switch-exclusive as Octopath Traveler is, Square Enix gave a non-committal answer. Future games of its ilk, according to Square, would be released on platforms “where appropriate.” The publisher did say, however, that it believes Switch is a good platform for middle-range games.
According to Mochizuki, Octopath Traveler’s sales were stronger than the publisher was excepting them to be, and expectations were particularly exceeded in the U.S. and Europe. Square has also seen the download-to-retail ratio coming in higher than it had forecast.
Square offered several possible reasons for Octopath Traveler’s unexpected success: gamers have had more of an appreciation for JRPGs in recent years; Octopath’s gameplay appeals to fans of classic Square Enix games; and new elements like “HD-2D” visuals and “attractive characters” won gamers over.
We awarded the game a 9.3 review, saying its “beautiful style and outstanding take on traditional turn-based combat make it a game that pushes JRPGs forward rather than simply paying homage to the greats.”
Nick Santangelo is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. He loves video games and sports, but not sports video games. Follow him on Twitter.