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Nier: Automata Shows "Significant Potential" as a Major Square Enix Franchise

Square Enix is looking into more Nier in our future.

News by Mike Williams, .

Sqaure Enix today released its 2017 annual report, giving an overall status quo for the publisher and some hints about the company's future. One part of the report points to Nier: Automata as exceeding company expectations, having solid sales alongside titles like Final Fantasy XV, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

"In addition, Nier: Automata, which we released in February 2017, has proven a global hit far in excess of our expectations. It has not only reminded the world of the high quality of Japanese games, but also demonstrated significant potential for future franchise development," said the company.

In an earlier release, the company noted that Nier: Automata has shipped 2 million copies worldwide. In the annual report, Square Enix noted that 30 percent of Nier: Automata's purchases were digital, which is up for the company.

"Gamers are significantly moving away from purchasing packaged games and shifting toward digital downloads. In North America, more than 20 percent of purchases of Final Fantasy XV have been via digital downloads. The global download rate for Nier: Automata has been even higher at over 30 percent," said Square Enix in the report.

"Higher download rates help in a significant way to improve profitability on HD game sales. Mega publishers in the West have greatly improved their profitability via strong promotions of digital downloads. However, our own efforts in this area have not been sufficient, and we still have significant scope to improve our margins by bolstering our digital sales rates."

Given how Nier: Automata has surpassed Square Enix' estimates, it's not surprising to see that company hiring for a Nier-related future project. The publisher recently put up a recruitment page for Business Division 6 for Nier, with statements from NieR series director Yoko Taro and NieR series producer Yosuke Saito. BD67 has previously worked on Dragon Quest Heroes and Bravely Second, and is currently collaborating with Acquire on Octopath Traveler, but this page is for Nier staff specifically.

PlatinumGames co-founder Hideki Kamiya previously noted that Nier: Automata's success saved the company, so hopefully Platinum is involved in further projects.

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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #1 Wellman2nd A year ago
    As long as they maintain or exceed the level of quality on display with Automata plus don't go nuts and make it an annual thing, I would welcome Nier becoming a franchise.
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  • Avatar for kidgorilla #2 kidgorilla A year ago
    I hope I'm wrong, but I don't know if Nier is a good fit as a mega franchise. I feel that Taro would agree, but I guess we'll find out
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  • Avatar for discohospital #3 discohospital A year ago
    I'm not sure I like the idea of something as rare as NieR being seen as a potential cash cow by a company like Square Enix, especially given what's coming out of the other side of the company's mouth at this very moment (games as services, esports, etc). Well, really, I'm not sure NieR:Automata needs a direct sequel by any definition.

    But since it seems to be a given that it's going to become a franchise of some kind, my hope would be for a scenario in which - despite the NieR banner being a commercial mandate - Yoko would still be allowed to avoid repeating himself (which as I recall is something he's indicated he has no interest in doing). I hope the wider success of one of Yoko's games won't leave him ironically even more shackled than he was in the days of Cavia/Drakengard, as one can easily imagine the sort of behind-the-scenes producers vs creators tug of war that can occur when a repeat of a perceived success is desired by the former but the particulars that drove said result in the first place are a matter of dispute.

    That said, I think it would be utter stupidity to attempt to follow Automata with an action game not developed by Platinum. Surely that's one ingredient in a recipe for success (commercial or creative) that both sides of the equation would agree on.Edited 2 times. Last edited September 2017 by discohospital
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #4 VotesForCows A year ago
    @discohospital That's all pretty much what I was going to say, but you said it better! Fingers crossed for a good outcome anyhow...
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  • Avatar for choog #5 choog A year ago
    @discohospital Yes!

    It's all about how compatible this is with Yoko Taro's style of crazy genius.Edited September 2017 by choog
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