In a huge packaging error on Square Enix’s part, hundreds of copies of Advent Children Complete sent to various media companies for review included full and complete copies of Final Fantasy XIII. Each copy was intended to include a demo version which featured only some gameplay and a few cut scenes.
Of the 372 copies distributed, Square Enix was able to recover just over 100. Despite threats of lawsuits, the people who received the full version of the game seem unwilling to part with them. Those sent overseas have proved even more difficult to recover. A relatively unknown blogger who received a copy referring to himself as only “Roy,” gave the following statement via Twitter:
@Kotowari I will move to Mexico if I have to. You’ll never get it back!
12:10 PM April 1st, from web
Several attempts have been made to contact Square Enix regarding the incident, but for obvious reasons they are busy and a bit unnerved. Character designer Tetsuya Nomura gave the following statement in a recent interview:
“This was a very serious error and I wish people would be more understanding. Square Enix has given so much to their fans, and this is their chance to give back.”
Nomura then proceeded to take out a handkerchief adorned with zippers and straps and wipe away a single tear rolling down his cheek.
Nomura moments before his breakdown
As would be expected, rips of the game are being passed around on the web like dollar bills at a craps game. At this time Square Enix is expecting to incur a loss of approximately 1.3 billion yen on both the domestic and foreign markets.
Sadly for Xbox 360 owners, the intended demo was only available for the PS3, since an Xbox release is not planned for Japan. In addition, due to the anticipated blow to Square Enix’s 2009 earnings, president Yoichi Wada had the following to say:
“Due to the crippling blow dealt to Square Enix, we will be unable to launch the Xbox 360 version [of Final Fantasy XIII]on the foreign market. We apologize to Microsoft and Xbox owners throughout the West. While I do regret having to do this, I believe it is a sign that the Final Fantasy series is not meant for the Xbox. As long as I am president at Square Enix, the series will be a Playstation exclusive!”
In my entire (albeit brief) career as a journalist, never have I seen such a careless and devistating error. In these turbulent economic times, one cannot help but wonder if Square Enix will pull through after losing so much. Final Fantasy XIII is still planned for a release sometime this year in Japan.