Press Clippings | FFVII Breaks Sales Records in First Weekend
PlayStation's "Final Fantasy VII" Breaks Industry Records in Debut Weekend
Most Anticipated Videogame of Year Sells Unprecedented 330,000 Copies
FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 9, 1997--Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today that Final Fantasy(R) VII, available only on the PlayStation(TM) game console, has sold more than 330,000 units in its debut weekend, making it the best-selling videogame of 1997 with grosses of $16.5 million, more than most Hollywood blockbuster movies on opening weekends.
"In just three short days, Final Fantasy VII outsold G.I. Jane, the highest grossing film of Labor Day weekend with box office sales of $11.1 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter," said Andrew House, vice president, marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "This weekend's sales will truly catapult Final Fantasy VII into videogame history -- consumers have selected Final Fantasy VII and PlayStation as their choice for entertainment."
Retailers and analysts alike predict the frenzy to continue to escalate as consumers spread the word about the phenomenal epic adventure which is played across three immersive CDs with more than 50 hours of seamless gameplay. Additionally, the game features a full length soundtrack that will stir players' emotions while simultaneously enhancing the entire videogame experience.
"Final Fantasy VII is one of the biggest releases for PlayStation, and with the incredible consumer demand for the game, it will drive new consumers to purchase the PlayStation game console," said analyst David Cole of DFC Intelligence.
The game weaves together a complex and engrossing storyline with mesmerizing visuals, that are on par with a big screen experience. Cutting-edge technology maximizes the use of 3D graphics for gameplay, animation, vivid battle scenes, aerial views and hundreds of computer-generated images.
"Final Fantasy VII was created with the intent of delivering a heightened sense of entertainment that had never been seen before with a videogame, and this could only be created on the CD-based PlayStation," said Hironobu Sakaguchi, co-founder of Square Co., Ltd., and chief producer of the Final Fantasy series. "Only PlayStation possesses the necessary technology for us to develop such a rich and textured storyline and graphics, so we can continue to challenge and surprise our millions of fans and attract new customers."
Final Fantasy VII also brings back many popular characters from previous games in the heralded Final Fantasy series, such as Cloud, Cid Highwind and Chocobo, while introducing new characters, specifically Aeris and Barret. The combination of these characters creates continuity for an epic adventure that has captured the attention of more than 13 million videogame fans since the inception of the series in 1987.
And even further demonstrating the worldwide success for Final Fantasy VII, fans in Japan embraced the game by snatching up an unprecedented 2.5 million copies during the first three days of release.
"Based upon preliminary feedback from retailers about Final Fantasy VII, the incredible fervor surrounding the pre-buy program, and the record-breaking sales response in Japan, we definitively expected phenomenal sales," said Andrew House, vice president, marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Consumer response, however, surpassed all of our wildest expectations."
Final Fantasy VII will also feature a multi-million dollar advertising and marketing effort, which includes three dedicated 30-second television spots with network placements on such shows as "Saturday Night Live," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Simpsons" and "Prime Time Sports."
Highlights of the print campaign include placements in general interest magazines such as Rolling Stone and Details and enthusiast gaming publications such as Next Generation. And rounding out the campaign will be a holiday promotion featuring consumer sampling through the distribution of 1 million interactive disks packed in PlayStation hardware units.
In December 1996, Sony Computer Entertainment America agreed to a multi-title publishing deal with Square Co. Ltd., allowing the company full North American publishing and distribution rights to Square's PlayStation product line. Along with rights to publish the revolutionary Final Fantasy VII, Sony Computer Entertainment America has first rights of refusal on three additional PlayStation exclusive releases, Bushido Blade(TM), Final Fantasy(R) Tactics and SaGa Frontier(TM).
Square Soft Inc., a subsidiary of Square Co. Ltd., Japan, manages the publishing and development of videogames in North America. The company was established in 1989 in Redmond, Wash., and relocated its headquarters to Costa Mesa, Calif., in July 1996.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets and distributes the PlayStation game console in North America, develops and publishes software for the PlayStation game console and manages the U.S. third party licensing program. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. -0-
Note to Editors: Visit Sony on the Web at http://www.playstation.com
CONTACT: Sony Computer Entertainment
Molly Smith, 650/655-6044
Chris Kniestedt, 916/441-7606
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