Like I pointed out at the end of last year, mid-January to early February was pretty damn big for gaming. Games like Palworld I did not see coming, while others like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Tekken 8 have been having their moments. One game I pointed out but didn’t particularly expect to bang was Granblue Fantasy: Relink, a JRPG from a relatively niche franchise that’s gone through its fair share of development hell.
Yet here we are, nearly two weeks after release, and the game has kinda banged. It managed to sell 1 million copies in just 11 days across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Steam. Even on Steam alone it’s been doing pretty dang well for itself, regularly breaking 100,000 concurrent players over the past week-and-a-half and nabbing itself a spot on the platform’s top 10 recent bestsellers, according to SteamDB. It’s currently sitting at a “Very Positive” rating too, with 89% of its 17,000+ reviews giving it a big ol’ thumbs up.
I’m only just making my way through the game’s tutorial, and I can already see why it’s proven a hit with fans. It’s got a weirdly satisfying blend of Monster Hunter and Final Fantasy 14, two games which scratch that little gamer itch in my brain just right. I can’t wait to dive in even further, and it even runs great on Steam Deck which is a huge bonus for me.
Considering how much Granblue Fantasy: Relink has gone through to even see a release date, it’s nice to see some of that hardship paying off. The game was announced all the way back in 2016 (terrifyingly, that’s eight entire years ago) with an original release date of 2018. Oh, and Platinum Games was co-developing with Cygames at that point, too. That fell apart in early 2019 when Platinum departed the project and the release date was pushed all the way back to 2022. That didn’t happen either, being delayed to 2023 before finally getting its final February 1, 2024 release date.
It’s nice to see Japanese games absolutely rocking on PC this year, a sentiment which fellow writer Wes Fenlon has shared. I really hope that trend continues throughout 2024—games like Blue Protocol, Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Sand Land should certainly help on that front.