At a shareholder meeting this past weekend, Square Enix executives hastened to assure the company's stock-owning faithful that lukewarm sales of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time were explainable. Square Enix says that the low sales are a result of freezing bugs in the game, which has served to create a negative impression of the title. Executives claimed that Sony's PlayStation 2 middleware is the ultimate culprit, as its compatibility with earlier PlayStation 2 models is sketchy at best.
Whether or not this is the cause of the game's lack of popularity, the more important question that remains is whether anything will be done to improve the situation by the time the game's English localization is complete. If the middleware is truly at fault, North American gamers may be in for the same fate inflicted upon the 480,000 Japanese gamers who have thus far opted to purchase the latest Star Ocean.
Still, there is room for hope; the game is not set to arrive in North America until September 9, leaving some time to rectify the situation. Incidentally, this situation first reared its head back in March, but Enix opted not to do anything about the game's incompatibility with earlier model PlayStation 2s, directing dissatisfied customers to take their complaints up with Sony instead.