Thanks to impressive sales numbers exceeding expectations, Nier: Automata could become one of Square's next franchises, the company recently said in an earnings report (via USgamer).
A collaboration between developer PlatinumGames and cult creator Yoko Taro, Automata's currently sold over two million copies, 30-percent of which have been digital, since its release back in February. It's also become something of a phenomenon, with some critics thinking its one of the best games of 2017, redefining how stories are told in the medium. Futhrermore, Platinum co-founder Hideki Kamiya said Taro and Automata "saved" his company. These high sales and praise clearly have publisher Square Enix's attention.
"[Automata] 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," the company said in its report.
This potential isn't as speculative as it may sound. Square is already posting about future Nier projects on its Japanese recruitment site. The page currently only has a listing for "scenario staff."
Nier is, however, already a franchise (kind of). Automata is the follow-up to the 2010 game Nier, and in a very convoluted way continues the game's story. There is also a stage play, written by Taro, that helps connect the two stories. While it's unclear, Square's wording in its statement seems to insinuate Automata and its central story would become a franchise.