The Ludo Mix and the Loss of In-Game Narrative: A Case Study of the Final Fantasy XV Universe

Nökkvi Jarl Bjarnason


Employing the Final Fantasy XV Universe as a case study, this article examines how the changing climate of game development, in tandem with established media mix strategies, contributes to the emergence of the ludo mix as media ecology. Through a comparative analysis of the climate of modern game development and the adoption of media mix strategies, the case is made that these two distinct phenomena intersect to create novel challenges and incentives for a particular kind of game development. This has resulted in the strategic outsourcing of Final Fantasy XV’s in-game narrative to outside the ludic sphere, and negatively affected the game’s critical reception. These findings posit challenges and opportunities for the future of the ludo mix, noting that the evolving technological, aesthetic, and economic climate of game development continues further down the same path, while simultaneously advocating for the ludo mix as a framework for better understanding the disproportionate load imposed on media via transmedia collaborations.


Ludo mix; Final Fantasy XV; media mix; game development; narrative; critical reception

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Published by the Digital Games Research Association.