Fandom inevitably appears with any kind of media and, just like anything else, fandom can come and go. The further out we get from the initial release of a game, the less active the fandom may be, or the fewer people may be involved. With modern games, we do see content carrying on for years after the initial game is released, most often in the form of DLC, expansion packs, or cross-media content like movies, books, and more. Content like this can give a little spark back to the fandom that may not have been as active in the meantime, but what really keeps a fandom going is the people participating in it.
When a game has been released and any extra content that might follow is for the most part done, the fandom will continue on. Fandoms are full of people who love whichever game it might be, and they stay active, even when content is done or spread out over a span of time.
One fandom in particular that I’ve been a part of for a few years is Final Fantasy XV (FFXV). This fandom really started back in 2006, a decade before the game was released, when FFXV still held the title of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The FFXV fandom has been an amazing fandom experience for myself and others from the game’s actual release in 2016 up until the present! The fandom has been active since then and has gone through periods of being quiet, but the heart of the fandom always remains alive.
Right after the game came out, and for two years afterwards, the fandom was super active. Fanart, fanfiction, cosplay, and other creative works were abundant across the internet, covering every aspect of the game from characters to the plot. The fandom thrived on Twitter and Tumblr in particular. Plenty of amazing fans and creators were sharing ideas and content on the sites and in other places, sharing a passion for FFXV with each other.
Another place where fandom was super easy to see was at conventions! At most of the cons I attended from 2016 to early 2018, there were a decent number of FFXV cosplayers and fan merch to be found in the artist alley! One convention, EXPCon 2017 in St. Augustine, Florida, essentially morphed into the Final Fantasy XV Convention. There was even one person who rented the same type of car that the characters drive in-game. They were able to ask the voice actors to take a picture in front of the car! All four English-language voice actors for the main characters, as well as the English-language voice director, were all present at the con together for the first time! Conventions are always a great place to see a fandom at play in person, and the FFXV fandom has been no exception.
Three FFXV DLC packages released throughout 2017 before a long break, with the fourth and final episode, Episode Ardyn, coming out in March 2019. Each DLC expanded on a main character’s story in the game and added context to the main plot. The fandom responded to each DLC with excitement, both for playing the content itself and having new things to talk about. Plenty of interesting conversations, projects, and fan content came about due to the DLC. During the break between 2017 and 2019, I definitely noticed less going on at times in the wider spread of the fandom. But that’s definitely par for the course with any fandom when there’s a period of slow activity in content. There are always going to be times when a lot of things are happening in any fandom and times of not too much going on, but you’ll still have your own fandom going on based on your friends and the people you follow!
With the release of the last DLC in March 2019 and a novel set to come out in 2020 that details events from a few pieces of canceled DLC, the FFXV fandom is still going strong. There have consistently been things going on like fics being written, zines being published, new people getting into the game, and just a love of the game being shared around. Whether people have been around since the game was under a different title or if someone only got into it this year, the fandom is active and quite a positive community. It’s going strong over three years out from the game’s release, and there’s something really special to be said about a fandom that can keep the passion alive for such a long time about a game that means so much to people.