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Final Fantasy XV: Was Everything Really On the Line?


Final Fantasy XV
As the sales keep rolling in and everyone breathes a sigh of relief that Final Fantasy XV is overall a fairly good game, director Hajime Tabata took some time at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) to reflect on the famous decade-long development cycle that culminated in its November 2016 release.

During the conference, Tabata was noted as saying the bar was set high even before he took on the project in 2012. "If it didn't succeed, it would all be over. It meant approaching the project believing this was our last chance. If we don't do it this time, there won't be a next time."

Is this more of the typical motivational talk to set high standards and achieve them, no matter the cost? Possibly, but let's consider a few events, and what was going on in the Final Fantasy franchise in 2012 when Tabata came aboard:
  1. Square Enix doubled (and after 2012, tripled) down on Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, which was met with mixed reviews and much criticism, cooling enthusiasm after the main title's release. It would seem the Fabula Nova Crystallis universe was not the overwhelming hit they expected.
  2. Final Fantasy XIV's original release was so troubled and unpopular that they killed it with spectacular fire, built a new game from the ground up, and maybe asked everyone to forget the original existed. It is worth noting that the new game is hugely successful and still doing well today, but it was certainly a monumental effort to scrap the original game and make a better one in its place.
  3. Well known by now, Final Fantasy XV is the final form of a game started in 2006 which was then Final Fantasy Versus XIII, also requiring an overhaul and recruitment of top talent for Tabata to meet expectations.
Interesting to note as well, the following remark Tabata made when discussing the game at the GDC: "My story about Final Fantasy XV is not a success story," he said. "I don't have any magical expertise from this undertaking, but I know now the greatest goals can only be reached by taking big chances."

He sure seems more relieved than excited about its success. The franchise seems better positioned for its future than it was in 2012, with FFXIII in the books, the FFXIV remake successful, and FFXV having currently sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Do you think the Final Fantasy franchise was ever in any danger? Or is it laughable to even think so, considering the worldwide brand recognition it has attained, and Square Enix' deep pockets to finance the huge cost of each game? After all, things like this exist.

Source: The Verge, Polygon

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Written by
TheEvilEye

Comments

HarlequinComment 1: 2017-03-03 23:54
Harlequin
Quote (TheEvilEye @ 2nd March 2017 18:19)

It's amazing that the link to the past thread was for exactly what I thought it was for.

But seriously, I have mixed feelings as to where they're going. I just finished FFXIII, and I actually loved the characterization. But I feel like developers care about graphics first and story second. And I'm not crazy about that. I've accepted that due to its mainstreamed status, the FF series will probably not take any large risks for the rest of its existence.
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