"If Final Fantasy XV doesn't do well, perhaps there's not much of a future for console games. It kind of really depends on how that goes."
- Hajime Tabata, co-director of Final Fantasy XV
Over at Kotaku, Jason Schreier has a new interview
with Hajime Tabata, the co-director of Final Fantasy XV
-- a game that was first announced in 2006 under a different title, for a different generation of consoles.
Since it was announced, the mobile market has come to dominate Japan -- with a side of portables. Triple-A is a much smaller niche of the market, and most enduring Japanese console RPG franchises have either gone portable or carefully constrain their budgets and scope to focus on the key elements their fan-bases most enjoy. Final Fantasy
is the last general-purpose HD epic, and Tabata knows it.
The problem: sales of the HD Final Fantasy
titles this generation -- the "Lightning trilogy" that kicked off with Final Fantasy XIII
-- have been trending downward, and company president Yosuke Matsuda has admitted
the company lost its focus. Ironically, while "Square" and "Enix" were both synonymous with RPGs in prior generations, the company today started recruiting
for a new RPG studio.
"So in terms of whether console games will be received moving forward, it's not to say that I don't have any concerns at all, but I believe that it'll really depend on how Final Fantasy XV
does," Tabata says.
One could argue that his company painted itself into that very corner, however, with the games it was making