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More evidence of  Final Fantasy 's existential crisis

More evidence of Final Fantasy's existential crisis

September 5, 2014 | By Christian Nutt




"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.


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