Square Enix Wants a New Final Fantasy Every Year

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Marshall Honorof:
...says Yoshinori Kitase, a developer and producer of the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII-2. "When you think of Western triple A titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin's Creed, they seem to work with a lot shorter turnaround - they make a new game in 1-2 years. That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise."

Hey Kitase! Long time Final Fantasy fan here, and I gotta say, "Why don't you just go back to making GREAT GAMES to keep your 'fans interested attracted to the franchise'."

I haven't fully enjoyed an FF game since X. I never played XI, but everything I've heard and read tells me its inferior to WoW in just about every way. XII took 5 years to make and it was decent. Good, but not great. XIII took nearly 5 years and it was the most disappointing game I've ever played. I don't know how long XIV took to make but it was subject to dismal reviews and by the reckoning of the FFMMO fan base, it's an inferior game to FFXI, which was released last generation.

Speeding up the development cycle hardly seems like a way to improve the franchise when you can't seem to make a great game on a half-decade development cycle.

remnant_phoenix:

Marshall Honorof:
...says Yoshinori Kitase, a developer and producer of the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII-2. "When you think of Western triple A titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin's Creed, they seem to work with a lot shorter turnaround - they make a new game in 1-2 years. That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise."

Hey Kitase! Long time Final Fantasy fan here, and I gotta say, "Why don't you just go back to making GREAT GAMES to keep your 'fans interested attracted to the franchise'."

I haven't fully enjoyed an FF game since X. I never played XI, but everything I've heard and read tells me its inferior to WoW in just about every way. XII took 5 years to make and it was decent. Good, but not great. XIII took nearly 5 years and it was the most disappointing game I've ever played. I don't know how long XIV took to make but it was subject to dismal reviews and by the reckoning of the FFMMO fan base, it's an inferior game to FFXI, which was released last generation.

Speeding up the development cycle hardly seems like a way to improve the franchise when you can't seem to make a great game on a half-decade development cycle.

XIII disappointed many US/EU games. But it was extremely popular in Japan, and that's probably the demographic they care most about. You know, JRPG and all that.

As far as numbers go, XIII was a success.

See this works for CoD because their main demographic is only concerned in competitive multiplayer.

This works for Assassin's creed because their campaign-focused games are always of above-average quality.

FF has, to put it lightly, not been of above-average quality lately. You REALLY need to be more concerned with shipping a REALLY GOOD FF game that will make you a profit, rather than a bunch of FF games that will tank.

Yosharian:

pg.shadowrunner:

Yosharian:

Ahaha yes clearly that was the problem with FF13! It took too long to produce! Bahaha

Yet more proof that Squenix has gone off the fucking rails

That was indeed the problem with XIII. Overblown expectations combined with a ridiculously long and tumultous development cycle. They had no clue what they were making during it's development for a long time, leading to the sloppiness of the final product. In addition, people's hype grew the longer they had to wait.

Imagine if FFXIII hadn't had so many conflicting elements in it's development, and only took a year or two to make. Perhaps it would've been recieved much better.

Man, there are a million reasons why FFXIII is bad, and the least of them is overblown expectations and a long dev cycle.

Squenix has no clue how to make good games anymore, period. I have no idea how a triple-A developer can become so fricking blind that it thinks THIS is good gaming, but there you go. It's just proof of the self-deceiving capabilities of the human mind, I suppose - and doubly so for the corporate hive-mind.

I agree with pg.shadowrunner here. For a linear story based game it's extremely rare but perfectly feasible to put [i]too[i/] much work into it. Try to introduce too many concepts and ideas into a game, which a 5 year dev cycle makes possible, and the whole thing can fall apart. Rather than not knowing how to make good games anymore I find Square, at least for the Final Fantasy games, to have a problem of attempting continuous one-upmanship. Trying to make each new final fantasy bigger and more epic than the last. How else do you explain how convoluted the story for FFXIII was? Eventually it gets to the point where it becomes tiresome and you just want something simpler. To be honest I haven't actually played the game yet, haven't gotten around to getting a PS3 yet, but just reading the wikipedia summary:

The game takes place in the fictional floating world of Cocoon, whose government, the Sanctum, is ordering a purge of civilians who have supposedly come into contact with Pulse, the much-feared world below. The former soldier Lightning begins her fight against the government in order to save her sister who has been branded as an unwilling servant to a god-like being from Pulse, making her an enemy of Cocoon. Lightning is soon joined by a band of allies, and together the group also become marked by the same Pulse creature. They rally against the Sanctum while trying to discover their assigned task and whether they can avoid being turned into monsters or crystals at the completion.

I mean holy shit. Rather than jumping straight into the shoes of an elite hero battling against multiple insurmountable foes, what happened to the days when the game starts with your mom waking you up saying you're going to be late to the fair? I'd love to see Square get more disciplined on their FF releases, and would be plenty happy to have a new more focused 30-50 hour Final Fantasy game every 1-2 years.

Oh yeah, they also need to stop wasting so much resources on Final Fantasy MMO's. You make a great single player game or you make a great multiplayer, developers can't do both.

VondeVon:

Ubermetalhed:

VondeVon:

Well seeing as they're failing at innovation, I'll take the consistency.

Seriously, better odds of there being something enjoyable.

I don't know, you have to give them credit for being so bold as to try and change the series mechanics somewhat in every game. XII and XIII being the most major.

Hopefully XIII-2 will surprise alot of people, XIII's battle system had a lot of potential, if they've ironed out the flaws for the new game and also addressed narrative and story issues there could be some life in the series yet.

At the very least you can't knock the games graphically, XIII was stunning. Also the music is always fantastic.

Besides consistency is the tired formulas of WRPG sequels, people buy them in droves but they don't do much innovating in the genre nor massively redefine their series'. Skyrim being the newest example. I appreciate what Squeenix are trying to do and I hope they find their feet and produce something that will get them back on the gaming map again.

Another story of the same quality of FFX would definitely do it.

That's true, and I am a big fan of good-looking games. That's always my first hook.

My major problem with FFs in recent years has just been the (kind of important) plot and the characters. Hopefully they'll widen their writers' pool in this bid to make more games, faster.

I don't plan to buy XIII-2 simply because most of the characters would need complete personality overhauls before I'd be remotely interested in them. :)

Yeh the characters are what have let the last few games down massively. FFXII had Balthier and that was it for me. XIII had a few characters who weren't massively annoying, but they were really underdeveloped, Sazh was actually the one who had the deepest character and he was the so called comedy relief!

FFXIII-2 focuses on Sarah and some new guy called Noel. And of course lightning. It could be ok depending on how the former two are written. Although that moogle may ruin everything...kupo.

I am conflicted I do think that X-III took way to long to make for what we got. But too make a new FF game every year? I don't think that's the problem. I think the Jimquisition said it best that Square should STOP announcing all of there games they have a teaser trailer for. Just announce one make it, and then announce another title when say that game goes gold or something like that.

For the love of christ. Just remake FFVII, roll in the cash-ola and then do what you frakin' want! Oh Squeenix, when you stop crushing my childhood! WHEN!?

Kopikatsu:

remnant_phoenix:

Marshall Honorof:
...says Yoshinori Kitase, a developer and producer of the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII-2. "When you think of Western triple A titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Assassin's Creed, they seem to work with a lot shorter turnaround - they make a new game in 1-2 years. That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise."

Hey Kitase! Long time Final Fantasy fan here, and I gotta say, "Why don't you just go back to making GREAT GAMES to keep your 'fans interested attracted to the franchise'."

I haven't fully enjoyed an FF game since X. I never played XI, but everything I've heard and read tells me its inferior to WoW in just about every way. XII took 5 years to make and it was decent. Good, but not great. XIII took nearly 5 years and it was the most disappointing game I've ever played. I don't know how long XIV took to make but it was subject to dismal reviews and by the reckoning of the FFMMO fan base, it's an inferior game to FFXI, which was released last generation.

Speeding up the development cycle hardly seems like a way to improve the franchise when you can't seem to make a great game on a half-decade development cycle.

XIII disappointed many US/EU games. But it was extremely popular in Japan, and that's probably the demographic they care most about. You know, JRPG and all that.

As far as numbers go, XIII was a success.

I agree, to a point. On the one hand, yes, their native demographic is likely the one they care most about.

On the other hand, it was Final Fantasy VII's explosive worldwide success and the increased exposure to the series and the genre in the west that skyrocketed the franchise as well as Square itself into the realm of "critical darling."

I have to wonder about some things:

How many of those FFXIII sales were from western fans who bought the game right after release (in good faith that it would be great because of the series' past), but then became exceedingly disappointed? If the stacks of used copies of FFXIII at my local Gamestop are any indicator, A LOT.

How many western gamers are now quite skeptical that Squeenix has it in them to make a great Final Fantasy game on the same level as Final Fantasy 6-10? If the conversations I've had with fellow fans and the threads that I've read here and elsewhere are any indicator, A LOT.

So yeah, the game was very popular in Japan, and it sold well worldwide because of brand-name recognition, but if Squeenix can't hold on to the western JRPG fan base, their company and franchise will fall from the heights that it has held onto since FFVII.

They need to make shorter games, FFXIII was too longer, but i don;t want early releases. Franchises can be turned around in a year when not much changes. FF shouldn't do that, new world every time

You know, if Squeenix actually hires more staff instead of whipping the current one only harder, this might
A create some jobs in the industry and
B actually work

Sure, SE would need to learn some discipline (see Jimquisition for that) and also hire decent scriptwriters. Is it just me or were the recent FF characters either completely unrelatable or just plain unlikeable? Maybe I'm just glorifying the old days, but in FF6 (that's 3 if your country doesn't know how to count) they seemed just more alive and emotive, despite being only a couple of pixels large than any of the prerendered, well-animated puppets.

Focus on plot and characters rather than setting (the only sensible thing to do, if there's no time) which the new staff will provide... I'd dig that.

Wait... are you suggesting Call of Fantasy!?!?!


I hate this yearly release schedule crap! I'd rather wait and get a nice, long, quality game, than get a sub-par expansion pack every 12 months.
It's why I hate COD, it's why I've lost faith in Assassin's Creed, and it hurts to see more devs considering this crap.

I think they need to learn from their past. Each game has some things going for it that are amazing. 12 was immersive and had a great free roaming style I liked, but most of the characters fell fairly flat. 13 had a innovative combat system but was marred by most of it not coming until too late, and the lack of options and player control. The linear style though better for storytelling is dull to play and story through datalog was atrocious. Go down the line with most of the main number installments not counting online,(and tactics cause its awesome), each has some things that stand out drastically and were quite good for their time. Harvest the best parts of your past and make them cohesive and you have an amazing game.

edit: Also do not do a yearly release unless its 20-30 dollar pieces of a much better longer game. 2 years is fine, with 2 seperate teams, that gives you about 4 years per title, enough time to build hype but not enough that it becomes stagnant, keeps things fresh, and gives you fans quality games.

Yep, it's official. When Hironobu Sakaguchi left Squeenix, he took all of the people that knew how to use their brains to think.

I think they're missing the point as to WHY those games are so popular. Unless they make Final Fantasy Multiplayer, and I don't mean a MMO, they're basically killing Final Fantasy and their reputation.

... Whatever little there remains of it.

ThunderCavalier:
Yep, it's official. When Hironobu Sakaguchi left Squeenix, he took all of the people that knew how to use their brains to think.

I think they're missing the point as to WHY those games are so popular. Unless they make Final Fantasy Multiplayer, and I don't mean a MMO, they're basically killing Final Fantasy and their reputation.

... Whatever little there remains of it.

Have you played Lost Odyssey (which was made by Mistwalker, Sakaguchi's new company)? Whatever the "spark" was that made Final Fantasy great, Lost Odyssey had a lot of that in it. That, to me, proves that Sakaguchi took whatever-it-was-that-made-Final-Fantasy-good with him when he left Square.

<groan> Why... why are we doing.

/EXPLODES
GIMME KH3 for the LOVE of EVERYTHING!!! NNNNNNNGGGGGGAAAAAHHHH (BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!)

they must be eliminated now, they have outlived their usefullness. ha ha just kidding but seriously if devs satrt thinking like this they should be fired.

the last thing we need is games getting more like call of duty than they already are, and on top of that quallity is alot better than qaunity if you ask me.

also if they keep up at that rate, final fantasy will run out of numbers.

Just release FFVII with a different skin, slight graphical upgrade and change the protagonist's names every installment. That's how CoD is so successful. XD

In all seriousness, I don't think they could churn out games to the quality of FFX or FFXII every year or so. Because the series is almost exclusively singleplayer, actual effort needs to be made on the plot and character development, something that pretty much every game in the last two months hasn't done. By focusing on multiplayer, and by using the tried and tested formula with little tweaks, games like CoD, and to a lesser extent Battlefield and GoW3 can be released every year and retain the illusion of series innovation.

They ought to make another top down 2D installment. I'm not saying 'go back to sprites', as awesome as that'd be, but if you're going to crank em out like bodily functions leave one aside for a callback. The occasional callback is nice.

Innegativeion:
See this works for CoD because their main demographic is only concerned in competitive multiplayer.

This works for Assassin's creed because their campaign-focused games are always of above-average quality.

FF has, to put it lightly, not been of above-average quality lately. You REALLY need to be more concerned with shipping a REALLY GOOD FF game that will make you a profit, rather than a bunch of FF games that will tank.

it did make me wonder though...doing this with assasins creed

does that mean they are going to stretch out the story more than was orinally intended? are they going to eventually make it so complex/convoluted that it gets run into the ground?

however the AC franchise has alot of room for spin-offs/storys so..yeah

RedHighwind07:
Just release FFVII with a different skin, slight graphical upgrade and change the protagonist's names every installment. That's how CoD is so successful. XD

In all seriousness, I don't think they could churn out games to the quality of FFX or FFXII every year or so. Because the series is almost exclusively singleplayer, actual effort needs to be made on the plot and character development, something that pretty much every game in the last two months hasn't done. By focusing on multiplayer, and by using the tried and tested formula with little tweaks, games like CoD, and to a lesser extent Battlefield and GoW3 can be released every year and retain the illusion of series innovation.

I thourght the 'Gears" series had somthing reselbling a story (and a good one at that) not that I owuld know..I dont own an xbox

XI was actually the first FF game I couldn't finish, and 12 was MMO, so I didn't play, much like 11, and XIII was the game I bought and stop playing at 45 min through the game... I couldn't bare to see any more FF game being made, and will not buy anymore.... I am sad... for Square, and I am also sad for Enix, We truly though combining them two was the best thing EVER happened in gaming history... but we now see the fruit of a monopoly; shitty products... pumping out faster than a bullet train...

Oh, Squaresoft (Fine, Square-Enix). Sit down for a moment.

You know I love you. You know I wanted to have your babies at one point. But as of lately, I feel like I don't know you. The past FF games have been...interesting, but that's not the way I remember you. I remember a company that used to deliver innovative stories mixed with new but amazing gameplay and plots and memorable characters accompanied by great music as the icing on the cake. And don't get me wrong, you're still good but...it seems you're giving in to peer pressure.

You see, the thing about games like CoD and such is that they can afford to release a game every year because the plot is short and sometimes paper thin and the main feature is the online multiplayer that's just endless. But that's not you. That's not FF. FF should be the opposite of that; when you replay FF, it's because you loved the plot so much and the game makes it so easy for you to start from zero that you just can't help but play it again 5 seconds after you finished it for the first time.

What's that? It seemed to work for Assassin's Creed? Well, yes, but remember that AC is a continuous story, more or less. Even CoD does this. In your case, most FF games have nothing to do with the previous one. So how can you create a memorable story when I only have one year to make it memorable? And you know what else? Most people secretly wish games like AC, who have a great story, awesome characters and so on, would be released more sporadically. I mean, I'm not even done with the previous game and now I gotta buy the new one? No, I won't buy it brand new, that's for sure! it's just like cake, you see. A few spoonfuls of cake are good and tasty, and the cake might be glorious. But that's no reason to shove it into someone's throat.
Hey, wanna know why so many gamers are raving over FFVII? Because it's like a wine; it only gets better with time. The sequels and prequels were delivered way later and that's what attracted more people: the nostalgia of the original game combined with new releases based on the same story were a great combo.

But what are you gonna do now, Square-Enix? Are you gonna create one continuous saga and release one every year? Or is it still gonna be separate stories? Well, either way, i can't see this working.
No one is blaming you for going through a rough time. We get it. But seriously, take your time. If it takes you years to come up with one great game (*coughKingdomHeartscough*), no one's gonna be mad. If you release random, okay-quality games every year, you're just gonna start losing people's patience and as a consequence, their money too. Look at KH: it still makes money. But some fans would agree that so many spin-offs and sequels and prequels are a wee bit too much. But you know why this works? Because it's one continuous story.

So please, Square-Enix. Don't try to be like that CoD jock. Or like intellectual AC kid. All the "cool kids" think what's in is releasing mediocre games each year. You know what the result is? Okay games that ultimately could have been bettter received and better developed if they had more time to add on stuff. You're Square-Enix. You're known for having games with an awesome plot, memorable characters and jaw-dropping music. We want that back. That's all. Like I said, one awesome game like that and everything is forgiven. We want out old friend back; the friend we grew up with and that taught us so much. The games that set the bar back then when it comes to RPGs. Just think about it, will ya?

Sincerely,
A dubious Squaresoft-Enix follower.

zajohnson:
/EXPLODES
GIMME KH3 for the LOVE of EVERYTHING!!! NNNNNNNGGGGGGAAAAAHHHH (BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!)

Also, this.

Squeenix, please...just...PLEASE!

STOP making decisions. Stop saying words. Just stop everything you're doing, except breathing.

Take the time off to go to rehab, because everything you do nowadays is just awful and is full of fuck.

I think I just died inside, a game a year..... Think I could have to endure watching my roommate play a game that wants to be a movie, every year!? Why haven't they done that sooner!? (Scarcasm)

I do really wish Square would stop. Seems like the Japanese thing to do though "wank away your company" just look at Nintendo.

2012 is coming.....
no really, this is to be expected. after all, the companies opinion about "how good the game is" is based on "how much money it made", and by that logic industry thinks that COD model is the best there is. and while the game itself is bad, stupidity of human race shows up once again and makes things their way.

Then you could at least have the decency to do a new, proper Crystal Chronicles.

So of all the techniques and strategies the Japanese game industry could have used from the West, they chose this one.

Sigh...

When a concept makes you giggle just by reading the headline, it's time to scrap it.

This just sounds like a bad, bad, bad idea. Keeping FF fans happy is more about the style, look, feel, flow, gameplay, and story of the game than it is about churning out a rapid succession of titles. I think this will only result in a rushed set of titles that will run the series into the ground. The rapid turn-around works for triple A FPS titles because those games are so shallow; they don't need a lot of depth, characterization, or story, just lots of stuff to blow-up and kill. But, a series that tries to be more deep and involved with reasonably developed characters, like the FF series, needs the time to be developed properly.

If Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed can make big money with yearly installments, so can we! I mean yes we haven't released a good game in over ten fucking years and are only staying afloat critically because we own Eidos Interactive, but we're Square Enix! Inventors and butchers of the JRPG genre!

But in all seriousness, no. Square Enix is starting to knock strongly of Sonic Team where the games they make suck but people play them anyway out of nostalgia blindness, not noticing the series quit being good at the sixth (Arguably seventh) installment. Maybe if they go off the drugs and spend some time with Eidos and 2K learning how to tell a fucking story, Final Fantasy can come back. But for now, they shouldn't bother.

They took YEARS to get FF13 out and it was still garbage. Besides Square announce about 3 FF titles every year now and never make any of them. In all honesty I'm ready to jump ship on the entire franchise, the only attraction left is FF versus 13 which looks pretty good, if that fails though I'm out of here.

remnant_phoenix:

ThunderCavalier:
Yep, it's official. When Hironobu Sakaguchi left Squeenix, he took all of the people that knew how to use their brains to think.

I think they're missing the point as to WHY those games are so popular. Unless they make Final Fantasy Multiplayer, and I don't mean a MMO, they're basically killing Final Fantasy and their reputation.

... Whatever little there remains of it.

Have you played Lost Odyssey (which was made by Mistwalker, Sakaguchi's new company)? Whatever the "spark" was that made Final Fantasy great, Lost Odyssey had a lot of that in it. That, to me, proves that Sakaguchi took whatever-it-was-that-made-Final-Fantasy-good with him when he left Square.

Yeah, I'm well-aware of Lost Odyssey and Mistwalker's good reputation. I just haven't had the chance, unfortunately, to play any of their games.

It's a shame that they left, though. I was hoping to at least see one good Final Fantasy since X before the company keels over.

Dear Square-Enix,

Final Fantasy has sucked salty donkey balls since the FF7 Compilation (arguably since FFX).
You should fix that if you really want to start branding your flagship series as an annual cash cow.

Signed,
A Concerned Gamer

P.S. Call of Duty 4.x sucks. Its fanbase shills out for it every year almost entirely because of the multiplayer (which given proper analysis, is genius in how it monopolizes its playerbase's time to keep them from playing other shooters as regularly, which inflates its value).
Unless you have something *that addictive* to bring to the table, don't even fucking bother.

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