People may be critical of the state of the Japanese games industry as of late, but the producer and director of Final Fantasy XIII think their game will use a Phoenix Down and kick things into gear.
The game industry has been going under a bit of introspection over in the land of the rising sun lately. In 2008, Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada said he felt the Japanese industry had "lost its position" as the global leader, and a year later criticized the lack of "adult" games coming from his peers. Just one day after Wada's wish for more adult games, Capcom guru Keiji Inafune said that he thought the Japanese games industry "was finished".
Speaking with the PlayStation Blog EU, though, Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama (man, those guys are everywhere) naturally disagreed:
"Some people have been saying that the Japanese game industry is dead, and all that... I dunno. I will say that Final Fantasy XIII is one really epic title for high definition consoles. With this game, we are going to resurrect the whole thing."
It's hardly surprising that the two would disagree, given the game they've been working on - "Yeah, we're totally sunk" would not go over well with investors - but their claim that FF13 would "resurrect" the industry is a bit more interesting. I'm not sure what they mean, though: Will it resurrect the Japanese game industry financially? Will it inspire others? How can one game - even a popular one - do that?
We learned some other interesting things via the interview in question beyond Kitase's bold claim: The FF13 team took inspiration from some western games like Call of Duty, the whole game is about 50-60 hours long to play through, approximately 10 hours of which is cutscenes ... which is a lot of cutscenes.
Furthermore, neither Kitase nor Toriyama have any idea what Yoichi Wada meant when he said FF13 would be the last of this type of game" Squeenix makes:
We don't really know what he meant by this style of game. If you consider that during Final Fantasy XIII's development, at peak time the team consisted of over 300 people. It was a huge team, plus it took a several long years to get the game finished. So, if Mr Wada meant that we would never make another Final Fantasy title with the similar number of people, taking as long as FFXIII did, we would agree.
Obviously in the future we want to be much more efficient. Having worked on XIII, we feel that we have got much better at making good games for high definition consoles. In the future our teams will be smaller and more effectively run. We suspect that is what Mr Wada meant by his statement.