The Questionable Future of Final Fantasy

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Much ado has been made about some comments recently made by President and CEO of square Enix Yochi Wada. He has come out saying multiple times that Japanese core game play isn’t as strong as western games, and while I won’t begrudge him on his opinion when your President says the product his company produces is inferior to another something is terribly wrong. This resounds in the statement “Should Final Fantasy become a new type of the game or should Final Fantasy not become a new type of game? The customers have different opinions. It’s very difficult to determine which way it should go.”, and this has got me worried.

I have always loved Final Fantasy, and recent releases haven’t tampered with that love, despite positive fan reception slipping away. With President Wada saying they don’t know where to take the series, and repeatedly talks about his envy of western games, it makes me fear that final fantasy will end up becoming massively changing into a western type game. I don’t want or need Final Fantasy to be Oblivion, or Mass Effect.

I think a lot of people foolishly play the “Stagnation card” on Final Fantasy. Saying the game hasn’t changed in years, thinking that it along with the entirety of JRPGs are nothing but the same thing over and over. When it comes to Final Fantasy at the least, this statement is dead wrong. The reason a lot of fans have hated the last couple of Final Fantasies is because the series is changing too much. However I personally consider these evolutions and mutations to be natural growth based on the creators personal decisions of how to make their game. To now dramatically change that course, and generalize the game to the “now” seems like folly to me.

I believe Final Fantasy should be its own thing, and evolve its own way. It doesn’t need to be inspired by other companies’ choices. It doesn’t need conversation trees or cover based shooting. It doesn’t need a sandbox world, or competitive multiplayer. It doesn’t need to be a western game. Stagnation doesn’t just come from being the same thing; stagnation also comes from trying to be everything else. I love and play Final Fantasy, because it’s Final Fantasy.  It doesn’t need to be any game else.

But I may be completely wrong, what do you think?

Notes

  • Want proof of a game trying too hard to be everything else ultimately ruining it? Take a look at Brutal Legend.
  • I wonder if multiplayer made Dragon Quest 9 better?
  • Final Fantasy 5 sucked.
  • Please never let them remake Final Fantasy 7, because that really wouldn’t be a step forward.

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