Do You Want A New Final Fantasy Every Year?

The Final Fantasy series producer, Yoshinori Kitase, thinks that Final Fantasy should adopt a more frequent release schedule. In an interview with GameReactor, he has commented that Final Fantasy XIII took a little too long and he thinks fans need annual or biennial releases to keep them interested in a franchise.

When you think of Western AAA 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 one to two 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.

A lot of Final Fantasy fans might be horrified to see the series producer expressing an interest in emulating the Call of Duty model but it’s difficult to argue with Kitase’s logic from a business perspective.

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Kitase went on to say that they “were determined to produce Final Fantasy XIII-2 in a short time,” getting it done and ready for release in less than eighteen months. This means that XIII-2 will be released less than two years after Final Fantasy XIII, something Kitase says “is okay”.

Of course, this line of reasoning ignores all of the fringe Final Fantasy titles which are released during the series’ “down time”. Games like the Dissidia and the Kingdom Hearts series which have heavy Final Fantasy elements, but aren’t instalments in the main series, surely keep the core franchise in gamer’s minds?

So what about you, the Final Fantasy fans? Are you happy to see Square Enix emulate Activision’s recipe for franchise success?

Source: GameReactor

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47 Comments

  1. This does scare me a bit. Especially in a game like this, where there is so much content and a lack of linear story (except XIII). I think it will just highlight the fact it is the same game again with slight twists. It’s evident enough in COD, but this, it will stand out like a sore thumb.

    • Sorry, couldn’t let this one go by.
      Non-linear story? FF games do have a linear story, but they give the illusion that they don’t by having an open world map (kind of) and having some events which can be played in different orders or missed completely. You aren’t given true Sandbox agency in any FF title (except maybe XI and XIV), it’s just it was more noticeable with XIII that you weren’t.

      Perhaps maybe they want to get a Final Fantasy release every year, not necessarily a numbered series title, which I’m OK with. Squeenix have so many FF titles and worlds, that they practically do anyway.

      • I don’t think I chose my words well there to be fair. I meant more a non linear direction, as in side quests, plenty to do, plenty of places to see. You are right about the story though. Apologies.

      • Actually that’s a good point. Square must have enough studios by now that they could have one every year and still allow a moderately long dev time, I assumed he was wanting studios to churn the games out faster.

        As long as each team gets enough time and managerial support to allow for quality products rather almost than carbon copies of the previous installments.

      • Ah right, I get what you mean now. sorry if I came off a little bit ranty there.

      • What exactly is a non-linear story? Every story follows a predefined path. You can’t do the story quests in the order you want to do them in any game. You can deceide to leave the main path and beat around the bushes but if you want to get on with the story you have to do the quests in the order the dev intended you to do them. Even if you are allowed to roam free in a huge world you will still be limited by blocked off passages or areas that have monsters that will one shot you.
        A non-linear story to me is a story with multiple threads that conclude at the end, which is think is true for the Final Fantasy series.

      • You probs replied before you saw my responce. Was just very poor word choice, that was all ;)

      • Yeah, I realized that. I was too slow… :D

    • @MayContainEvil Strictly speaking, in filmography and literature, a non-linear story is one which jumps around a lot, or with many points of view or threads.
      Jumping around in time and such, like having the end at the beginning and so on, to keep up intrigue and mystery. Just so that one event doesn’t run on from the last in a linear fashion.

      Widen it out to gaming, and there’s linearity of story, and linearity of gameplay and mechanics. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but do go hand in hand more often than a lot of people would like.

      • I was replying to your last comment, about how many games Square manage to churn out as it is. They must have quite a few studios already so if they re-purposed a few then even with regular releases the main titles might not suffer a huge hit to the quality. I hope. *crosses fingers*

      • I think the easiest example of a non-linear story is Pulp Fiction.

      • Oops, my bad, that wasn’t a reply meant for you, I meant to do it for KeRaSh. Derp

  2. I don’t necessarily agree that frequent releases are what keeps gamers interested in a franchise. Just look at GT5. Sure it may help to keep it fresh in the mind, but for something as large as the Final Fantasy series, I don’t think the same rule applies.
    In any case, if it means we get more, high quality games, then I’m all for it. Just hope they don’t rush these things, and the game suffers as a result.

  3. Still to pick up XIII. More interested in Versus to be honest but this is a little scary.

    • See you should play it just to know characters and setting ahead of XIII-2, as that is looking to be what XIII should of been.

  4. If the games were as good as FFVI through to FFIX I would happily take one every year. Since FFX I’ve lost a bit of interest so not too fussed about frequency now. I don’t see why they should be concerning themselves with frequency, just make a great game. Bioshock has had huge gaps between sequels – I think if the game is good, people will buy it. I don’t think people just lose interest.

    I’d like to see some more free roam (felt FFX and FFXIII were pretty linear in my opinion) and a decent system to rival the Materia/Slot system.

  5. No.

    • Exactly what I was going to write but since I found this, I agree.

    • Agreed.

      Either quality will suffer, or I will have to find the time for them all. It’s lose lose.

  6. They surely cannot be this stupid. Do they really think they would’ve kept gamers interested as long as they already have if they had been releasing games on a schedule like that from the start?

    Sure it might work in the short to mid term for some franchises but there is no way that business model would work for an RPG and still deliver the quality fans have come to expect from Squeenix.

    Example; Dragon Age II, they did a rush job on that and it succeeded in disappointing so many fans it sold less than Origins. Example; Skyrim, Bethesda took a reasonable amount of time (was it three years in the making?) and raked in 450 mill in a week. It seems pretty clear which is the more viable way of doing things.

    • Take Assassin’t Creed. I don’t have the release dates in my head but after AC2 it seemed like they released one almost every year and they are still going strong. It’s a double edged sword…

      • That’s a good point, personally though I was bored of the core gameplay elements by Brotherhood and haven’t yet bothered to get Revelations. If they want to sell me the next one alot will have to changed. To me this is why Final Fantasy has lasted so long as a quality franchise; they’re not afraid to take four years of development time to create a game in an entirely new world and substantially change the core mechanics. This is necessary, for me anyway, to keep things fresh and interesting.

      • If they have 2 dev teams working on full FF releases and go for bi-annual release windows then every studio would have around 4 years to polish their entry in the franchise. I think 4 years would be more than enough to create a quality FF title with enough time to work on changing up some thing so the formula doesn’t get old too fast.

      • Agreed, I would be more than happy with that. Maybe they could have the best/biggest team working on the new numbered entries and another team doing the direct sequels, or something like that.

  7. No. A year would be too short of a development time for a big FF title. I’d rather Square Enix took their time with each big installment to create an amazing game than go the yearly release route. Interest in FF won’t falter because it’s a big series. Look at The Elder Scrolls as an example. Skyrim released 5 years after Oblivion and the anticipation pre release was there.

  8. See I’d say no because it would ruin it. Yet, it happened before with FF7/8/9/10 coming in quick succession. I’d be more likely to say every two years would be fine given todays game development.

  9. Rather than given us one every year or two. Make one that is huge and I mean mahusive! That will take players months of time to complete and offers play value with levelling up, side quests colectiong etc… I don’t mind linear stories, but give us an open world map, make us find out where we’ve got to go and how we get there. Basically I just want VII again, or even X. Can’t wait fot the HD re-release!
    One of the big failings of releasing to a tight schedule of only 1 or 2 years is the story will suffer, which I feel is one the key factors within a FF game, mess that up and people will not want to play them.

    • You should try out the FF MMOs. They are exactly what you are demanding. :)
      But I see what you mean. If they could cram 1/10th of the content of let’s say FFXI into a single player FF title then that would still be one massive game. FFXI as a single player game would probably be the pinnacle of my gaming life.

  10. Does this mean that we will actually get hold of XIII versus one day?

    My faith will be restored when they announce KH3, and release it. Looking forward to FFX remake though. In my opinion the last truely good FF game.

    • Versus is in 100% development now at least.

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