Square Enix wants to increase turnaround for Final Fantasy Games
Yoshinori Kitase of Square Enix has expressed the desire to get more Final Fantasy games out faster than their current pace, citing Final Fantasy XIII’s sequel as the beginning of this new direction.
“The current generation console, Final Fantasy XIII, was obviously the first game, and personally I think we took a little too long getting it out,” Kitase said. “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.”
One’s first reaction to news like this is generally to cry ‘Madden’ and throw an internet tantrum, but I think gamers often forget how well the yearly release model has worked for more than one great series. Remember Ratchet and Clank? Those were pumped out once a year and were fantastic. Ever since Ubisoft adapted this practice to the Assassin’s Creed series, we’ve got three great games that have continued to deliver an interesting story in a timely manner. Can you imagine if we had to wait four or five years between each Assassin’s Creed game? I know I’d have gotten past the post-ending hype and moved on the frustrated “I can’t even remember what happened, so why bother?” stage that kept me from purchasing Starcraft 2 and is responsible for me not preordering Diablo 3.
That said I don’t think Final Fantasy really needs this kind of development cycle. I find that quick turnaround is good when the story isn’t over for a series, but completely unnecessary for a franchise in which few if any connections between each game exist. While the Elder Scrolls series all takes place in the same world, the story of each game has its own isolated tale and region. That’s why the 17-year-old franchise only has five games. Still, this might not be a bad idea for Square Enix with how many games they announce every year.