During the PlayStation 1 era, it seemed like only a few years would pass until the next Final Fantasy. Nowadays, we’ll be unlucky to get a non-MMO title within a decade. What’s taking so long? I think it’s Kingdom Hearts. Nomura, a lot of Square Enix’s staff and everyone else are dedicating way too much time and resources. After 2018, it should finally come to an end.
Could there be some truth to it?
They were talking about releasing a remake for Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation 2 years ago. I’m glad they didn’t, seeing that we have Final Fantasy VII to look forward to on the PlayStation 4. Ironically they put the Final Fantasy VII remake on hold, right around the first Kingdom Hearts game.
Before Kingdom Hearts was a concept, Final Fantasy released mainline titles fairly periodically. But when Kingdom Hearts games released within a year or two from each other, Final Fantasy games slowed down. Then the long development cycles started:
- Final Fantasy XII took nearly half a decade.
- Final Fantasy XIII made sequels because they needed sales.
- Final Fantasy XIV Online was a disaster.
- Final Fantasy XV took three years, after being in developmental limbo for seven years prior.
Kingdom Hearts works as entertainment and advertisement for Disney paraphernalia. This is common in business. Final Fantasy Dissidia works the same way for Square Enix. But notice how long it took for them to make a new Final Fantasy game between Kingdom Hearts releases. That’s because Disney is taking development from Square Enix to make the games they’ve pitched to the company.
Once Kingdom Hearts wraps up at the third and final sequel, Nomura will be free. Sure, he takes a while designing characters. And it’s his “fault” for directing Kingdom Hearts. But Kingdom Hearts has taken way too much time and resources from actual Final Fantasy games. He’s able to produce character designs for Final Fantasy XV, World of Final Fantasy, Play Arts Kai figures, etc.
But it’s been over two decade since the last mainline Kingdom Hearts game.
Of course, Disney Interactive Studios dissolved, which creates a whole new host of problems. They have to restructure who’s responsible for the game. And until Disney gets another subsidiary responsible for it, Square Enix is ponying up the development on its own.
But Square Enix needs input from Disney for what the game has to include. Square Enix is at a standstill. Square Enix is waiting on Disney right now. They can’t move until another Disney related publisher takes control. Disney determined the flow with Square Enix’s assets. That’s why the Kingdom Hearts games release within a year of each other. Final Fantasy games often struggled to get off the ground.
Nomura wanting to see Toy Story in Kingdom Hearts III actually encouraged the slowdown. Now think about this: Nomura is director of Kingdom Hearts. First, he had to wait until a Disney subsidiary takes control. But now he has to wait for all of Disney’s assets release in film format. Then he has to wait for Disney to finally approve which of these assets make it to Kingdom Hearts III. Then he has to craft the story around it. And it’s always changing. This is why Nomura is “slow” to make games. He’s always at the behest at Disney, instead of Final Fantasy. And Disney is playing the waiting game. Since Disney Interactive Studios is a business, they need to see profits. They can’t wait too long.
This is why Square Enix needs mobile games to make the most money possible. This is why Lightning was herald as a Savior; they found out how to reuse their assets to make constant products. They generated sales without trying to free up their core team to Kingdom Hearts. And this is why Square Enix is moving for in-house as much as possible. They’ve learned their lesson. No more outsiders.
What do you expect? Apparently, someone from Square and a Disney executive talked all night until dawn. Probably about what they could and couldn’t do with the Disney product. That sounds like a long time, doesn’t it? Sets a precedent.
Is it Nomura?
It’s Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV were the metaphorical “devil” keeping Square Enix in chains. Final Fantasy XVI is the movement that will break Square Enix free from the materialist chains of the past.
When Kingdom Hearts III succeeds, and it will, Square Enix will finally be free. Finally, we can see two to three-year development cycles for each mainline game…for the PlayStation 5.
These are just my opinions, so feel free to change my view!