What right do we have to complain when the series doesn’t go the way we want it to go? Do they owe us, or the older fans, for being loyal fans of the series? They are putting about a thousand days into making games we consume for maybe 100 hours on average. We give them money, but is it enough considering the time they sacrificed?
And when the developers do give in, Final Fantasy fans end up complaining that the series is jumping the shark.
Adding action-RPG elements to the game is probably the new way Final Fantasy jumps the shark. The younger crowd will never want to go back to the old, outdated, archaic ATB system.
There’s also a disconnect between the business of Square Enix and the passion of game developers, that Sakaguchi warned us about:
“I hated Square, the whole business part of it.”
Developers want to get creative and make games for the sake of making games. But the board executives have their investors to think about. While developers think about how gamer’s think, and what gamers expect from Final Fantasy, the investors, and by extension, the board members, want tangible returns on a game’s success. This translates to popular things that may or may not go along with the theme of the game, in order to be popular with the kids.
And who’s fault is this? All of us. Developers who look at their fans with disgust, contempt or outright ridicule.
Stiff and stilted business executives who are woefully out of touch with their fan base.
And most of all, us, the fans. Every fan is different, so the developers can’t please them all. But the game developers try to appease the most fans as possible. When they give fans a story, they complain it’s too melodramatic. When they cut it down, fans complain the story is missing. Fans are well aware that Final Fantasy evolves. Yet, they still want the games to stay in the past.
The problem: Final Fantasy is a liberal video game pandering to the conservative-minded gamer, so to speak. This has nothing to do with politics. Conservative gamers are very risk-averse, unimaginative, and hesitate to embrace the future of a new Final Fantasy game. For example, these players complain all they do is press X to attack. Yet, they don’t explore other ways to use magic and items.
Personally, I think they should just make games for the Japanese focus groups but do their research. Also, make the characters as Western as possible, complete with coherent stories, characterizations, and innovation. You know you’ll still buy it…