Before Final Fantasy XV came out, Tabata gave an interview about the progress of the game and gave this curious description of his development team:
“Around that time, I realized that among fans as well, there are people who’ve caught FF disease.”
“Because of that, there was a time I told off the team, saying, ‘We’re not special. Wake Up.’ Yet, I realized that when Final Fantasy XV news was made public, this wasn’t only inside the company. Everyone has FF disease.”
Wow, this is like internet speak of calling his team members and even fans a “disease”. What prompted this diagnosis?
“It refers to people within the company who can’t imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy. Since the root is a strong self-affirmation, one’s own view of Final Fantasy takes more priority than the team’s success. If that view of Final Fantasy isn’t fulfilled, then they’re convinced that it’s bad for Final Fantasy. They think, ‘Since Final Fantasy is a special team, then we are also special because we are making it. When the new Final Fantasy comes out, everybody is going to be so into it.’ But that’s not the reality of the situation, is it?”
So then what is our own view of Final Fantasy? We took it as Tabata telling them that Final Fantasy. And we can see that Final Fantasy XV is still like a Final Fantasy game, nothing’s really changed.
But the developers and marketers aren’t the consumers. We can’t expect them to simply have just consumer concerns. I think they were talking about the nature of the business. They probably knew what was in store for Final Fantasy XV.
Remember Sakaguchi’s original vision?
“Every single game that we make, we are going to give it our all, and then we finish it, we’ll end it in such a way that there is no to be continued checklist.”
This was the business model of Final Fantasy for nearly three decades. Tabata believes this thinking is a disease. And the Final Fantasy XV universe is the panacea (supposedly).
Final Fantasy XV isn’t going to have a sequel, per se. There’s definitely a “continued checklist”, even if it’s just for one game:
- Episode Duscae: Final Fantasy XV
- Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV
- Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV
- Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
- Final Fantasy XV
- A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV
- King’s Knight: Wraith of the Dark Dragon
- Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV
- Episode (Gladio, Prompto, Ignis)
- Justice Monsters Five
- Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
- A New Empire: Final Fantasy XV
- Assassin’s Creed Collaboration
- Chocobo Carnival
- And more!
Tabata is a visionary in this regard; he revised the way Square Enix approaches Final Fantasy without breaking the tradition. And for those who don’t agree with him?
Now, those with who work by merit better pay. Anyone could tell you this will work better than seniority. The new way of doing things, versus the good old days with the “disease”.
“It wasn’t only from inside the team, but outside as well. The reason was that if my way of doing it ended up working, there are those whose circumstances will worsen.”