Toriyama: Next story-driven Final Fantasy will be more open than FFXIII

Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:31 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Motomu Toriyama has said the next story-driven Final Fantasy game will be more open-world then Final Fantasy XIII’s mostly linear approach.

Speaking with Gama, however, the FFXIII writer stressed how hard it was to try to get free-roaming stuff and towns into a game with the HD consoles.

“Personally, the Final Fantasies that I have worked on have been very story-driven, so in terms of the development I wanted to, of course, use my personal strengths which where those,” Toriyama said.

“I call it a bento box system, where you have all of the different little things in there. So we had minigames or towns were you were able to talk to all of the townspeople. But with the HD console you’re not really able to do that because it takes so long to develop.

“Now that we have that base technology… The next time you see a Final Fantasy, we might be able to pack in more of those elements that existed in the past.

“And I also think that a game doesn’t need to have all of those items in the future. We can create additional downloadable content for people to add, too. It doesn’t have to come with that game itself.”

Final Fantasy XIII launched in the west on Tuesday for PS3 and 360. Square Enix announced yesterday it had shipped over 5 million units of the game worldwide.

Toriyama will be giving a speech at GDC later today.


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  1. Erthazus

    *But with the HD console you’re not really able to do that because it takes so long to develop.* — Bullshit. Complete bullshit.

    Final Fantasy 15 see ya till 2020.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. NiceFellow

    Translation – we hear the complaints and we obey but let’s give an excuse anyway.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. JonFE

    Final Fantasy XV exclusivity to PS3 confirmed!!!


    #3 5 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    @3 where? Oo

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Kaufer

    OMG! It’ll be in 4 blu-rays because its in HD. Damn you technology always foiling SE’s plans for cheap world domination.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Blerk

    Western developers don’t seem to be having much trouble getting all that stuff into their HD RPGs, Mr Toriyama. Perhaps if you spent a bit less time on the eye-candy and put a bit more effort into the actual game you’d be done in a fraction of the time?

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Freek

    You keep hearing how japanese developers are heaving difficulties transitioning into the new HD era, this might have something to do with that.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. JonFE


    I was being sarcastic.

    The internet consensus is that FFXIII was linear because they had to limit the necessity for swapping disks for the x360 SKU. In order to make the next story driven FF open, they must disregard disk swapping, thus excluding a x360 SKU.

    What can I say, I have a weird sense of humor :lol:

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Blerk

    If they didn’t have 30-odd gigs of pre-rendered video in their games then they’d probably be able to fit them onto a single DVD. :-|

    #9 5 years ago
  10. JonFE

    I know Blerk, but, to be honest, it wouldn’t be a FF game without that pre-rendered video now, would it?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Blerk

    No, and that’s precisely why I want them to ditch it. It’s time for an FF game to be something else. :-)

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Retroid


    I think you meant to say “crywanking fanboy consensus,” those who like to ignore how long FFXIII was in developement even before MS’ brown envelope arrived :)

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Erthazus

    @11 Please No. I really like CGI from Square Enix. For me Square enix and Blizzard are two best studios with CGI. They know how to create awesome fantasy stuff.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Blerk

    I agree. And they should use it to make movies, where it belongs.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    And I disagree with you Blerk. I like watching their CGIs in the games they make. FFXIII is by far one of the best looking games out there. Square just needs to get with the program and just stick with the Sony and use the Blu ray to the fullest.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    15@ PS3 still have potential with Final Fantasy XIII Versus.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Phoenixblight

    It definitely has potential but with all of Square’s whining and complaining lately I am not going to build up hype for it.

    Not saying FFXIII is crap because it certainly isn’t but its nothing like the previous FFs especially with the lack of towns.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    @17 Nomura and Kingdom Hearts team working on FFXIII Versus so its not going to be Square Enix whining at all.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Scyrenn

    Visiting towns wouldn’t exactly make much sense in the story so far (I’m at the start of disc 2).

    Loving it. :D


    #19 5 years ago
  20. Mike

    “Toriyama: Next story-driven Final Fantasy will be more open than FFXIII”

    Or perhaps, just put the hackneyed franchise to bed and move on?

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Dralen

    I didn’t have a problem with the linear layout. It focuses on the story and characters, which is what I like about the game.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. JonFE


    Ooh, please, why do you have to be such a killjoy? :D

    #22 5 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    They(jrpg makers) really need a rethink.

    FF feels dated.

    And to be honest the great graphics every seems to be praising is just a cut scenes. They are well done, but it is just glossy CGI. The game itself isn’t on near the same level of eye candy.

    FF was a flop in my opinion. I sent the game back(gamefly), I played long enough to get to the actual leveling up/char development. And after seeing that doing that wasn’t going to help or change the way I felt about the game, I stoped playing.

    Why “stick” with it? Why drudge through? Just to say I completed the game? I didn’t enjoy the first 6 hours, I am not going to enjoy the next 20.

    I see this as further evidence that JP not only doesn’t have the clought it once used to, but I say they really don’t matter. This is FF, it doesn’t get any bigger then that. Sports, FPS, Strategy, Action, Online, Racing, and yes even RPG … western devs have closed the once wide gap and in most cases pulled ahead.

    I would rather play Fallout, MassEffect, WoW, TourchLight, Dragon Age, or even Too Human then play FF. GT5 is going to be nice, but not like Forza is bad. The JP don’t have an answer for MW2 or BFBC2. Fifa, Pes, Madden, MLB, and NCAA. Bayonetta and DMC are nice, but GoW, Brutal Legend, and Darksiders are all equaly good if not better.

    Look, all I am saying is that is time to look beyond JP. While they were remaking the same old games, and playing handhelds, the rest of the world over took them.

    FF is what it is. Drowning in the flamboyant, overdramatic, structed, chars, story, and gameplay it has always had. Maybe more people notice it now because they have more choices to play.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. DaMan

    I don’t understand your generalization. it’s true that some (maybe even most) of the japanese devs are being arrogant and continue to ignore the west. it is actually the reason they fell behind atm.

    why bring someone like Platinum into this? you believe they are unaware of all those problems? seriously, Kamiya himself even admitted GoW plot presentation being fantastic. same as Stig Asmussen commented how “Game devs may cry” after watching DMC before that. they are one of the few japanese devs who actually look at their western counterparts, and try to improve. even if you ignore the fact that these are vastly different titles, can you do anything close to Bayo/Dante’s combos in GoW? are Darksiders combat mechanics as deep? I don’t see how that’s even remotely similar to what happened with their rpgs.

    also Too Human was a disaster . I’d rather play Cross Edge than that game.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Michael O’Connor

    “But with the HD console you’re not really able to do that because it takes so long to develop.”

    It wouldn’t take so bloody long to develop if you didn’t spend so much time concentrating on the subtle contours of a goddamn rock that stays on screen for the better part of a second.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    I did, perhaps, over generalize.

    But the RPG is jps swang song, and as such draws the most attention, from fans ans critics alike. I was simply drawing comparasions to other games and generes in general.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. DaMan

    okay, I see.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Erthazus

    @23 I completely disagree and here’s why:
    there are games like Lost Planet 2, Bayonetta, Street Fighter 4 that looks absolutely great. There are a lot of talented people. There is Valkyria Chronicles for PS3 that in my opinion maybe the best game for Playstation 3 or any platform this generation. There is Demons Souls, Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Yakuza 3|4… Resonance Of Fate and other phenomenon games from Japan. There is also Tetsuya Nomura with Kingdom Hears team that want to show us new Final Fantasy XIII Versus and it have a chance to be really good.
    Japan game industry is not done, sure 80% suffering from crisis and a lot of media and entertainment business is suffering really hard, but they are trying and trying really hard for every consumer out there.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. OlderGamer

    I don’t think they are done. And surly there will be gems here and there/ But I do feel they are no longer the driving powerhouse behind the games industry. I think they have lost their edge. And at this point, I feel they continue to fall further behind the west.

    Many of the games you sighted Erthazus, are grephical updates and retweaks of older and dated games(esp when we look at Nintendo made games).

    I have always liked Sega, and feel that the game industry suffered when they left the hardware side of things because they brought a forward progressive way of doing things. They have at times been almost western. PSO is a Diablo game. The Dreamcast had online built in.

    Lost Planet is a great example of Capcoms western take on games too. They have also been western influanced, look at Monster Hunter.

    The case could be made for this company or that, this game or that. However, on the whole, taking a larger picture … I feel I am right.

    And your talking to a guy that used to import games to play on my JP Saturn. I own a NEO GEO, TurboDuo and so on. Today however, I don’t import. I rarely even play a JP game. And I think they have becomes so self absorbed and full of themself that I find it a bit sad. I think the games that often come out of JP are so coated in JP style that they are hard to play.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Monk

    but to me I think when some Japanese dev change there direction
    to make it more western game, as what happen with RE4 and RE5,
    the game lose it`s beauty.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. DaMan

    true about Sega btw, they even had a ‘no rpg’ policy at one point hehe.

    always liked Mega Drive more than the SNES btw.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. OlderGamer

    Maybe instead of doing RE4 and RE5, Capcom might have wanted to do new games. More along the lines L4D. Or slow doing REs gameplay to make it more of a mystary game. I don’t know if it the 4 bullets and 5 zombies, the slow char movement, the camera issues or what. But RE never connected with me. I actualy liked the changes in RE 4. But I know a lot of fans didn’t.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. DrDamn

    I want my JP games to be coated in JP style – isn’t that what gives them their identity? Where JP games have gone wrong is trying to pander to a Western audience. Where they stick to their guns and keep to their roots they are stronger. Why try to be like the Western devs? There are plenty of them out there already.

    “The JP don’t have an answer for MW2 or BFBC2. Fifa, Pes, Madden, MLB, and NCAA.”

    Why should they have an answer to the big FPSs? They don’t really like them. I think they may just have an answer for PES though eh?

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Freek

    FF7 had tons of CG, and it came on multipell discs and it had (for it’s day) a detailed art style.
    And a world map, and towns, and side quests.

    Same for FF8 and 9.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. Neolucifer

    “Why should they have an answer to the big FPSs? They don’t really like them. I think they may just have an answer for PES though eh?”

    Agreed …
    THis “jrpg are done” or “japan is tired” arguments and charade are too easy and contrived .

    Fps from Oldgamer are a very good example , of opinions twist into facts .

    The japanese public is known for his lack of interect in most fps .
    Likewise let’s not pretend the West was actually into jrpgs to begin with .

    It has always been a fringe of western gaming , pandering a few people , aside from the occasional franchise that would attract millions of players like final fantasy (wich well apparently still does).

    What has actually changed nowadays ? For starters , and ironically when rumors of it’s doom are pending so abundantly , jrpg have never been stronger in the west .
    In the 90s , and even early 00s , you wouldnt have seen a game like Demon souls get such sales .

    Atlus wouldnt meet the success it has now with longstanding and already existing franchises sur as Persona and Shin megami tensei .

    Nippon ichi’s disgaea would have remain as obscure as Front mission or Tactics ogre was .

    Etc etc …

    What else has changed since ? Well now consoles got wrpg actually worth playing . Wich is great for everyone …except that someone those players wishes to tranfigure a genre gaming they dont even care about into “wrpg with wasabi”

    Let’s not pretend that most of the public of Oblivion , fallout or even Mass effect , card much about jrpg once upon a time .
    Sure there are people who did , and grew tired of the genre , but i doubt they are the majority .

    I wont deny that the japanese game industry is a bit of a slump lately … and often late when it come to 3d technology … but most westerns fans still stands and are still happy overall .

    Not every games and genres HAVE and should pander to worldwide demographics . IF you browse through a few japanese sites , you’ll notice that some japanese folks got sentiments of hostility toward wrpgs and a few dislikes that easily mirrors and echos some people’s feelings about jrpgs .

    If WRPG and the west was the absolute leader , and de facto “right way” , it would crush easily jrpgs and other kind of japanese centric games .
    Yet is is far from doing so .

    Variety exist for a reason .. it allows each culture to do their stuff without losing their identity , and the traduional rogue projects that would blend genres to our pleasure .

    #35 5 years ago
  36. DaMan

    Atlus were succesful in 2004. I think Persona4 did like 100k in US. or were the sales of Eternal Punishment even worse (I don’t know actually)? and they haven’t released a single current gen title. how’s that good at all?

    Nippon Ichi are doing awful lately.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. Galactic_Barret

    The most ironic thing about all of this JP games industry stuff is that the company whom has relied on them the most in their prime (SCE), was the first to be shunned. MS thrives on western devs, while strategically using JP games (and eager devs) to slowly degrade their relevancy. Ninty has been near self reliant for a decade. Sony, though, needed them in the beginning of this gen, to be ignored for HHs and such. Now, PS3 is doing better,SCE knows good tech(niques) yet that relationship seems strained.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. Neolucifer


    Aside from a few aficionados , and given the poor treatment of pe1 and p2 back then , atlus was for sure doing worse with eternal punishement back .

    And persona 4 was actually a big success for them in the west , along with quite a few psp and ds games . Wich tell you how marginal , compared to other genres , jrpg has been , for a long time , if not always in the west .
    They also released the western version of Demon souls to much success . Soon enough in may they’ll release as well 3D Dot Game Heroes in US , and they’ve already released quite a few 360 titles .

    Wich publisher would be bigger and meet bigger success anyway ? Obviously Square …
    They you’d have namco with it’s Tales of games , wich they didnt and still dont even bother always porting over the west .

    Maybe level 5…

    You’d be hard pressed to find , through history , jrpg selling in huge quantity through the west , except the usual suspect : square games , and mainly final fantasy , nintendo with pokemon and a few titles like golden sun … and not many other i can think of right now .

    And yeah it’s a shame for NIS , but they brought it on themselves , with a rather conventional disgaea 3 .

    #38 5 years ago
  39. DaMan

    that’s the point though, they went to handhelds. I don’t
    see how’s that good. Breath of fire died on PS1, Suikoden gradually died in mid 2000s etc.

    no crap, I know how jrpgs did in the west back then, with only FFs selling like that. the dev cost is different nowdays, if things remain the same jrpgs will completely migrate to handhelds/mobile. maybe there will be a couple of exceptions like Demon’s souls.

    #39 5 years ago
  40. Neolucifer

    Again i’m not denying a crisis , like everywhere else .
    Many publishers were already behind tech wise and too much involved with handhelds , when it came full on , but yet still no reason for such gloom and doom .

    For starters FF has been often the herald and first major (or noticable) wave before many jrpgs .
    Not to mention one particularity this gen , with SE apparently backing the wrong horse in japan , at first .

    In Atlus’s case they didnt necessarily went handheld . They spent the past few years releasing big ps2 rpgs back to back . With Persona 4 dating from december 2008 , and devil summor 2 even after .
    For such a comp,nay it would not be easy to immediately swtich to a new generation of console from the get go .

    Still i would be very surprised if Persona5 or SMT4 arent “next gen” rpgs .

    Likewise , it took Gust some time to be able to release their first next gen atelier on ps3 .
    Yet now they are already announcing the second one .

    Wich bring me to that , it’s pretty obvious most would follow that M.O … building up an engine , sometimes painfully (as it seemed with Square) , with the first game taking quite some time … them the pace get’s quicker for the following titles .

    #40 5 years ago

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