Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase thinks Square Enix has something to learn from rapid Western development.
“[For] the current generation console[s], Final Fantasy XIII was obviously the first game, and personally I think we took a little too long getting it out,” Kitase told GameReactor.
“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 one to two years. That is something we need to follow up, because that seems to be the best way to keep our fans interested and attracted to the franchise.”
Kitase said Square Enix “learnt a lesson” from Final Fantasy XIII’s long development period, and is much more satisfied in Final Fantasy XIII-2′s 18 month turn around.
Despite this new keenness on rapid development, Square Enix isn’t interested in adopting other company’s tech to speed things along.
“One of my colleagues at Square Enix has used Unreal Engine, and his post mortem analysis on Unreal Engine says it’s a great engine, but it does take a lot of customisation,” Kitase noted.
“So all in all it takes much the same effort, the same cost. I think Unreal Engine would be better suited to games such as a FPS, but with an RPG we would have to adapt it to lots of different types of needs. So I think it doesn’t necessarily allow us to cut down on costs really.”
The long development cycles of Final Fantasy XIII and the moderately vapourous Final Fantasy Versus XIII had some gamers wondering what had happened to the promised Fabula Nova Crystallis sequence, but Kitase maintained it is all going according to plan.
“Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 [have] always been a part of it. And Final Fantasy Type 0 was released last month in Japan, and it seemed to be very well received. We’re happy about it,” he said.
“We obviously can’t talk about a western release. As far as Final Fantasy XIII Versus goes, we are working very hard on it. I think it’s going to be a great game, but we haven’t got updated information to release at this point.”
Final Fantasy XIII-2 releases on PlayStation 3 in Japan in mid-December, ahead of a multi-platform release in the West in early 2012.