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Final Fantasy XIII “took a little too long” to come out

Monday, 21st November 2011 06:21 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.

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15 Comments

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  1. DarkElfa

    14 years ago, it was the benchmark of RPG’s, now it’s a punchline.

    This once great series has lost all focus and any kind of clear destination or path to it’s own future.

    They should dissolve the current FF team and assemble a new one madeup of Japanese, European and American programmers and do a hard reboot of the entire premise with a clearly defined vision for what it is and where it’s going.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Aimless

    @1 It’s funny you should say that as I’d say the series is defined by reinvention; practically every entry is a reboot.

    If Square-Enix wants to turn to a Western series for inspiration it should be Uncharted. Not for its spectacle, systems or storylines but the characterisation: if FFXIII‘s cast had been a fraction as personable as Drake and his pals I’m confident the game would have been received far more warmly. Might be an idea to present your plot in a way that doesn’t require people to read up on what’s going on via a separate codex, too; obtuseness shouldn’t be confused for sophistication.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    @DarkElfa,
    “14 years ago, it was the benchmark of RPG’s, now it’s a punchline.”

    what? Is this a joke?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Strandli

    The series may not be a front-runner like it used to, but it’s still an enjoyable franchise.
    Not everyone likes western RPGs, and Final Fantasy are one of the few JRPGs left, so I wouldn’t count it out. Western RPGs has gotten a lot better, but I really don’t like them, so I’m glad Final Fantasy is still going strong.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. voguevoguevogue

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    #5 2 years ago
  6. DaMan

    Last time FF was a front runner of jrpgs was in 1994, I’m yet to see a FF game remotely as good as Chrono Trigger or Xg. Or even the original Suikodens/SO Second Story. Shadow Hearts was close too.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Clupula

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who does not want the series to become some sort of Elder Scrolls clone. Keep American and European programmers far, far away from the series. Personally, I thought FFXIII was an improvement over XII, which was just abysmal.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Coheno

    No shit sherlock! Too long is an understatement! *Hrmpf* Versus XIII *Hrmpf* (but yeah lets not talk about that!)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DarkElfa

    @2, correction, it’s the exact same reinvention everytime.

    @3, No Erthazus, you’re the joke. Also, you’re an ass. You can now defend yourself or wait for a fellow forum mate to do it for you. God luck with the latter.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. GenericShooterSoldier

    @9 Sorry are you meaning to say that after FF VII the series went completely downhill!? Have you never played Final Fantasy 9 which in my opinion and so many other is one of the most underrated Final Fantasy’s in the series. For so many Final Fantasy fans out there like myself it is the “benchmark”.

    You cant just make a claim like that DarkElfa. Final Fantasy is still one of the most critically regarded series’ of all time and yes it even was 14 years ago believe it or not. The Final Fantasy series has never had a vision. The games aren’t a continuation. They are just straight-up RPG’s and that is why they are loved. Final Fantasy is not a tacky trademark, it is a respected signature.

    Just needs a little reworking now but nothing extreme as ur suggesting. At the end of the day its FINAL FANTASY…dont try and change that.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DarkElfa

    @10, I disagree. Plus, I’m not saying that FF9 was a bad game, but by the time it came out, FF was no longer the best of the best in RPG’s anymore. It should have been and while 9 was great, the series as a whole was becoming weaker.

    Look, I’m not looking to start some half assed, fanboy retard defensive debate over FF. I’m a fan of the series. I just think they need a new vision and focused direction for the game. I’m not saying they become a western RPG, I’m saying maybe they need to figure out exactly what they are and what they need to become in order to once again own faces.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. tatsujin

    Asshole. Bring Versus XIII out already. Stop trying to act cool with reports and shit. Versus XIII is so late already.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. GenericShooterSoldier

    @ 11

    yeah i get ur point and do agree with you on a whole. I juts dont want them to ruin the formula with too many drastic changes. Here’s to hoping XIII-2 is a return to form!

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @11 The only thing Square Enix needs to stop doing is spending days worth of development time just to design rock a single rock in the background.

    Yes, there was a news story about that one. How the artists were so meticulous that they actually did that.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DarkElfa

    Well said Ireland.

    #15 2 years ago