It's safe to say that the Final Fantasy brand isn't as strong as it once was. In the past, Final Fantasy carried a sense of quality that's been somewhat lost recently. That's not to say games like Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 don't have their fans, but the series doesn't have the same widespread appeal as it did in Final Fantasy VII's heyday.
Square Enix acknowledges that the franchise has lost its a way a bit and it has a solution. Japanese Final Fantasy fansite FF-Reunion (translated by Siliconera) reports that Square Enix has formed a Final Fantasy committee to ensure that future Final Fantasy titles live up to the name. The committee of four includes Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn director Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XV co-director Hajime Tabata, Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama, and Final Fantasy VI director Yoshinori Kitase.
Just like everyone has their own 'best Final Fantasy ever,' everyone probably also has an idea of who should be in charge of the franchise. Like dreaming up the perfect cast for a movie adaptation or the best sports team with current athletes, this is a chance for Final Fantasy fans to pick their dream team.
Yoshida has a lot of fan favor behind him right now, being the primary architect behind the successful re-launch of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Final Fantasy Type-0 director Hajime Tabata and long-time Square Enix producer Yoshinori Kitase are solid choices and have done great work for the franchise in the past. Toriyama is a contentious choice for the fandom; being the director and scenario designer of Final Fantasy XIII, some fans believe he has an extreme focus on Final Fantasy XIII protagonist Lightning.
The interesting omissions include Tetsuya Nomura and Hiroyuki Ito. Nomura is busy directing the upcoming Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, both huge games for Square Enix, so his time is probably all wrapped up. Ito was the designer behind Final Fantasy IV's Active Time Battle system and Final Fantasy V's Job system and he recently created the concept for the mobile card-battle game Guardian Cross. Ito is mostly likely working on the Guardian Cross sequel, Deadman's Cross. The mobile game isn't that huge, so his omission in the committee seems odd.
My personal ringer would be Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre director Yasumi Matsuno, but he left the company for greener pastures awhile ago. He's currently developing Unsung Story for Playdek, but I'm sure if Square Enix really wanted him they could throw some money his way.
So who would you like to see on Square Enix' Final Fantasy committee? Who do you think could steer the series towards a bright future?
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