After ten long years, the game that became known as Final Fantasy XV finally has a release date. This September, players will get to play the next mainline Final Fantasy title. Square Enix' expectations for the game are high and in an interview with GameInformer, director Hajime Tabata says the title is a "make or break" game for the franchise in the company's home region.
"For Japan, I believe it is a 'make or break' for the franchise," explained Tabata. "If the Final Fantasy brand is on its demise in terms of its numbered, mainline series within Japan, then I feel like it would also follow suit globally. The Japanese console game market is definitely getting smaller and that directly connects to the fact that the demand for consoles and console games is declining. At the same time, that means a decline in the Final Fantasy IP."
The recent demo for the game, Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV, felt more like a tech demo than an actual representation of the final game. The truth is, FFXV is a showcase for all the work the studio has put into the Luminous Engine. For Square Enix, focusing on the graphics and technical aspect is a part of recapturing what Final Fantasy means as brand.
"Going back to [Final Fantasy VII], the image that [fans] had was that it was an RPG that used the latest technology," said Tabata. "With Final Fantasy XV, we wanted to once again confidently deliver the fact that this is an RPG that we're delivering with the latest cutting-edge technology that we've mastered. That's why we've wanted to invest in that and also challenge ourselves on that front."
Despite the decline of consoles in Square Enix' domestic region, Tabata has been reaching out and talking to fans worldwide since taking over the game. He understands the disappointment those fans feel with the overall direction of the franchise and he hopes that Final Fantasy XV can right the ship.
"One other important thing that I've been able to feel from a lot of the Final Fantasy fans is that they're disappointed in the current state of Final Fantasy, but also have some hope as to where the Final Fantasy brand could go," said Tabata. "It's something I can definitely understand and the reality is not that the situation is okay, rather it's a more grave and serious situation. Through communicating with people, I did start to get a sense of what they look forward to in a Final Fantasy game and I'm hoping that Final Fantasy XV will be an answer to that."
The full interview is available at GameInformer. Final Fantasy XV is coming out September 30, 2016 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.