Square Enix: FFXIII Marks The End Of An Era
The Final Fantasy series has been a constant in gaming since the days of the NES. With the hype surrounding the Western release of the latest numbered entry, Final Fantasy XIII, you might think that Square Enix is secretly preparing yet another traditional sequel. Not so fast. According to Square Enix President and CEO Yoichi Wada, he doesn't think that the relatively safe move of offering more of the same is the best call.
"I believe Final Fantasy XIII is going be something special, and that it’s going to be well received by the audience," Wada told Edge Online in an interview. "But whether we are going to continue to internally create this type of game remains to be seen, because I actually feel that the team that was involved with Final Fantasy XIII should next move on to create and generate some ‘next generation’ forms of play. Internally and externally I feel there’s an expectation of Square Enix to offer something new, and I really think that the Final Fantasy team could create something completely different, but at the moment they’re strictly catering to the particular audience they have now."
Following up, he says that the company may have relied too heavily on its most well-known brands. "We don’t want to be seen as the company that only has Final Fantasy, or Dragon Quest, it’s true, but we would like to maintain the prospective of the audience thinking when they hear the words Square Enix that they would only think of high-quality games."
Those are some surprisingly bold words coming from the head of a company that comfortably churns out reliably decent RPGs for a sizable fanbase. Could these "next generation" forms of play refer to an entirely new way of looking at the RPG genre, or is he more interested in having its internal development focus on entirely different genres? Is Wada refering to Sony's upcoming motion controller or Microsoft's Project Natal?
What do you think? Are you happy with Square Enix's output? Would you rather see them work on completely new concepts and ideas? Do you think their design expertise extends beyond RPGs?