Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata doesn’t hold back in discussing what he thinks could have hindered the latest Final Fantasy‘s development.
It’s no secret that the future of JRPGs as a genre might be determined by the success or failure of Square Enix’s upcoming Final Fantasy 15. The Final Fantasy series has long been synonymous with the genre, and given the recent shortcomings of games like Final Fantasy 13, it’s understandable that fans are a little nervous about the future of what was once a stalwart class of games in the industry.
That close relationship between the notion of a Final Fantasy game and JRPGs, however, might not have been as beneficial as Square Enix and gamers alike previously thought. Hajime Tabata, the outspoken director behind Final Fantasy 15, insinuated recently in an interview with Japanese site 4Gamer that the historical significance and fan dedication toward Final Fantasy might have been a hindrance that he calls Final Fantasy disease:
“[Final Fantasy disease] refers to people within the company who can’t imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy…one’s own view of Final Fantasy takes more priority than the team’s success.”
While harsh, that’s exactly the kind of sentiment that Tabata has brought to a franchise that has become stagnant in recent years and desperate for a revitalization of sorts. Essentially, Tabata believes that many people think Final Fantasy games must fit into a specific mold based on previous iterations, but that notion excludes gamers who aren’t already invested in Final Fantasy 15 and could have a negative impact on sales and reception.
Tabata also notes that, after Square Enix began to publicly display new information about Final Fantasy 15, he realized the Final Fantasy disease had spread well outside the company itself. Tabata says that “everyone has Final Fantasy disease”, and while it might be hyperbole to suggest every gamer in the world has an opinion on Final Fantasy, it’s certainly true that many people reacted negatively to the game’s first trailer. That trailer showed very different gameplay than fans were accustomed to, which sort of proves Tabata’s point about everyone believing Final Fantasy 15 has to fit into a certain formula.
While it’s true that Final Fantasy disease might have colored fans’ initial reception of the new game, however, the infection seems to be under control now that Tabata and the development team have presented so much of Final Fantasy 15‘s content. Sales for the expensive collector’s editions were so fast that Square Enix is now producing more Final Fantasy 15 Ultimate Collectors Editions, and the hype for the game after the Final Fantasy Uncovered event earlier this year has never been higher.
If gamers think they might have Final Fantasy disease, it’s possible the only way to know for sure is to purchase a copy and see for themselves. What do you think about Tabata’s definition of Final Fantasy disease? Do you think you have it, and is it contagious? Let us know in the comments below.
Final Fantasy 15 will be available on September 30, 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One. No word yet on whether a doctor’s note for Final Fantasy disease will allow gamers to take a few days off work to play upon release, however.