As if the development cycle of Final Fantasy 15 was not difficult enough, the team at Square Enix had to contend with copies of the game breaking the street date, resulting in footage of the game leaking online. All worked out well for the title in the end, but it was still a difficult time for director Hajime Tabata – although Tabata can now see some potential silver linings should a similar situation arise in the future.
In short, the Final Fantasy 15 director believes that any future leaks could be used to help promote a game. “I’d like to use the spoiler makers to our advantage and come up with a way to integrate them into promotion somehow,” said Tabata at the Game Developer’s Conference, as reported by Polygon. It would certainly be a different way of treating any leaks and spoilers, and different from how Tabata reacted to the situation this time around.
The early release of the game to some fans was clearly painful for the director, particularly given how many players were sharing their experience of the game online through footage and screenshots. “If the early birds were enjoying it in silence, we could bear it,” said Tabata. “But there were people actually actively trying to ruin the experience for those waiting for the launch with campaigns on social media.”
Tabata then put forward a statement trying to discourage fans from playing the game early. Rather than users stopping their streams and updates, however, instead the director received criticism from Final Fantasy fans. As a result of this feedback, Tabata will instead try to use any leaks in ways to try and help promote a game in future.
Whether there will be further opportunities to do this with Final Fantasy 15 is up in the air, although there could potentially be leaks surrounding the game’s upcoming DLC. One might be hoping that Square Enix will tighten the reins a little with other releases for the game, but an opportunity to try and use leaks in a positive manner could certainly come up in future with another project.
Although Final Fantasy 15 is already a commercial success, with the game making back its development costs on launch day, there’s still plenty in the pipeline for the title. In particular, fans have been hoping that a PC release could be on the cards, as spurred on by a recent PC tech test. Either way, there’s certainly more to come from the game.
Final Fantasy 15 is out now for PS4 and Xbox One.