Square Enix Remains Hell-Bent On Ruining Final Fantasy
The news took some time to process. For someone who has been a die-hard Final Fantasy fan since the Super Nintendo days, something like that takes a while to sink in.
Thing is, we're all older now. We consider a lot of different factors before arriving at a conclusion.
We consider Square Enix's position in the flagging Japanese gaming market, as they - and most other Japanese developers - desperately attempt to cater to Western markets. We consider that nostalgia frequently plays a role and in fact, despite what we may think, old-school mechanics like turn-based combat really might lead to financial disaster. We consider the new crowd of gamers and what they want as opposed to what we of a different generation want.
But even after considering it from every possible angle, I'm still pissed. This just boggles the mind. Perhaps most infuriating is Kitase's comment about how action RPGs are a trend and "one you ignore you at your own peril." Goddamnit, the only reason it's a "trend" is because it's basically the only type of RPG that exists anymore! It's not like gamers have much of a choice. Sure, there are a few handheld and digital productions that utilize turn-based fighting but full-budget productions are few and far between. Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland is a definite rarity.
Fact: Gamers didn't start to abandon turn-based combat, game makers took it away.
And beyond that, why, why, why would a company completely ignore a large and vocal group of fans? How is that beneficial? Yes, we understand that you have to expand to survive; that you have to lure in new fans. But at the expense of those who would've followed you to the ends of the earth? Who bought just about anything with "Squaresoft" on the box in the original PlayStation generation? How can that possibly help? Maybe you just don't believe them when they say they'd love a classic turn-based Final Fantasy in a modern style. Maybe you think there aren't enough of them.
Okay. But I don't see a whole lot of supporters for your cause. I don't see an opposing group going, "no, action RPG is definitely the way to go for Final Fantasy." Show me one fan who says that. And I also think it's a bad idea to underestimate the younger generation and think they all want some "twitchiness" in every game they play. Square Enix, how on God's green earth do you know what they want? Based on what we've seen in the past, you really have no idea. So what is this? Blind groping to gather in as many faceless gamers as possible to help your bottom line?
While you're flailing about in the dark, millions - millions - of fans are begging you to come to your senses. Open your ears, use your eyes, listen. The backlash is impossible to miss. All I can think of now is the time when Square Enix asked, sorta vaguely, if fans really want a Final Fantasy VII remake and their Twitter page exploded. And what did they learn from that? Apparently nothing. Look, I think FFXIII-2 will be a great game; FFXIII was a great game. They are not great iterations in the legendary Final Fantasy series and there's a reason for that.
I would just love to be a fly on the wall in a Square Enix executive or development meeting. Because at this point, I'm starting to think a well-trained monkey could've made better decisions.
11/16/2011 9:04:41 PM Ben Dutka