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Square Enix: Better To Do A Sequel Than A New Game

Okay, that's it. It's obvious that the devil walks amongst us, and he's currently in charge of Square Enix operations.

In a new interview with Game Informer, Square Enix producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama spoke about the concept of sequels, and how it should apply to their vaunted Final Fantasy franchise. Said Kitase:

"We feel that there's a lot of merit to doing a sequel rather than doing a whole other numbered game in the sense that we're not building everything from the ground up.

We have the engine, the environment, the characters, and the basic storyline. That's already laid out for us so we're able to spend more time fine-tuning the game and listening to the fans, and making changes based off the feedback."

This feeds off what Kitase said concerning faster development cycles; obviously, if you already have everything you need to make a new game, you don't have to start from scratch and hence- shorter dev cycle. And Kitase does admit that it can be more difficult to spark interest in the same universe and characters; it's the "biggest challenge," he says.

There's really only one encouraging part of the entire interview, and that's when Toriyama said Square Enix has been doing "user tests" and utilizing any feedback they receive.

"Not only do we share our content internally, we've also been doing user tests and taking that feedback to make more adjustments to the gameplay. We started this process in the alpha, which is about a year earlier than we did with Final Fantasy XIII."

The ironic part about this is that if they do in fact take user feedback, we figure the majority would be screaming about how the series has always been fresh. About how, with the exception of Final Fantasy X-2 (which hardly ranks high on the greatest-FF-of-all-time list), every game has given us something entirely new, from the world to the story to the characters to the gameplay.

But no. Sequels, faster, quicker dev cycles for the sake of more games, and overall faster, simpler gameplay because "action RPGs" are a "trend you ignore at your own peril." ...fan-freakin'-tastic.

Tags: square enix, final fantasy, ffxiii-2, final fantasy xiii 2, final fantasy sequel

11/25/2011 10:29:54 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 10:45:43 AM
Reply

You know, it's so painfully obvious that Square Enix is basically looking up to games like Modern Warfare 3 as role models. S-E is like a bunch of children looking to the parents; the parents who know how the world runs.

To succeed in the western markets, they look at Call of Duty- fast dev cycle (hell, one new game a year), don't bother with creating much of anything new (including engines), and make it as fast and mainstream as humanly possible.

How they believe this applies to Final Fantasy is totally and completely beyond me. You CANNOT take a Call of Duty approach with FF. You really, really can't. 'sigh'

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/25/2011 10:46:10 AM

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Clamedeus
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 10:54:14 AM

Agreed!

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Beamboom
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:06:19 AM

Indeed.
If they must look up to a western franchise, at least look up to a franchise within their own realm of genre?
An online fps is like the direct opposite of a offline rpg!

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FullmetalX10
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:19:14 AM

And Final Fantasy was here before CoD too -_-
So this giant successful long running franchise is throwing everything aside and is making room for this short term once a year game option...

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Underdog15
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:29:57 AM

I would completely understand their line of thinking if they had continued to do what they have always done and failed. But they haven't. Their old methods of game development and gameplay mechanics just stopped being made. They have never failed. They simply have not been given a chance.

Until they actually make an excellent traditional jRPG with traditional gameplay elements that, despite great quality, follows up with failure... I will eternally call "BS" on SE.

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main_event05
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 7:26:56 PM

I do think they are trying to be western. But I think they are also just getting lazy. Remember when the said a FF7 remake would take to long and be too difficult? Now it's easier to just make a sequel.

hmmm....

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godsman
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 8:10:43 PM

Ben, why did you write the article and then be the first to comment on it?

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Lawless SXE
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 8:20:21 PM

godsman,
Because sometimes, the comments do not belong in the article, as is the case here.

But yeah, they definitely are trying to emulate CoD. It's just not right. Better they look to Kojima for how to keep people interested in their projects. Make people think about them, damnit, don't overwhelm them.

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Underdog15
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 12:37:21 AM

The written piece is a professional entry. Comments sections are to participate as an individual.

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shadowscorpio
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 12:25:45 PM

The formor head - honcho of Squaresoft and the monolith soft gang where the true influence and masterminds to the Final Fantasy franchise. Sure, there are a few of them that have stuck with the company but it's clear that they don't have the type of influence that this/these new disease/diseases that run the company has/have.

It is so obvious that FF is becoming Call of Duty.

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Douchebaguette
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 10:59:22 AM
Reply

...are these people on crack?

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shadowscorpio
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 12:30:37 PM

You would think? Its like SE consists on robots that look like people and are following a dasterdly genuious's plan to destroy the Final Fantasy and maybe SE too.

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gbhsiris
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:09:06 AM
Reply

What's truly depressing is that this mentality isn't just to appease western markets. MW3 outsold Ni no Kuni by 100,000 units this past week, which is just soul-wrenchingly sad. The Japanese are drinking the kool-aid of shittiness. Western customers have been out buying or at least equally performing with the Japanese market on a number of their domestic titles (Okami, The World Ends With You, Kingdom Hearts series, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Muramasa, etc.) I know it's kinda depressing, but the best thing we as fans can do is buy as many products as possible to show that there is indeed a market for creative, beautiful, and purely Japanese games, even if it is outside their own borders.

Last edited by gbhsiris on 11/25/2011 11:13:39 AM

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enjoi
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:24:31 AM

This is the new gaming age unfortunately. The problem for SE is that CoD is a phenomenon that sells well not because its an amazing game but that it is popular. They fail to realize that no jrpg will ever match it's sales no matter how westernized it becomes.

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Beamboom
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:53:51 AM

That is a good point. Seems it after all is the gaming market in general - local as well as western - they try to appease.

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Zemus101
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 12:03:49 PM

In the next few months or so I'll be picking up White Knight Chronicles 2, and Disgaea4. So I'll be doing my part eventually. The problem here is, rather than picking those games up when they released, I opted to play Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.

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Ludakriss
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 5:35:46 AM

That's a beautiful outlook you've got there, gbhsiris. Unfortunately the beautiful, the colorful and the majestic are seemingly not in the best interest of business. Shit word, ain't it?

It's almost insulting when this, almost, ghostly fact that gaming is a business for all these companies, is spoken of. You know? You don't really hear guitarists, dj's or other artists speaking of their creations as business.

I hope these parallels are good enough example of what I meant to say.

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Excelsior1
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 11:58:28 AM
Reply

I am all for increased production from the Japanese gaming industry. How many games has Square even made this gen for the PS3? Having said that, it seems pretty obvious Square is really reaching when talking sequels in regards to FF. That is taking the series to a place where I am pretty sure most FF fans would not like.

It's probably not going to change anytime soon, either. Not as long as Wada(mr. 360) is in charge. What happened this gen? Why does it seem like so many Japanese developers have lost their minds? So many great series have been ran into the ground this gen. Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and DMC. Too much coveting of NA and abandoning the things that made Japanese developers great in the first place.

When I think about I want to somehow blame the 360's success in NA. When jrpgs did not sell on a console that is known for shooters it's almost like some of these companies just interpreted that as NA does not like jrpgs, and we are all a bunch of Cod drones. It's pretty obvious there is some "twitch" in FF13's battle system. No doubt that was done in an attempt to cater to the Cod crowd. What Square totally does not get is that your average Cod player would not even be playing a FF game to begin with. Why risk alienating your old fans?

Also, somebody needs to put a muzzle on whoever is speaking on Square's behalf recently. Their comments lately have done more harm than good. Less talking. More making games please. FF vs 13 before the end of this gen would be nice.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/25/2011 12:00:55 PM

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Jawknee
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 12:25:20 PM
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Lame.

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Raze22
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 12:28:01 PM
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To square enix: So who are the people giving you the feed back? That is what I want to know. Don't just say fans, be more specific.

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Ludakriss
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 5:38:17 AM

Bullzeye! Well done. I bet those facts would shed an incredibly obvious light on the matter. However, not really achievable.

Looking at Squeeninx's reaction to the "feedback" though, I think we can all agree it wasn't the core "regulars" of the FF universe that gave the feedback.

Last edited by Ludakriss on 11/28/2011 6:46:55 AM

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Riku994
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 12:28:35 PM
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At least we know that Wada is Satan now. The hints were all there before :P

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allDFlavors
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 12:47:28 PM
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So... now I get to end my lifetime companionship of Final Fantasy games with the greatly disappointing XIII? They're not even going to try and make a comeback to the games I grew up with and loved?

Dammit, Square... I'll leave a flower on your grave.

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Underdog15
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:02:29 PM

In memory of the flower girl with the white materia?

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totozero18
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 8:33:03 PM

In the memory of all our adolescence gaming memories.....

The day the world went away seems like an accurate soundtrack to read this.

Last edited by totozero18 on 11/25/2011 8:35:18 PM

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JohnnyKey
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:07:01 PM
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What happened to this company? :(

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Highlander
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:08:29 PM
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Ugh.....I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. Thanks SE, for another bitter tasting day.

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Geobaldi
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:22:05 PM
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Like everyone else, I haven't been very pleased with this company as of late. Though I am happy that they're opening a new studio just to concentrate on a new Hitman game.

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TheOldOne
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:37:01 PM
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So, they are officially going south now? And I was still hoping for FFXIII Versus ... :(

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daus26
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:44:10 PM
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It just seems like they're trolling us (the hardcore fans).

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 1:50:50 PM
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It's gotten to the point where just reading about another of SE's supposedly "innovating" or "winning" formulas, to completely eradicate the once beloved Final Fantasy franchise, just succeeds in making me physically tired and weary.

Disturbing effect, but true.

And while I don't want to let Final Fantasy go so easily, SE is making it surprisingly easy for me.... =/

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Snaaaake
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 5:29:07 PM
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Even Kitase is affected eh?
Jeez, at least let Kitase direct some of the future games instead as a producer, GET TORIYAMA OFF THE HELM!!!!

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Lawless SXE
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 6:31:28 PM
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But FFX came out only a year after FFIX. Their dev cycle has just gone to hell from there. There is no need to create a new engine with every new game, just tweak the old one and they could quite happily get away with a game every two and half years, which would be more than satisfactory. I think, if they look to anyone, it should be the likes of Bethesda and Rockstar, who really take the time to show the love that they have for their franchises. (Just don't look too hard at the brokenness and think that they can copy it).

Horrible.

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main_event05
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 6:57:42 PM

How often does the FF team change? And how ofter does the GTA team change? (Serious question BTW)

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Lawless SXE
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 8:17:38 PM

Well... Rockstar North has developed all of the main GTA games, with the Houser brothers in the driver's seat. Can't say the changes made to the team itself, but I'd imagine that there are very few of the original staff left over. I'd say that it's very likely an iterative process as artists, programmers, etc. come and go as they're needed, with a core staff remaining constantly. Just a guess.

FF has a more storied history. It began with Sakaguchi, who was the primary creative lead for the first five games. Kitase directed them until FFVIII, but each since has had a different director. They've had a number of different designers, writers and other key staff, so S-E's is far more variable.

But having that amount of variation could easily aid them in getting the games out the door faster by splitting into a number of different teams, a la CoD.

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main_event05
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 9:37:28 PM

Ok, what I was getting at was that maybe since the teams change there is no real attachment to the project. I know that some dev teams stay together and work on a franchise with few new members so there would be more attachment and less change where a team that is constantly changing and switching members would make drastic changes and have less attachment.

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main_event05
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 6:56:00 PM
Reply

If they are gonna do sequels "Because it's easier", they could have at least picked a better FF than FF13.

I'm still trying to give a flying fu** about the characters of 13.

Bring back Vivi and the black mages if anything. And all the mini-games too.

Last edited by main_event05 on 11/25/2011 6:58:03 PM

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Underdog15
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 12:38:46 AM

mini-games were once GLORIFIED in reviews back in the PS1 days.

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main_event05
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 9:22:38 AM

My favorite FF mini game next to Blitzball and the scouting, you know that was a game in itself, was Chocobo Hot or Cold.

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Ludakriss
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 7:07:35 AM

Oh, the mini games. How absolutely they have to make a return to the FF. Sigh...even Dead Space 1 had mini games AND they were fun.

Makes a game more alive in a way. Doesn't take itself too seriously. =)

Last edited by Ludakriss on 11/28/2011 7:07:48 AM

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Dancemachine55
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 9:32:56 PM
Reply

Another CRAZY comment from Wada and Co!

What on Earth will they say next to destroy their once beloved and most popular franchise?!?!

Tune in next week!! Only on PSXextreme!!!

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 2:16:04 AM
Reply

...Sequels, faster, quicker dev cycles for the sake of more games, and overall faster, simpler gameplay because "action RPGs" are a "trend you ignore at your own peril." ...fan-freakin'-tastic. --- this equals faster and quicker path to the death tomb with Rotten Wada and Co. in it.

sheer suicidal tactics based on shameless greed and being irresponsible to the true fans. go die faster, bunches of brainless heartless bastards.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/26/2011 2:17:15 AM

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___________
Saturday, November 26, 2011 @ 5:13:39 AM
Reply

hes got a point though.
it is easier and more financially viable to do a sequel then a whole new IP.
theres a reason why new IPs rarely sell well.
only problem is there not creating sequels, there creating new IPs and slapping a name of a well known series onto them.
so hes kinda contradicting himself.
its better to do sequels, thats why each game we release is so different from the last.....
makes perfect sense!

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Ather
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 3:24:07 PM
Reply

Why does Square Enix hate us?

"and listening to the fans, and making changes based off the feedback."

No. Too easy.

A sequel wouldn't be too bad, if I had any faith in their ability to makes games at all.

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keiichimorisato
Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 5:37:35 PM
Reply

well... if the game is a genially good i would play what ever they make i am not saying this as an excuse for them to make games with a faster dev cycle i think this will lead to shooter games no longer will we have 24 to 100 hour game time it'll be shortened to closer to 6 to 12 hours of gameplay.

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Ludakriss
Monday, November 28, 2011 @ 7:15:41 AM

No way would I spend money on that. The exploration and just, sinking your eyes into the environment alone will eat up 50-60 hours.

And then the masterpiece of a story comes in and you've got yourself a hefty, well spent, RPG experience.

6 - 12 hours? I don't know what that would be but, it surely is not a timeline for an RPG.

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