Wada: Western Developers Could Make A Final Fantasy
These days, the biggest difference between Japanese and Western video games is the art style. In the past, there were distinct differences in standard gameplay and even quality but now, it's more about the embedded anime-ish flair with a certain character design that tends to make Japanese-developed titles stand out.
This is how we all see the Final Fantasy franchise, which has been quintessentially Japanese from the get-go. But in this big push by many Eastern developers to embrace gamers outside Japan who may not dig that atmosphere, we may start seeing Japanese designers purposely going another route. Heck, it has already begun to happen, obviously. But what if Square-Enix decided to lend out the FF license to a Western developer? ...wouldn't the world implode, or something? According to what S-E boss Yoichi Wada told European website Play.tm, there's the possibility that we might see a Western-created Final Fantasy entry at some point. Said Wada:
"That is one of the possible paths, but it’s not something that we would shift completely over to. There is always a possibility that Final Fantasy could be produced with the input of our Western developers, overseen by our Japanese developers."
He goes on to mention Batman: Arkham Asylum as a potential template for producing titles that really appeal to the Western masses. He says it's a game "that is very like the Japanese taste in games" and also says it's "like the best aspects of Metal Gear Solid, but evolved." Okay, Batman was great but we're not going that far. Even so, we understand his zeal; Square-Enix has been trying to expand and diversify their core demographic for the past few years, which has resulted in games with a heavier "Western tinge" (Nier comes to mind) and the opening of their LA studio. But a FF from a Western team?
Oh, I have plenty of faith in the talented devs out there but one of the reasons we all love FF is that distinctly Japanese flair. Or am I wrong...?
1/5/2010 10:22:59 AM Ben Dutka