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Square Enix's Bizarre Hypocrisy That Still Plagues Final Fantasy

As I don't consider myself a Final Fantasy fan any longer, I admittedly only scan news concerning FFXV and Square Enix. If it's significant, I post it here; otherwise, I usually just roll my eyes and move along.

But there are times when the company's totally bizarre backward speak, which goes 'round and 'round in circles (in reverse motion, I must add), just boggles the mind.

A developer and publisher at least has to know what kind of game it wants to make. Right? This isn't about me or any of the fans; if they want to make a Final Fantasy action game, they should just go ahead and do it. But this weird melding of genre elements that neither retains new fans nor adds fresh followers hasn't been working for many years. And how does Square Enix react to this?

Well, in a recent GamesRadar interview with FFXV director Hajime Tabata, he first says the goal of the new title is to attract new players, and admits that past entries haven't done a good job doing that:

"Certainly, in recent years, getting new fans is something we haven't done very well; we really haven't achieved that."

He adds that without new fans, the audience "will continue to shrink and shrink." ...wait, why? If you're not taking in new fans, you still have your old fans, which means you won't grow very much but you certainly won't shrink. The only way you shrink is if you lose your fans. FFXIII sold 7.25 million copies worldwide; FFXIII-2 sold 3.4 million; Lightning Returns sold 1.2 million. Those numbers don't reflect an inability to bring in new fans; they reflect a mass exodus of existing fans.

Then, Tabata says he wants to "return to the roots of Final Fantasy." In the very next breath, he says they have to be "proactive" about cutting out aspects of the series that is stopping new gamers from coming into the FF fold. How in God's name can you go back to your roots and simultaneously eradicate the elements that got you your legions of fans in the first place? What kind of wacky circular logic is that?

I've been saying it for a very long time: The fastest way to franchise annihilation is to say, "we don't want these fans; we want those fans." Square Enix's goal, apparently, was never to keep their existing fans happy; rather, it was to abandon those fans and inexplicably start all over by trying to get an entirely new fan base.

Nobody can explain this insanity, can they?

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XV

Tags: final fantasy xv, ffxv, square enix, final fantasy sequel

8/11/2015 9:30:32 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (7 posts)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 10:27:28 PM

This is my limited input from a few speeches I heard when working customer support. Companies seem to be very paranoid about their current customer base. There seems to be some prevalent idea that customers are fickle and will leave quickly with no reason, so it's better to invest heavily in trying to attract new customers while putting minimal effort in retaining old ones.

This seems similar, like S-E thinks most fans leaving is an inevitability that they shouldn't bother doing more than a token effort to fight. Again, this is just a small thought that just came to mind since I remembered a couple of lectures working at comcast. I'm not exactly a business major, so I could be entirely wrong.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 6:00:49 AM

Just make another franchise for that new userbase they want to have, FFXIII combat and exploration system needed to be similar to the old ones and fuck it! a exclusive game for the PS3 with just one entry, and after 3 years release the action rpg Versus as a multi.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 7:51:28 AM

OK I just want everyone to stop and listen to this..

Final Fantasy 15 will be open world...

Final Fantasy 7 remake is being made...

Now...I'm no expert but...thats a huge game model change from ff13 and no ff7 remake... I think this new Square is listening to its customers now. After FF7 news...I have hope and excitement.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 10:25:23 AM

Did someone release a stupid gas at their office?
At this point, I believe someone actually did.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 12:16:10 PM

My heart has softened over these helpless S-E guys.
Here's hoping FFXV is a good one, whatever it ends up being.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 10:36:45 PM

FFXIV is super popular. But it has a distinct identity of it's own. That's the difference.

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Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 5:57:54 AM

hmm, let's see what has happened in the recent years. SE has decided to turn to Microsoft for money. Infinite undiscovery should be named Unfinished not infinite, as it's clear Microsoft made them release the game too soon. Same for the Last remnant. Then FFXIII that was PS exclusive at first became a long corridor with semi real time battle, and then the sequels that are so little RPG I could cry.
And they want us to still be fans, knowing that FFV was not pushed back to get on PS4, but to be released on a Microsoft console??? Go away.

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