Final Fantasy Brand “Damaged” According to Wada-san

Square-Enix President Yoichi Wada spoke to the gaming press and said flat out that “The Final Fantasy brand was damaged” thanks to Final Fantasy XIV.  I personally think it has a lot to do with the disappointment that was FF XIII and then the complete disaster that XIV turned into.  Combined I’d say the FF series as a whole has been greatly damaged.  The question is whether or not it can come back.

Investors and the gaming press are both very concerned now that Dragon Quest X has been announced as an online game.  Will the same problems that plagued FF XIV show up in this game as well?  Wada-san said they are doing everything in their power to fix FF XIV and ensure that nothing like this happens with DQ X.  He also confirmed that both series would continue to have online and offline iterations moving forward.

How do you feel about the Final Fantasy series now compared to last gen and the generations before?  Do you feel the series has been damaged?  Do you find the series relevant anymore?  Sound off, we want to hear you.

4 thoughts on “Final Fantasy Brand “Damaged” According to Wada-san”

  1. Well, I’d say he’s probably referring to the sales of XIV. XIII was a profitable game for Square-Enix, especially in Japan (also generated a lot of merchandise there), and it was also reviewed well by critics for the most part. I know that fans have criticized the game heavily post-release, but I can’t help but feel that it just doesn’t matter. I didn’t think XIII was great by any means, but it’s far from a horrible game. XIV, on the other hand, seems like both a critical and commercial failure. So I’m betting that’s what he’s talking about.

    I would never “count the series out,” I find that kind of silly. I thought XIII was ok, it has nothing on the older Final Fantasy games to me, but I still believe it’s entirely possible for Square-Enix to come out with another game that has both critical and commercial appeal here. I highly expect that if XIV is announced, people will be interested, in other words. I think that the brand still has enough appeal to get people at least interested. And I definitely know that if a VII remake ever came out, the gaming community would be on fire here. This is probably the best time for Square-Enix to do so, considering the flak the series has been getting in the West.

  2. That’s exactly right Tim. He wasn’t referring to XIII, but I added that because of all the negative press received post-release, as you said. He even acknowledged that people didn’t receive the game as well as they intended. That’s why XIII-2 is suppose to fix those problems. That said, the brand has certainly seen better days. Between what people consider a disappointment in XIII and the complete disaster that was and remains XIV, I think a remake of VII could do wonders to help get people really excited for the series again. We actually need a little FF excitement. I truly miss getting all worked up about a new FF release, and XIII-2 just doesn’t do it for me.

    1. I agree that the series doesn’t seem to get nearly as much hype as it used to, yeah. I still remember when FFVII was on the way, when I originally played the demo (on the same disc as Tobal No. 1). I was incredibly excited for VII, VIII, IX, and X, and really liked all of those games. For XIII-2, I’d describe my feeling as “cautiously optimistic.” I think it’ll be better than XIII, and I’m hoping it will be good, but I don’t have much reason to believe it’ll be back to what Square had done in the past. I think that Square-Enix should take some time to re-evaluate their franchises and do a few strategic remakes to help bide their time. A FFVII remake wouldn’t just help to repair the brand’s reputation, it would also be a relatively “safe” project to work on while they can think up new concepts. I wouldn’t even mind if Square-Enix went through and did complete, next-gen remakes of FFIV through IX while they were at it. I’d think it would be better, because they could re-introduce themselves to a new generation of gamers who probably base their opinion of Square-Enix on XII, XIII, and XIV.

  3. Tim, we really see eye to eye on a lot of things my friend. I’m right there with you, but my experience goes a bit further back. I vividly remember being excited for Final Fantasy II (IV). By that time I already knew that our II was really IV, but that didn’t matter because we were getting a “Super” Final Fantasy and that was all I needed to know. At the same time Enix was hard at work bringing Dragon Warrior V to North America. What could be better than that? In the end, we all know what happened to DQ V. The point is that Square and Enix have a very special place in my heart, and to see what’s happened to Square-Enix this generation really saddens me. If it weren’t for their portable offerings they wouldn’t even be an afterthought anymore. You can practically count how many solid console games they’ve released this generation on a single hand. That’s shocking when you think back to the PS2 days, and mind blowing when you look at the PS1 and SNES era before them. NES was a little slower I found only because they were creating original properties and the two companies were going toe-to-toe with DQ I to IV and FF I to III. Either way, just take a look at your SNES and PS1 collection and you’ll see what I mean.

    I think a lot of the problems facing Square-Enix and many Japanese developers out there is they just don’t have the tech behind them. They’re so used to creating unique engines for all their projects and that causes them to spent ridiculous amounts of time on each individual game when they should create an engine that can be easily modified for other projects. How is it that other developers can pump out AAA software on a yearly basis, or even every two years? With the massive amounts of cash and talented people available to Square-Enix, they should have had a cross-platform engine ready years ago and had FF XIII ready for year one of the PS3’s lifecycle. By now we should already have trailers and being excited for FF XV, not hearing about FF XIII-2 and the fixing of FF XIV. Know what I mean? There should be a new Chrono, perhaps another Vagrant Story or Valkyrie Profile. Instead the company will continue to put out portable titles, which is perfectly fine, but it does show they aren’t running their console business as they should. There’s simply no reason why a cross-platform engine can’t be created, purchased or licensed that will work wonders for them.

    The proof is in the pudding as they say and it’s becoming more and more obvious that the company is really struggling to keep up with the other big developers and publishers out there. How is it that BioWare, a much smaller company I might add, is able to put out several RPGs this generation that are innovative, creative and excellent, and yet Square-Enix is having a hard time just releasing one solid game per year?

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