The irony here is palpable. In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Square-Enix producer Yoshinori Kitase spoke about the future of the Final Fantasy series, including the concern over the amounts of games coming out under the franchise name as of late. Here’s what he had to say:
“Well, when it comes down to it, it’s up to the fans’ needs, and we don’t feel that there’s actually a certain number that we should stop at,” he says.
“But each Final Fantasy series has a lot of unique characters, and a world, and we receive lots of feedback from fans, saying, ‘We want to see more of this character!’ or, ‘We want to see more of this situation!’ So, we take those into account, and try to create new side stories based on that. So we’re not necessarily conscious of a certain limit that we have to stop at.”
In other words, as long as it’s financially profitable, no end is in sight. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that, but it does make the whole “Final” thing kind of moot. Producer Shinji Hashimoto commented on that concept as well:
“The term ‘Final’ in the title doesn’t mean ‘last,’ but the teams behind it see it as a term for ‘ultimate,’ and as long as there are creators that are wanting to make Final Fantasy games, we will probably keep going.”
Being an outspoken Square-Enix fan, you would think I would take this as good news, but I find myself thinking of Sonic and Mega Man, both being series that I feel eventually got tiresome because it was too much of the same (although Mega Man 9 is definitely a step in a unique direction). The recent releases under the Final Fantasy name seem to be exploring a lot of different genre ground (action, strategy RPG, etc), so it looks like they’re doing it right, but I can’t help but worry a bit that the potential to beat a dead horse is there, somewhere.