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Why Tabata Didn’t Give up on Final Fantasy XV, Even When Afraid “It Was a Dying IP”

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It’s all about the core qualities.

Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata has recently gone into detail as to why he didn’t give up on the game, even when all signs at the start of the development process argued against it.

In an interview in this month’s GameInformer, Tabata recalls some of the issues that the development team faced. “The gravest situation of all was that, at the time we were starting Final Fantasy XV, we didn’t see an increase in new fans of the franchise,” he said. “The brand image of Final Fantasy wasn’t really clear.”


As the Director of a new Final Fantasy game, this obviously raised some difficult challenges. In fact, the situation was “more grave and serious than we had initially thought… The way we understood Final Fantasy after our analysis is that it was a dying IP that had already peaked.” It’s interesting therefore that Final Fantasy XV wasn’t cancelled, or that Tabata himself didn’t give up on it.

He goes on to explain why the team continued to work hard on the game: “One thing I’ve felt from fans is that they are disappointed in the current state of Final Fantasy, but still have hope in terms of where the brand could go.” At this point, Tabata and the rest of his team took the time to identify “three core qualities” they felt defined the most treasured titles in the series.

“First is a willingness to challenge the status quo,” Tabata said. “Second is providing an exceptional, out-of-the-ordinary experience. Third is implementing cutting-edge technology to use the hardware to its fullest.” Tabata himself acknowledges that the most recent titles in the series hadn’t encompassed all of these ‘core qualities’, instead containing one or two.

“I think Final Fantasy VII was the last one where all three of these key points were met… But what Final Fantasy fans desire is a new entry that encompasses all of these elements, and that is our objective with Final Fantasy XV.”

If we’re to believe Tabata, Final Fantasy XV could well be the title that fans have been waiting for for quite some time. Only time will tell.

Final Fantasy XV is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on Sept. 30.

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