Final Fantasy 15 Is Make It Or Break It Time For Square Enix, Says Director

Final Fantasy XV could be the last of the mainline series if it doesn’t sell so great this September. According to an interview that director Hajime Tabata had with Game Informer, they’ll need to move some big numbers in Japan to keep Final Fantasy as a franchise afloat beyond remakes and re-releases.

According to Tabata, he explained to Game Informer…

“It is a more grave and serious situation than we had initially thought,” […] “For Japan, I believe it is a make or break for the franchise. And if the Final Fantasy brand is on its demise in terms of numbered mainline series within Japan, then I feel like it would also follow suit globally.”

Japan in general has been waning on home console gaming in favor of mobile devices. I wouldn’t be surprised if Final Fantasy XV is bigger and becomes more established in America than it does in Japan when it drops this September.

Square has been really putting a lot of their eggs in the basket for this upcoming entry, with a CGI movie in the works due for release this year, and episodic anime episodes to help flesh out the story ahead of the game’s release. If you missed it before, you can check out the first 12 minute episode below.

FINAL FANTASY XV / episode 1 Brotherhood

Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV is a new anime series Noctis Story Final Fantasy XV Noctis Journeys

Tabata also clarified that they would like to sell 10 million copies of Final Fantasy XV, and that they’re hoping that the game will eventually trump the popularity of Final Fantasy VII, but I tend to doubt that that’s going to happen.

For one thing, Final Fantasy VII has a lot of original elements about it, especially the whole dieselpunk aesthetic and mix of futuristic industrialism with high-fantasy magic. It’s a rare combination not unlike the mix of post-apocalyptic surviving fused with magical martial arts in Fist of the North Star; it just worked.

This new game has a lot of contemporary modernist elements going for it, from the Audi-themed cars and high-fashion aesthetics to the somewhat convoluted fighting system… it’s a little hard to pinpoint the game’s core themes. I don’t doubt that Final Fantasy XV will sell like hotcakes, likely pushing 5 million SKUs out of the gate within its first quarter, but I just don’t see the game establishing the same kind of industry-wide influence that Final Fantasy VII had back in the day.

You can expect to see more of the game this June during E3, ahead of its September 30th release on the Xbox One and PS4.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

13 thoughts on “Final Fantasy 15 Is Make It Or Break It Time For Square Enix, Says Director

  1. Honestly I’d be happier if they stopped doing huge titles (since they take forever and they fuck up alot).
    Imagine if Squenix went back to its 90s days of churning out 4+ titles a year in different genres like musashi, bushido blade, ergheiz, the bouncer, saga, tactics, and more

    1. The Bouncer and Bushido Blade… you’re hitting some nostalgia nerves with those. I would love it if more studios scaled back on the $100 million projects and diversified with smaller and mid-budget games. I get most of my fix from indie games these days because almost all the AAA games suck in comparison.

  2. To me, Final Fantasy worked best when it worked under simpler assumptions. When it was more like a classic adventure, a classic odyssey or tragedy. When you start to make it too grandiose, too complex, too political, it loses it’s magic, which is based on adventure and simplicity.

    Since FF10 they have been trying to appeal to teenage angst, a romantic but convoluted comprehension of the world. It doesn’t work well with simpler magical adventures, and I’ll believe they will fail on the long run because of that.

      1. I have to agree on that. I use FFX as a starting point because from that onwards there was never really a great FF. There were some not so bad, maybe even ok, but not great. FF8 was already pretty detached from previous installments, but FF9 was, if anything, a good tribute to previous final fantasies. But it does seem Tactics was the late great as far as plot goes, and I love me some good Turn Based Tactical RPG.

      2. It made me so sad when they gave up their game of thrones story style for some kiddie shit in the sequels, sigh

  3. Never really played an FF game at any length but downloaded the demo for this and tbh it was kinda meh combat wise. You can tell they’ve put a lot of resources into the engine (gorgeous to look at) and the little fox like creature is probably the cutest companion I’ve ever come across but the 1 button combat just feels shallow and boring.

    1. I think the combat is a variation of Kingdom Hearts combat, where you are fighting the camera and the menu through 50% of the fights. FFXV is probably a dumbed down version of that, so that it’s easier for everyone to jump in, sorta like Assassin’s Creed combat, one button does everything. Mass marketing appeal.

  4. Meanwhile, it sounds like they are literally breaking the FF7 remake with all sorts of unwanted changes.

    There’s no way FF15 will trump FF7. It sounds like they don’t even know why FF7 was popular. It also feels like Squenix has lost a lot of fans throughout the years. They’ll never catch up to back when FF7 was popular.

    If they are designing FF15 with beating FF7 in mind, that’s even worse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything good come from that kind of mindset. They’re probably desperately trying to appeal to everyone, instead of just making something good.

    1. It always gives me a laugh to watch the ff7 remake trailer after a ff15 one, its ridiculous how much better the art direction is,

      ff15 has generic and forgettable epic music youve heard 1000000 times.
      ff7 has memorable music that you instantly recognize

      ff15 has similar, generic, boring looking characters.
      ff7 has very different characters, you can easily tell them apart, even npcs that do not survive the intro look different, they move differently, they talk differently you want to know more about them.

      ff15 has a boring and uninteresting real world like look, i know that world, i dont want to explore it.
      ff7 has a weird steampunk world, weird glowy things everywhere, wtf is that thing, i want to explore that world

      ff15 makes an effort in making enemies look generic taking real world animals and objects as inspiration.
      ff7’s first boss robotic scorpion thing already looks more striking than anything 15 has shown

      They are giving up everything that made Japanese games different, everything that made their games interesting gone, just to cater to the west and they fail to notice that western games are better at being western games than anything they could ever do

  5. “I don’t doubt that Final Fantasy XV will sell like hotcakes”

    I am not so sure, they burned out their old fans with XIII, the sales of XIII-2 and XIII-3 are not a very good trend

    they alienated them further by getting away from the rpg genre and reducing the “fantasy” with realistic graphics, real world looking things, similar looking characters and monsters that look like real animals

    They cant even count on the Japanese to carry them anymore, they are going out there hoping for a new market to somehow decide to buy their boy band game in the tens of millions, thats why they are so nervous they had to release demos for feedback and delay release to somehow try to stop the inevitable impossibility to reach those sales.

    Everyone ive seen giving an opinion about the platinum demo laughed at the beg screen “do you want to preorder the game now ? … NO, lol”, there is a thorny road ahead

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