Final Fantasy 13 Developers Claim It Will 'Resurrect' the Japanese Game Industry

In anticipation of the European and North American releases of Final Fantasy 13 this March, producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama recently responded to fan-submitted questions about the RPG on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.


Toriyama and Kitase discussed topics such as the game's 50-60 hour length -- about ten hours of which they said are cinematics -- and the optional side-missions that can effectively double the play-time. The possibility of a CG movie adaptation along the lines of Advent Children was also mentioned.

In addition to the expected tidbits about the game itself, the team shared some expectations for the long-lived series. When asked about the current state of the Japanese game industry, the duo acknowledged that while some critics forecast its death, they're not so sure they see it the same way. "With this game [Final Fantasy 13], we are going to resurrect the whole thing," they claimed.

Early last month, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada raised doubts as to whether the company would continue to develop more games that would be considered traditional Final Fantasy titles. He alluded that the Final Fantasy team should move on to create 'next generation' gameplay. When Kitase and Toriyama were confronted with Wada's insinuation that Final Fantasy XIII might be the last game of its kind, they responded:

We don't know exactly what he meant by that. We don't really know what he meant by this style of game. If you consider that during Final Fantasy XIII's development, at peak time the team consisted of over 300 people. It was a huge team, plus it took a several long years to get the game finished. So, if Mr. Wada meant that we would never make another Final Fantasy title with the similar number of people, taking as long as FFXIII did, we would agree.

Obviously in the future we want to be much more efficient. Having worked on XIII, we feel that we have got much better at making good games for high definition consoles. In the future our teams will be smaller and more effectively run. We suspect that is what Mr Wada meant by his statement.

It's unclear what Wada's desire for next-gen gameplay has to do with leaner, more efficient development teams. Despite Square Enix's mixed messages, it's still safe to say that Final Fantasy XIII's financial success will likely play a typically large role in determining the series' future direction. "Personally, we don't know what we're going to move on to next," admitted Kitase and Toriyama.

Final Fantasy 13 hits the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America and Europe on March 6.