Final Fantasy 15 Director Talks “Final Fantasy Disease”, Wake-Up Call for Dev Team
“At this point, if the series didn’t modernize, I think it could’ve been done for.”
Whether you agree with the direction Final Fantasy 15 has taken or not, it’s hard not to admire director Hajime Tabata and his drive to get things done.
While speaking in an interview with 4Gamer (translated by Kotaku) along with Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, Tabata talked about backlash regarding his placement as director. “Oh yeah, there was. It wasn’t only from inside the team, but outside as well. The reason was that if my way of doing it ended up working, there are those whose circumstances will worsen.”
Tabata then described the “Final Fantasy disease” and how it was impeding progress to the brand. “Around that time, I realized that among fans as well, there are people who’ve caught Final Fantasy disease. It refers to people within the company who can’t imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy.
“Since the root is a strong self-affirmation, one’s own view of Final Fantasy takes more priority than the team’s success. If that view of Final Fantasy isn’t fulfilled, then they’re convinced that it’s bad for Final Fantasy. They think, ‘Since Final Fantasy is a special team, then we are also special because we are making it. When the new Final Fantasy comes out, everybody is going to be so into it.’ But that’s not the reality of the situation, is it?”
There was a point during development – which is in its tenth year now by the way – when Tabata had to simply tell the team, “‘We’re not special. Wake up’. I realized that when Final Fantasy 15 news was made public – this wasn’t only inside the company. Everyone has FF disease. At this point, if the series didn’t modernize, I think it could’ve been done for.”
Strong words to be sure but remember: Tabata’s last modern effort at Final Fantasy was the critically acclaimed Type-0 and that did pretty well for itself. Can he repeat that success with Final Fantasy 15? It’s out on September 30th for Xbox One and PS4 so we’ll find out.