Time and budget constraints.
Final Fantasy XV was a pretty great game. Most people who played it think so, calling it a return to form for the RPG megaton, and we thought so too. However, even for people who loved the game, there is one common criticism that it receives quite often- that the second half of the game was extremely linear, and that in contrast to the incredibly open ended nature of the first half, that linearity felt even more suffocating.
However, according to game director Hajime Tabata, there was a very specific reason for that design choice- time and budget constraints on the game’s development cycle. Considering the fact that it was a game that had been in development for a decade, that makes sense.
“Based on calculations that the development time and cost would double if the latter half of the game was to be an open-world environment as well, we had already planned to make the latter half more of a journey by vehicle,” Tabata said in an interview with Game Informer. “The structure of this title – to create memories while traveling in the open-world environment during the first half of the game, then have the story move forward linearly using the train in the latter half of the game – was designed and intended to be that way,” he said to Gameinformer.
It’s interesting how this structure is almost the exact opposite of what we saw in Final Fantasy XIII, where the first half of the game was excessively linear, before it opened up and finally offered players some freedom. Looks like this way works better than that, right?
Tabata also recently spoke of the Final Fantasy XV’s story and addressed some of the criticism levelled at it. Read about it here.
Thanks, Nova Crystallis!