Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV, has admitted that he had a fight on his hands to implement the sort of modernisation needed to secure the RPG series' future.
Speaking to 4Gamer in an interview translated by Kotaku, Tabata talked of what he calls a ‘Final Fantasy disease' that essentially left the development team believing theirs was a special case, freeing them of the responsibility to adapt to a changing global games market.
It refers to people within the company who can't imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy,” he explained. 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 time I told off the team, saying, ‘We're not special. Wake Up.'”
Tabata added that he realised after some of the negative early reaction to FFXV that this wasn't just an internal problem – Final Fantasy Disease had affected the fanbase, too. One can infer that it is the need to broaden Final Fantasy's potential market that led to the latter being a problem.