Hajime Tabata recalls that development team was inflicted with ‘Final Fantasy disease’ and he had to tell them: ‘We’re not special. Wake up’

Final Fantasy XV director: ‘It was modernise or die for the series’

The director of upcoming RPG Final Fantasy XV has suggested that the game could have been the franchise’s last hurrah if it had failed to adapt to today’s design trends.

Speaking to Japanese site 4Gamer, later translated by Kotaku, Hajime Tabata said that the title, which has been in development for more than 10 years, needed to ditch many of the IP’s facets that had failed to keep up with changes in the development industry.

“At this point, if the series didn’t modernise, I think it could’ve been done for,” he stated.

Expanding on the struggle to evolve the Final Fantasy formula, Tabata described the development team and members of Square Enix as being inflicted by ‘Final Fantasy disease’.

"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.”

Tabata also criticised the team as feeling ‘special’ simply because they are working on the storied franchise – and recalled his blunt approach in stamping the feeling out.

“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?” he said.

“Because of that, there was a time I told off the team, saying: ‘We’re not special. Wake up.’

“Yet, I realised that when Final Fantasy XV news was made public, this wasn’t only inside the company. Everyone has Final Fantasy disease."

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