Square Enix Open to American Developer Eidos Taking On Final Fantasy
The Final Fantasy series has been a show-stopping success for over 25 years, and the crowning jewel of Square Enix's enormous catalogue. One of the defining JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) media franchises of the past quarter-century, the series has spawned an incredibly large fan following that will buy almost anything - the perfect audience for its many different forays into film, anime, printed media, and toys of all kinds, all bearing the Final Fantasy name.
While most Final Fantasy games each have their own individual stories and settings, they all feature many of the same elements that have allowed themselves to define the franchise. These run the gamut from plot themes (a team of heroes fighting the good fight against a great and powerful evil), character names (who could ever forget Cid?), and similarities in game mechanics (use of Attack, Magic, Item subscreens).
Thanks to a combination of good storytelling, beautiful graphics with a distinct character style, and inventive gameplay, the series has remained an undeniable success and displayed incredible staying power... until recently.
Time for a change?
For a number of years now, the Final Fantasy series has been shedding fan interest with each successive game. While the past few iterations have made decent sales, there is a definite vocal minority of fans who remain decidedly unconvinced by the focus of Lightning again taking center stage in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII spinoff release, Lightning Returns.
In a recent interview, OXM spoke to Lightning Returns director Motomu Toriyama and gameplay director Yuji Abe to see if this is a situation that might warrant some new outsider perspective in order to galvanize a series that may be getting just a little stuck in the mud.
"Obviously, Square Enix bought out Eidos a number of years ago, and now we have direct access to American development teams," observed Abe. "That's certainly been discussed within the company, the possibility of say, Eidos or maybe someone else to look after or maybe take on the Final Fantasy series.
"And we obviously haven't decided anything concrete, but if we find the right team of developers, the right people who really wanted to do it, and we had the right game, then yes, certainly we'd think about it."
"The whole thing about the Final Fantasy series is that for every iteration, for every game we do, we have a very different game," chimed in Toriyama. "So the development team is also different very time, so that there's different ideas and different concepts driving it.
"So obviously within that framework, having a very different type of team could work. So if we got the right team of people, it could produce something very interesting in the end."
In all honesty, I think now is as good a time as any for a little shaking up. Lightning Returns has been a promise of "sure-fire jiggling breasts" and a seemingly never-ending stream of pictures of Lightning in various special character outfits that hearken back to Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X.
While I am a huge fan of the classic costumes and of girls with big breasts, relying too heavily on the successes of previous games (and informing your audience how to maximize your enjoyment of watching Lightning's boobs flop around in all her different outfits) does not an eye-catching sequel make.
As for Eidos, while many fans are not happy with the thought of taking the J out of this particular JRPG classic franchise, Eidos has managed to make quite a name for itself bringing Deus Ex back on the map, and doing wonders to revitalize the Tomb Raider franchise with its most recent reboot.
The only American development studio Eidos has at the moment is Crystal Dynamics, developers of the Tomb Raider reboot - an excellent game all around. I would love to see what they could do if they got their hands on Final Fantasy.
I like to think boob physics would be a little low on their priority list.