It really is this simple.
I don't think enough people understand exactly why legions of fans are denouncing Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII . They don't understand because they look at it and go, "Hm, could be pretty good." And they can't grasp the sheer amount of hate and vitriol spewed in its direction. After all, the game doesn't appear to be terrible.
But Square Enix calls it a Final Fantasy game. That's it. That's the whole reason, right there. Turn Lightning Returns into a new IP with a new name and a new protagonist and even I think I'd be interested. See, you may notice that most Metal Gear Solid fans have no problem with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance . They did at first, but then it was clarified that it was a spin-off , and that a title true to the franchise's roots was on the way ( Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes ). If Square Enix had done the same thing; if Lightning Returns had just been a spin-off and Final Fantasy Versus XIII or Final Fantasy XV could actually be counted on to be the FINAL FANTASY we've all known and loved, the fans would be fine.
I would be, too. This really has absolutely nothing to do with the potential quality of the game in question. It has everything to do with the fact that it most certainly is not a Final Fantasy production. At least, not in the eyes of the long-time fans, which apparently don't amount to a hill of beans in Square Enix's eyes, anyway. I've always understood – and even supported – the drive to get new fans. It's how companies stay alive. But I've never understood the concept of ditching old fans to get those new fans…then what's the point? Just because you think the new fan base is larger? If you want to make spin-offs and try to cater to the twitch gamers and casual gamers, fine. Go for it. By all means. But to annihilate your flagship franchise to do so? What sense does that make?
Seriously, just call it something else, Square Enix. Give it a new name. Tell us it's not Final Fantasy . I promise that the vast majority of people would get off your back…provided you didn't do it all over again with the next game with "Final Fantasy" in the title.