Okay, that's it. It's obvious that the devil walks amongst us, and he's currently in charge of Square Enix operations.
In a new interview with Game Informer , Square Enix producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama spoke about the concept of sequels, and how it should apply to their vaunted Final Fantasy franchise. Said Kitase:
"We feel that there's a lot of merit to doing a sequel rather than doing a whole other numbered game in the sense that we're not building everything from the ground up.
We have the engine, the environment, the characters, and the basic storyline. That's already laid out for us so we're able to spend more time fine-tuning the game and listening to the fans, and making changes based off the feedback."
This feeds off what Kitase said concerning faster development cycles ; obviously, if you already have everything you need to make a new game, you don't have to start from scratch and hence- shorter dev cycle. And Kitase does admit that it can be more difficult to spark interest in the same universe and characters; it's the "biggest challenge," he says.
There's really only one encouraging part of the entire interview, and that's when Toriyama said Square Enix has been doing "user tests" and utilizing any feedback they receive.
"Not only do we share our content internally, we've also been doing user tests and taking that feedback to make more adjustments to the gameplay. We started this process in the alpha, which is about a year earlier than we did with Final Fantasy XIII."
The ironic part about this is that if they do in fact take user feedback, we figure the majority would be screaming about how the series has always been fresh. About how, with the exception of Final Fantasy X-2 (which hardly ranks high on the greatest-FF-of-all-time list), every game has given us something entirely new, from the world to the story to the characters to the gameplay.
But no. Sequels, faster, quicker dev cycles for the sake of more games, and overall faster, simpler gameplay because "action RPGs" are a "trend you ignore at your own peril." …fan-freakin'-tastic.