I am trying to remain logical and sensible, here. This is not an attempt to rile up the adolescents sitting there in video game forums, just waiting for an incendiary headline.
The point is that being a long-time Final Fantasy fan, I've heard a great many of my brethren actually pointing the finger at Microsoft and the Xbox as a root cause of the demise of our beloved franchise. At first, I dismissed the accusation as biased and even ludicrous. I've heard the following argument many times before- "The minute FF went multiplatform, it started to take a dive." And perhaps, depending on your point of view, one could argue that such a statement is true. It's actually quite tempting to do.
After all, although FFXII was already a departure from the norm of the series, it was still an RPG in every sense of the word. Things started to get a little dicey with FFXIII, wouldn't you say? That being said, I don't believe it's fair or complete to just say, "FF went multiplatform and then went downhill." That's not giving us the entire picture. Why did the series go multiplatform? Well, why did Square Enix purchase Eidos? Why has every single move they've made this past generation indicated a desperate drive to expand westward? It's not that they went multiplatform; every serious publisher who wants to make money must cater to the largest audience possible. One really can't recommend anything else.
No, this is more about the company focus as a whole. They figured they had to put FF on the Xbox because they needed a bigger audience. They figured that audience would include people who were unfamiliar with FFs and in truth, RPGs in general. They figured too many Westerners are interested in more action and less depth. Hence, we started to see the shift in the once-legendary series. Now, we're getting Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII , which most hardcore franchise followers are calling a flat-out abomination. So…wait, doesn't this sort of lend some truth to the admittedly simplistic "Xbox killed FF" accusation? It still seems ridiculous to say.
But in truth, once you examine Square Enix's clear and painful business practices this past generation, one might want to make some assumptions. Like, if FF had stuck with Sony and catered only to the hardcore (which indeed could've meant financial suicide), Final Fantasy would've remained Final Fantasy . What do you think?