Saturday, July 5, 2014

Final Fantasy XV: Can Square Enix Salvage This Situation?

As most of you are probably well aware, Final Fantasy XV was first announced back in 2006 alongside of Final Fantasy XIII. At the time it was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII and was intended to be a parallel world using only terms and some amount of mythology from Final Fantasy XIII. Of course, then the game just vanished into the endless oblivion of development hell. Or more like it was Square Enix pushing it aside to work on other projects that should never have existed, like pretty much every Final Fantasy XIII game after the first one and the original version of Final Fantasy XIV. 

Final Fantasy XV has the potential to be the game that Final Fantasy XIII should have been.
 So after all these years, there is one question I had on my mind that I've been thinking about for some time. At this point, is Final Fantasy XV doomed to be a failure? At present, I kind of worry that it will be. Even if it ends up being an insanely fun game that was worth the wait, it will be forever tarnished by the bad reputation it is burdened with, combined with Square Enix constantly saying “please wait a little longer, please keep waiting patiently”. In short, Final Fantasy XV is suffering from what I like to call Duke Nukem Forever syndrome.

What is that? Duke Nukem Forever syndrome is a condition where no matter what the developers do, the game will never live up to the expectations of gamers. Unless the game somehow holds the cure for cancer or some other kind of miracle, that game is almost inevitably doomed to receive terrible review scores across the board and be thrown into $5 or less bargain bins with the rest of the garbage software that is forgotten within weeks.

So what can Final Fantasy XV do to avoid this fate? Hard to say, but Square Enix has a serious uphill battle ahead of them. A lot of people have just simply lost interest in this game, seeing it as nothing more than vaporware sitting next to The Last Guardian in the realm of non-existent games. Square Enix needs to get that interest back. They need to start promoting this game heavily to the point that it generates a massive hype train. But more than that, they need to make sure to deliver on all the things they say will be in the game.

On a conceptual level, Final Fantasy XV sounds awesome. Interactive cutscenes, an overworld, intense action combat that makes Kingdom Hearts look easy, and all sorts of things. It can be a highly successful game, but Square Enix is going to have to kick development into overdrive to have any hope of pulling this off. Most importantly, Square Enix must never allow something like this to happen again. Not only can it hurt the reputation of a game, it can also hurt the company itself. Despite some of the questionable decisions they've made in the past, Square Enix is capable of making incredible games and I would hate to see them go down in flames. Especially since Kingdom Hearts III is still in development.

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