Before Final Fantasy Versus XII was rebranded as Final Fantasy XV, current director Hajime Tabata was brought in as head of the project to get the game back on track following years of troubled development. Would Final Fantasy XV as we know it be releasing on the 30th September without him? Probably not.
Speaking with Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada over on 4Gamer, Tabata claims that things were rough when he first took over as director. Translated by Kotaku, the conversation kicks off with Harada asking if there was a backlash following Tabata's appointment. "Oh yeah, there was," Tabata answers.
He goes on to say that within Square Enix, there was a "Final Fantasy disease". Tabata explains: "It refers to people within the company who can't imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy. Since the root is a strong self-affirmation, one's own view of Final Fantasy takes more priority than the team's success. If that view of Final Fantasy isn't fulfilled, then they're convinced that it's bad for Final Fantasy." It's safe to say that Tabata wasn't happy with the state of the project.
"Because of that, there was a time I told off the team, saying, 'We're not special. Wake Up," he admits. However, Tabata soon realised that the "Final Fantasy disease" wasn't exclusive to those actually making the games - he also comments that fans have it, too: "I realized that when Final Fantasy XVnews was made public, this wasn't only inside the company. Everyone has Final Fantasy disease." In other words, you can't please everyone. Hey, we can relate.
"If the series didn't modernize, I think it could've been done for," Tabata concludes. Bold words from the director, and now more than ever, it's clear that Final Fantasy XV was in a real mess before he took the reigns.
Can you imagine a world where we didn't write about Final Fantasy XV at least twice a week? Be thankful in the comments section below.