Final Fantasy was released for the Famicom (NES) in Japan in 1987 and since then, Square Enix has expanded the series to include dozens of sequels, spinoffs, and remakes. But in all that time, the publisher has never contracted with a Western developer to produce a Final Fantasy-branded game. But that may change in the very near future as OXM UK got in touch with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Director Motomu Toriyama and Gameplay Director Yuji Abe to probe the subject.
According to Toriyama, the development history of the franchise lends itself to seeking out new blood: “The whole thing about the Final Fantasy series is that for every iteration, for every game we do, we have a very different game. So the development team is also different very time, so that there’s different ideas and different concepts driving it. So obviously within that framework, having a very different type of team could work. So if we got the right team of people, it could produce something very interesting in the end.”
Abe went a step further, and specifically cited Square Enix’s Western development, Eidos Interactive, as a possible partner for future Final Fantasy titles: “Obviously, Square Enix bought out Eidos a number of years ago, and now we have direct access to American development teams. That’s certainly been discussed within the company, the possibility of say, Eidos or maybe someone else to look after or maybe take on the Final Fantasy series. And we obviously haven’t decided anything concrete, but if we find the right team of developers, the right people who really wanted to do it, and we had the right game, then yes, certainly we’d think about it.”
Eidos Interactive has been responsible for many of Square Enix’s biggest hits over the last few years including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Sleeping Dogs. While an Eidos/Final Fantasy project is currently just talk, I think it could certainly be an interesting match.