In what may be a tacit admission that the Final Fantasy series has become too staid even for Square Enix, CEO Yoichi Wada has said he thinks the company needs to move on from the established Final Fantasy formula.
In his recent Edge interview, he has this to say:
That period [the start of franchises like Biohazard and Metal Gear] really set in stone a certain style of Japanese development, which some might say has reached its culmination with Final Fantasy XIII.
How do you think these kinds of big-budget, long-in-development Japanese games stand up in the current climate?
I believe Final Fantasy XIII is going be something special, and that it’s going to be well received by the audience.
But whether we are going to continue to internally create this type of game remains to be seen, because I actually feel that the team that was involved with Final Fantasy XIII should next move on to create and generate some ‘next generation’ forms of play.
Internally and externally I feel there’s an expectation of Square Enix to offer something new, and I really think that the Final Fantasy team could create something completely different, but at the moment they’re strictly catering to the particular audience they have now.
Combined with his admission that he would consider having Final Fantasy titles developed overseas, and that he is personally a fan of western games, to say nothing of sacking large numbers of Japanese employees whilst procuring a western developer, it appears some big changes may be in store for both Final Fantasy and Square Enix.