By Tom Tolios / March 27th, 2015
Final Fantaxy XV director Hajime Tabata opened up about what he and his team at Square Enix hope to bring to the fans in a recent talk with Gamespot. In the interview, Tabata discusses the fact that the demo represents a 60% build of the game, the decision to use an all male cast and the idea of ‘three pillars’ upon which to build Final Fantasy XV.
As it regards the demo Episode Duscae, Tabata clarified earlier statements that the game had been 80% done but that the demo was more indicative of a 60% build of the finished product. Tabata believes that the demo’s release will create the type of feedback he needs to make sure that Final Fantasy XV lives up to everyone’s expectations. In his own words:
“To clarify on that 60 percent figure, it’s the playable demo that represents the 60 percent, which is what [I] was referring to in February. The main challenge right now is taking all the lessons we learned from making the demo and turning them into something positive to bring to the full game,”
The most controversial element of Final Fantasy XV to date has been the decision to use an all male cast for the player character and his party. Tabata stated that the reason for this was to make the characters more accessible to their audience by showing the group in a more natural state of activity. He wanted a level of intimacy between the characters that he feels wouldn’t have been possible had females been a part of the group. Quoting Tabata directly:
“Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they’ll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way,”
In essence, Tabata is saying that the intimacy and bonding that the party goes through will show them in a more natural light where they aren’t putting up fronts and engaging in behavior that caters to a different dynamic. In Tabata’s own words, “boys will be boys.” It’s a rather interesting take on video game narrative, especially considering all the current hot-button topics happening in social media as it concerns the hobby as a whole.
Insofar as the “three pillars” that Final Fantasy XV is being built on, they are “great story, great graphics, great game experience.” Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn director Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P, as he’s affectionately known by the XIV fan base) also cited these three pillars as the basis for resurrecting the once troubled but now resurgent MMO. While these three aspects may seem like something all game companies try to focus on, the almost philosophical approach SE takes in establishing and investing themes into their development cycle is one of their defining traits.
To read more about Tabata’s thoughts on Final Fantasy XV and also Square Enix’s decision to bring Final Fantasy Type-0 to next gen consoles, check out the article here.
Episode DuscaeFinal Fantasy XVHajime TabataSquare Enix