Final Fantasy Legend Hironobu Sakaguchi Talks About FFXV, VII: Remake And More

Aug 15, 2010
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Full interview



He wasn't happy with the direction for FFXIII but he feels like Tabata is on the right track when it comes to the spirit of the series.

I'm going to paraphrase a quote from [original Final Fantasy composer] Nobuo Uematsu, from an interview I did with him many years ago. I asked him how he felt when you left Squaresoft. His response was "I think that the day Sakaguchi-san left Squaresoft, they should have stopped making Final Fantasy." Do you have a response to that?
When I first left the company, I did feel that Squaresoft was taking the games in a direction that I didn’t want them to, specifically with Final Fantasy XIII. I wasn’t particularly happy with it. But after leaving the company, and with time, I have come to accept that I was the one who left, so they were free to do what they wanted with it. And recently I have been looking at Final Fantasy XV, and although I’ve never known or worked with Tabata-san, by looking at his production I feel that he has adopted the spirit that I had when I first created the series. I feel that, in the hands of talented people, the original feel of the series is being brought back.
Regarding FFVII: Remake, I agree with what Sakaguchi says. It will be tough for SE to accomplish this task.

It’s something that fans have wanted for a long time. The expectation that it was going to be made was dwindling, so when they announced it at the Sony event it was an exciting moment.
Yeah, but remakes are difficult. Look at Star Wars. George Lucas added new CGI to the original and people still prefer to watch the originals rather than the remake. Not to say it’s a bad thing. I just think it’s difficult.
CyberConnect is responsible for the core development, and that's a very good studio. If you were to give them advice about what is essential to Final Fantasy VII, what would it be?
I think it’s quite challenging... I mean, we’ve seen previews of the new game and obviously all the visuals have changed. Which means all the fight scenes will also change accordingly, so they will probably keep the battles in real-time. I think that they must be making a brand new game that just shares the characters, story and world. So, there’s really nothing I can give in terms of advice. Do as you wish, I guess.
Bonus

Are there any series from the original PlayStation era, when Squaresoft was perhaps at its most prolific, that you think would be interesting to see come back now?
I would love to make a new Tobal game, because of Akira Toriyama.
 
Mar 12, 2013
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I think CyberConnect's involvement is really overblown.

I highly,highly doubt SE is gonna leave the "core" of such a project to such a middling developer.
 
Nov 6, 2011
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His disastrous all-CG movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a global flop that lost tens of millions of dollars at the box office and blew a hole in Square's finances so big it had to merge with rival Enix Corporation in 2003.
SMH.
 

DKHF

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Dec 5, 2014
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I think CyberConnect's involvement is really overblown.

I highly,highly doubt SE is gonna leave the "core" of such a project to such a middling developer.
Yeah CC2 will play a large part but I think most of SE Business Division 1 staff are working on it. Along with other outside studios since they mentioned there are more than CC2.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I think CyberConnect's involvement is really overblown.

I highly,highly doubt SE is gonna leave the "core" of such a project to such a middling developer.
Roflmao.

Why they no ask him about his new project with Silicon Studio? =/
Probably because it's a lifestyle/retrospective interview where they're just chilling with Sakaguchi rather than asking him about his own work in particular. There's nothing in the interview about Mistwalker's current work. I like interviews like these, it's a nice break from people chasing scoops and news all the time. The human element in creative works tends to be overlooked.
 
Mar 12, 2013
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If they want the Remake to be out fast, they need all hands on deck.
Yeah CC2 will play a large part but I think most of SE Business Division 1 staff are working on it. Along with other outside studios since they mentioned there are more than CC2.
I have no proof to back it up either way ,but I just think they're one of many studios supporting the massive project.

I doubt they have much sway on the game's creative direction.
 
Oct 29, 2014
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"On the right track" is probably the best way to describe FFXV. We're not quite where the series used to be, but it's a step in the right direction, and I think it will get better from here.
 

Alex

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Jun 7, 2004
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I think CyberConnect's involvement is really overblown.

I highly,highly doubt SE is gonna leave the "core" of such a project to such a middling developer.
Yeah, better keep it internal, nothing could possibly go wrong with Final Fantasy then.

Honestly, if it's being shopped around right I'd trust professional fans of the material to work on the game more than I'd trust Square. Crisis Core and Advent Children said enough of what the "core" at Square wants to do with FF7.

Square's biggest problem right now is that they're not actively pursuing enough investment to invent a cloning machine for Naoki Yoshida
 
Feb 4, 2015
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"On the right track" is probably the best way to describe FFXV. We're not quite where the series used to be, but it's a step in the right direction, and I think it will get better from here.
Yeah I've been saying for a while that FFXV basically just needs to at least be "a good game" and I think for the most part it's succeeded at that. The reclaiming-the-footing gambit. There are some sacrifices for sure but I think it's a really damn solid game. So I'm glad to see that Sakaguchi is happy with it too.
 
Sep 13, 2011
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I have no proof to back it up either way ,but I just think they're one of many studios supporting the massive project.

I doubt they have much sway on the game's creative direction.
I'm guessing they're probably doing the grunt work while obviously the creative vision is being handled by the SE big wigs. Although didn't they already state that CC2 is doing Episode 1 only? They're probably bringing in additional help per episode just to get them all out quicker (one would assume anyway, after the debacle that was FFXV).

But I'm not privy to development stuff so everything I said could be a giant pile of BS lmao
 
Jul 26, 2006
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I have no proof to back it up either way ,but I just think they're one of many studios supporting the massive project.

I doubt they have much sway on the game's creative direction.
Well, I don't think people are suggesting otherwise. Direction and most of the fundamental game design decisions will likely be made in-house with CC2 (and other studios) doing more of the grunt work. Don't see what's wrong with that, CC2 is pretty great and talented, especially in the tech department.

Probably because it's a lifestyle/retrospective interview where they're just chilling with Sakaguchi rather than asking him about his own work in particular. There's nothing in the interview about Mistwalker's current work. I like interviews like these, it's a nice break from people chasing scoops and news all the time. The human element in creative works tends to be overlooked.
It's nice for the person who gets interviewed as well when you don't have to worry about the interviewer trying to trick you into talking about your new project all
the time.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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yea I feel the same. I doubt they are the "core" team of the project like they are the ones making the remake.
Do you really doubt that the majority of the actual development of FFVIIR is being done by CC2? I'm not sure why anyone would. It's like doubting that S-E Osaka is developing KH3, or that Artoon developed Blue Dragon, or that Feel Plus developed Lost Odyssey. Why is it particularly hard to believe or weird? The idea that CC2 is seen as a "middling" developer in the industry in Japan is pretty hilarious.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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SE is "middling" btw. People are underestimating CC2.

Did anyone complain that L5, at the time really a nobody, was given Dragon Quest? Turns out they were pretty good, well not at designing their own games. It's the same deal really.
 

DKHF

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Dec 5, 2014
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Although didn't they already state that CC2 is doing Episode 1 only? They're probably bringing in additional help per episode just to get them all out quicker (one would assume anyway, after the debacle that was FFXV).
Nah they didn't say that. It seems they will be involved with all parts of it.
 
Jun 12, 2013
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I echo the same view as ducky. I think the CC2 relationship is pretty much the same or similar as games like:

- Freedom Wars
- Lost Odyssey
- Blue Dragon
- Most DQ games

Core creative by Square, but bulk of day-to-day and grunt work led by CC2.

And frankly, it's not like it's something bad. CC2 is technically very competent, they have a strong experience with a content pipeline for creating JRPG-ish landscapes, towns, and systems, and hell, they can even be trusted to have a good sensibility of storyboarding and scene direction if their Naruto/Asura's Wrath work is indicative of their sense of scripted direction.

Ultimately it's still Square and Nomura that's guiding the vision for the project. This is more worrisome if this was a wholly new FF where CC2 has a strong creative influence in its inception ,but as a remake, the "blueprint" is there to adapt and build from.
 
Feb 20, 2015
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Why do people consider CC2 a middling developer? I'm confused here –– I thought they were very well regarded in Japan...
I think people maybe refer to them that way because they feel unless CC2 make something that sells a bajillion copies they are middling? -shrug- I haven't played much CC2 stuff but they seem quite good. Nomura/Kitase/Nojima are basically the creative forces at SE in charge of VIIR I believe so, for better or worse, VIIR will not be directed by people with no connection to the original.

I think the interview is good. I remember Sakaguchi saying before that for every FF they always wanted to create something new and he wasn't keen on the idea of sequels to a title (although I guess in XIII-2's case it was a lot of leftover assets and cut content that necessitated it somewhat). So...from what I've played of XV I think Tabata and BD2 have done a good job. It's something fresh for the series and yes has a lot of flaws but from the moment familiar melodies kicked in or I got free control of Noctis in the world I was smiling...and when I started driving off from even Hammerhead and played the Prelude it was a weird sensation.
 
#45
I think CyberConnect's involvement is really overblown.

I highly,highly doubt SE is gonna leave the "core" of such a project to such a middling developer.
CyberConnect is absolutely the main developer on FF7R, fulfilling a similar role as Platinum on Nier Automata. If you think about it - yes, we've seen a lot of chatter from SE people in house, Nomura is the Director, Kitase the Producer etc, but Nier's top-tier staff is also in-house at Square while Platinum does the heavy lifting. SE seems to have decided to make a huge deal out of Platinum but underplay CC2 though (probably because Platinum is an industry darling and CC2 is merely best known for anime tie-ins - they have the same average metascore, though!) .
 
May 24, 2013
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I bet most people on GAF can't even name the developers of DQXI.
I thought DQXI was developed internally with the help of ORCA(PS4) and Toylogic(3DS). Except if those 2 companies were doing most of the work. I recall reading an interview about DQX and it sounded like Square developed it mostly internally. And I think ORCA was one of the companies that helped them develop the game.

With Dragon Quest X, because it’s an MMO, the team thought, ‘Okay, what company in Japan knows MMOs the best? Wait, that’s us! We’re running Final Fantasy XI, so, why not do it with an internal team?
http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/04/square-enix-love-bring-dragon-quest-x-west/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+siliconera%2FMkOc+%28Siliconera%29