Square-Enix, frankly, has a lot of problems. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was basically a travesty. The whole Final Fantasy allure has fallen in the past couple years, reducing itself to nothing more than FMV fests and linear hallways. As a result, Square-Enix has seen some pretty poor profits from the Final Fantasy franchise. So what will Square-Enix do to fix it? Will they return to the classic Final Fantasy formula? Will they bring in some of the developers of Final Fantasy’s past?
Obviously the problem here is that they aren’t thinking about PC development more seriously.
You see, all games in the Final Fantasy XIII line were developed on PC first. The game worked on PCs before they worked on consoles at all. In a sense, the console version of the game are ports from a PC version that never existed. The big question is “why didn’t it exist?” producer Yoshinori Kitase explains in a talk with Eurogamer.
“We looked at the market situation and we didn’t think it would be a good idea, and also it would have involved lots of complex issues like security. So we decided not to do it this time around.”
Security, by the way, is obviously referring to the ever looming threat of piracy, which is probably the reason that most developers are wary about getting into the PC market.
That being said, Kitase is confident that Final Fantasy will come to PC platforms soon.
“We see potential in it and there are lots of regions and countries where PC is very strong,” Kitase shared. “So in terms of our hope of being able to deliver our games to every single country in the world and to as many gamers as possible, yes, we would definitely be interested in pursuing that route in the future.”
At this point, Final Fantasy games are actually being developed above spec for the current generation. Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III utilize Direct X 11, and thus would be available at much higher quality on PC platforms. In fact, the graphical quality will have to be severely dropped to be compatible for the PS4 and the Xbox One. Yet another argument for the PC gaming master race.
The Xbox One and PS4 were specifically designed to make PC porting easy, most notably because this makes development easy. Seeing console games get an expanded PC release is just a side-effect.
But the big question is, will anyone care? Final Fantasy has strayed so far from its roots at this point that its entire fanbase has become skeptical of its quality. Not to mention, Square is managing to make other games, like Bravely Default, that are better Final Fantasy games than Final Fantasy! Not to mention the JRPG as a genre has nearly fallen off the face of the map. When you say RPG, most people think of Mass Effect, Fallout, or Dragon Age at this point.
Is the era of Final Fantasy over? If so, will PC gaming usher in a new Final Fantasy age? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Senior Contributing Writer