Tetsuya Nomura Spent 3 Months Convincing Square Enix Not to Move Final Fantasy XV to Smartphones
While Final Fantasy XV was still known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, director Tetsuya Nomura says it took three months to convince Square Enix to move the project to the next-gen consoles rather than moving it to smartphones.Many gamers are excited to see what Final Fantasy XV will bring to the table after the disappointment that Final Fantasy XIII brought. Nomura said in an interview with Dengeki about how difficult it was to convince Square Enix not to move the project to the iOS and Android platforms.
“The project came to a standstill in 2011 when I decided to become more ambitious,” explained Nomura, “I wanted more from Final Fantasy and I knew that I would have to make a strong pitch to executives in order to move the game into the next generation. Unfortunately, they had a different definition of next generation that I did not anticipate.”
“One executive told me that this game would work much better on his iPhone,” continued Nomura, “He said in addition to reaching a larger audience, it would be easier to make on the iPhone because people do not expect much from it. I fought back saying that gamers deserve a good game and not some throwaway title that people will forget in a week. I was hit back with charts explaining how much more profitable that throwaway title would be.”
After about a month and a half of fighting with Square Enix executives, it looked like there was no chance for Nomura to win.
“It was very disheartening when some of my staff members started working on microtransactions for Final Fantasy XV,” said Nomura, “I told them that I was not giving up the fight, but they thought I had already lost. After all, I could not convince the executives that the quality of a video game is important. After two months, some of executives started to not care about our meetings. One of them even said that we could have finished Final Fantasy XV on smartphones in those two months and have started work on Final Fantasy XVI.”
Finally, after about three months, Nomura decided to make a final move designed to appeal directly to the executives. He knew there was a way to save Final Fantasy XV without damaging the potential of the game.
“Around the time of our meetings, I learned about a project called Lightning Returns,” recalled Nomura, “I said to the executives that I had a brilliant idea for that game as long as they let me have my Final Fantasy XV. In short, I became a character designer for Lightning Returns and told them that I will make any DLC costumes they want in order to make the game very profitable. I dressed her in some of the most tawdry costumes, but I did not care since it was not my game. Toriyama definitely did not have a problem with it. This is how I secured Final Fantasy XV for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.”
The interviewer then asked Nomura what he learned from this experience to which he replied, “Every time I hear the Angry Birds music, I just want to take that person’s phone away and throw it as hard as I can to the ground.”