Reflecting on the game’s storied development, Final Fantasy XV Game Director Hajime Tabata has offered up a frank assessment of Square’s prized JRPG franchise, claiming many developers and fans suffer from a state of mind that he refers to as “Final Fantasy disease.”
During a joint interview hosted by 4Gamer (via Kotaku), Tabata was joined by Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, where talk turned to the moment in 2011 when the Game Director took over from Tetsuya Nomura at the helm of FFXV.
When asked if there was any subsequent backlash to the decision, Tabata revealed that not only did he experience an impassioned response, but it also stemmed from members of the development team.
“Oh yeah, there was. It wasn’t only from inside the team, but outside as well. The reason was that if my way of doing it ended up working, there are those whose circumstances will worsen,” he joked.
It was here that the developer coined the term “Final Fantasy disease,” an ailment that seemingly “refers to people within the company who can’t imagine anything other than their own view of Final Fantasy.” It’s something that Tabata believes affects fans, too, stating that:
“Since the root is a strong self-affirmation, one’s own view of Final Fantasy takes more priority than the team’s success. If that view of Final Fantasy isn’t fulfilled, then they’re convinced that it’s bad for Final Fantasy. They think, ‘Since Final Fantasy is a special team, then we are also special because we are making it. When the new Final Fantasy comes out, everybody is going to be so into it.’ But that’s not the reality of the situation, is it?”
Further in the piece, Hajime Tabata revealed that early on in development he told the team bluntly, “we’re not special. Wake up.”
Final Fantasy XV is slated for release on September 30.