The solution, Yoshida says, may be to continue developing all sorts of different Final Fantasy titles.
Despite critical praise and commercial success for recent projects like Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy VII Remake, series producer Naoki Yoshida has higher hopes for the franchise. Specifically, Yoshida thinks the series has some catching up to do with the rest of the industry.
“In terms of whether Final Fantasy is successfully adapting to industry trends, I believe the series is currently struggling,” Yoshida told Inverse. “We’re now at a point where we receive a wide variety of requests regarding the direction of our game design. To be honest, it’d be impossible to satisfy all those requests with a single title. My current impression is that all we can really do is create multiple games, and continue creating the best that we can at any given time.”
If one of Yoshida's main goals is to create many different types of Final Fantasy titles, then Square Enix is doing a pretty good job as of late. This year has seen the release of Chocobo GP, Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster, and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, along with continued support for some of the franchise's mobile offerings. A Crisis Core remaster is due out later this year, and 2023 is scheduled to see the release of Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
These titles also check off a wide variety of boxes, from remasters, to remakes, to spinoffs, to a brand new mainline entry in the Final Fantasy series. So, it's unclear exactly what direction Yoshida wants to see the series go in terms of matching or exceeding the rest of the industry.
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Yoshida has been involved with the Final Fantasy franchise for a while now, most notable serving as the producer for Final Fantasy XIV and its expansions, as well as the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI. Final Fantasy XIV has been very well received since its A Realm Reborn reboot back in 2013, with its most recent expansion, Endwalker, launching just last year to rave reviews.
For more, you can check out IGN's own interview with Yoshida from earlier this summer, where we took a deep dive into new Final Fantasy XVI details.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.