Final Fantasy's had ups and downs, but Square Enix still committed to series
Square Enix revisited its upcoming roster of titles this morning at E3 in Los Angeles, confirming the two titles announced last night -- Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV -- and projecting ahead to the company's anticipated lineup.
It was a gesture meant to restore confidence and assert continued relevance in the face of the oncoming hardware transition. Square Enix has three titles coming in the current fiscal year (Final Fantasy X and X-2: HD Remastered and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII) bound for current-gen platforms, with Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV intended as cross-platform for both Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One.
Following the presentation, Final Fantasy brand director Shinji Hashimoto took questions from reporters, in particular addressing the concern that the action-heavy, Western-focused look of Final Fantasy XV (nee Versus XIII) represented a marked departure from its turn-based roots. One audience member asked if Square Enix considered turn-based, conventional JRPG mechanics an unsafe bet for big-budget productions.
"Final Fantasy is always evolving, always challenging," Hashimoto answered. He said that each installment of the franchise experimented with different systems and mechanics, and Final Fantasy XV's action game-styled combat was no exception to this experimentation.
Square Enix has released a few conventional turn-based RPGs in recent years, but largely as re-releases of classic titles and comparatively low-budget mobile and handheld titles.
"I believe there's a future for both action and command-based RPGs," said Hashimoto. "It's not that we aren't thinking of the future of command-based RPGs."