Square Enix CEO Explains How Final Fantasy XIII Got On The Xbox 360

By Spencer . March 10, 2010 . 12:58am

image Final Fantasy XIII isn’t the first Final Fantasy game for the Xbox platform. Final Fantasy XI was. However, this is the first core Final Fantasy game to go multi-platform at launch. So, why did Square Enix decide to develop an Xbox 360 version?


"The Xbox team has been asking us to have a [Final Fantasy] game developed on our platform,” Yoichi Wada, President and CEO of Square Enix, said in an interview with Siliconera. “Also, the Xbox 360 console is available in many homes in US and European markets so that was not really a hard decision to make.”


Prior to announcing Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix published: Project Sylpheed, The Last Remnant, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Infinite Undiscovery (which was originally a Microsoft/Tri-ace project), and a slew of Xbox Live Arcade games. Square Enix and Microsoft have had an amicable relationship since Final Fantasy XI, which came out in 2006.


The full interview with Wada-san where we discuss topics that have nothing to do with XIII will be posted after GDC. Keep your eyes peeled for it!

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  • ElTopo

    Would have preferred it went single platform, maybe then it wouldnt have taken 5 years to develop.

  • kylehyde

    In short words: “Money”
    in none: $

    • SlashZaku

      Yep. Obviously, SE took the check and didn’t put any real effort into the port either. Free money.

      • MrMee

        that’s not true. I have the 360 version and it looks almost as good as the ps3 version and plays just as well. I’ve watched my friend play his PS3 version of the game. I think that plenty of effort when into the port. If you only have a 360 then you can be more than happy with that version, obviously if you have a PS3 that version is better.

      • thebanditking

        Im not understanding how they did not put any effort in? Yes the 360 version looks well below the original and has horribly compressed cutscenes, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t try. They did not have the best odds going in to begin with. Final Fantasy XIII is a PS3 exclusive game, if you want to debate that your silly. The game spent 3 years in development only on PS3, which means its entire design (from the way the engine runs right down to how the data is streamed) is dependent on the PS3’s architecture. Games that are that specifically tailored can not be ported easily, and for anyone to say otherwise shows a complete lack of understanding of game design.

        Im not going to sit here and debate which platform is “stronger” what I will say however is that neither platform is capable of running an emulator of the other. Meaning if a game is made specifically for the PS3 the 360 is incapable of running that game the exact same way and vice versa (Bayonetta anyone) and thats just factoring in the hardware. It goes without saying that the 360’s biggest difference from the PS3 is the DVD’s it uses.

        Many might not know this but the 360’s DVD’s actually have less space on them then a PS2 or Xbox 1 DVD. And not a small ammount less but an entire gig less. Why? Because each 360 DVD uses up 1GB of data for encryption/’piracy protection (not that it helps mind you) that fact makes a game like FFXIII which uses tons of HD cutscenes, audio and texture work already in a bad way for the port over. Now factor in that FFXIII was almost 40GBs and S-E compressed it to 19.8GBs and you can see why the graphics too such a hit (Much like SO4).

        There is also the licencing fees that a developer has to pay to the platform holder. S-E, Capcom, Konami etc don’t print their own discs, manuals and box art they send the finished gold disc (along with the assets) to Sony and MS to do it for them. So did you know that MS charges a seperate licencing fee per disc? More material costs more money and the more discs also means different cases. So you can see why Square settled on 3 discs, because while 2 would have not been enough 4 would have cost more then they were willing to pay.

        I could go on but I made my point Final Fantasy XIII is a PS3 game in every way possible and the 360 is too different to run a PS3 tailored game the same way.

        • SlashZaku

          And the game should have been left as such. FFXIII has been in development from the start (aside from what little they had did/planned on the PS2) exclusively for the PS3 (as I believe the engine they were using/creating was as well. If I recall reading, they needed to build an engine from scratch in a short period of time just to run the game on 360).

          Then, when it was announced for 360, it just seemed like they didn’t know any specifics about how they were actually going to handle it. “Give us the money and we’ll find out everything later.”. It’s 2 groups ‘reaching’. Should have just announced another ‘spin-off’ series like Nintendo has been getting, tailored for the hardware/crowd.

          Better not pull the same bullshit with Versus…

        • rock1644

          Where did you read that 360 game discs have a GB of copy protection software on them? And that whole licensing thing? Developers have to pay a license fee so they can sell their games, but I sincerely doubt they send their gold masters to these companies so they can make the games. That’s the publisher’s responsibility.

  • Ereek

    Oh look, more unintentional fanboy bait.

  • I’m glad they went multi-platform, just wish they put a bit more effort into the 360 port. Happy I got the PS3 version after reading the Eurogamer article on the differences between the two.

    • MrMee

      The effort is fine in the 360 version, especially if you don’t have the PS3 version to compare it to. It still looks better than any other JRPG on the 360. As I mentioned above, if you only have a 360 then get that version.

      • Would not argue with anything you’ve said here. Doesn’t mean the port was as good as it could be though.

        However, glad that people with only 1 system have the opportunity to play it regardless.

  • blurayfor360

    M$ needs to release that use Xbox 360 gamers need bigger media to store games on either by MUCH cheaper hard drives or a blu-ray add-on. So many games and developers are saying that the 360 has limitations and with no new console for years to come, the 360 will be the come second to the PS3 because of a pathetic ideal of having download only. What a load of crap. M$ should shallow it’s pride and allow a blu-ray add-on for games. They bang on about video downloads but what about the fucking games.
    My brother has both a PS3 and a 360. He purchased FFXII yesterday. Guess which format…….yep, it’s on PS3.
    M$ your a greedy cunt.

    • MrMee

      If you have a PS3, then get over not having Bluray on the 360. The next console will almost definitely have it. Moreover, the PS3 is the obvious choice if you have both consoles. If you’re like me and only have a 360 the you would get that version only. The game looks nearly identical. You have to have 20/20 vision to be able to see the differences well enough to critique the fine details. When I get a PS3, my 360 copy will be replaced. Also, speaking of greedy…which console launched at a $599? Moreover, what console dropped PS2 backwards compatibility before an alternative emulator was and still has not been released? Yeah PS3, it’s the one big reason I haven’t gotten one yet, that and I’m broke.

  • David Macphail

    Anyone with a working brain can tell you exactly how FF XIII got on the 360. Microsoft wrote Square – Enix a check to the sum of $200 million. That’s how.

    It seems that nowadays the only way Microsoft can get people to develop for their console is by driving a dump – truck full of money up to the front door of the publishers HQ.

  • bobhoskins

    I’m pretty certain the same won’t be the case with Versus XIII. The only way that’ll end up on the 360 is with Nomura’s assassination or something – fool hates that system with some serious determinator passion.

    • ffgamerx360

      Don’t get me wrong, Nomura is high up in there, but he isn’t no CEO or COO or CFO or Pres or Vice Pres, etc. He can get FIRED for not following orders and if SE wants a game on X360 and he refuses, they can ALWAYS find someone to replace him.

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