Final Fantasy Director Wants To Develop New I.P. For "Seniors"

By Ishaan . September 9, 2013 . 11:32am

Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy Type-0 and co-director on Final Fantasy XV, says his future goal is to develop new IP aimed at “seniors”. Tabata’s comment made an appearance in Square Enix’s latest annual report.


“My aim for the projects centering on Final Fantasy XV is to achieve the highest-acclaimed, highest-profitable installment in the Final Fantasy series,” Tabata says to Square Enix shareholders. “With this goal in mind, I would appreciate your continuous support.”


He continues, “Going forward, as a creator I would like to develop new IPs for seniors. I will create games that would thoroughly satisfy myself as I get older.”


“Also, as a leader, I want to establish a strong production studio with an open, flexible atmosphere that constantly delivers excitement to shareholders, employees, the game industry and users—a studio with the capacity to consolidate the Group’s capabilities and play the best match at the forefront of the industry.”


“On this journey, the support of shareholders would be very much appreciated.”


Image courtesy Square Enix.

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  • Andrew Arndt

    O,o really O;O

  • JuhRo

    Final Fantasy-like Brain Age would be… amusing, I suppose…?

  • School Idol Addict

    I wonder what he mean by game for “seniors” ?
    Do he mean games aimed at peoples like 40-50 years old ?
    If that’s the case even though i’m still quite far from there, i would be interested in seeing what kind of games he would come up with.

    • Yes, that is what it sounds like. It’s an interesting comment, and I would imagine a lot of this IP will take the shape of social or F2P games, as I can’t imagine Square Enix expect 40 – 50-year-olds to be buying game consoles.

      • School Idol Addict

        Yes, i think social or F2P would be the best, but they would need to go in a different route then what most F2P games have gone until now.
        Senior are often much more careful in the way they spend their money, so i don’t think they would be much interested in playing a P2W games
        First he would need to find something to attract seniors to his games and after that find a way to keep the seniors interest in his games and finally find a way to make peoples spend money in thoses games without making them feel forced to spend money.
        Which might be harder then just trying to sell some good looking new pets to young peoples for example.

  • Ferrick

    Senior Fantasy ?

    • Solomon_Kano

      “This might really be your final one…”

      • ElAbuelo69

        …until suddenly you’re at Senior Fantasy XV!

        • Ferrick

          “But by then you’re already at the retirement home fighting other elderly anyways”

  • Godmars

    So is he talking those 30 and older?

  • Erikdayo

    Very interested in this! 26 at the moment, but I could use some more games for adults that aren’t shooters.

    • fairysun

      $hit !
      If 26 is considered senior, I am definitely an ancient. :D

      • Namuro

        Don’t worry! We’re forever young, as long as we believe…! Ow! My back… orz

        • Kitestwinblades

          You okay there, young timer? *Steps on Lego*

      • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

        Well for those of us that have been playing FF for 23 years of our lives, senior is a good choice of words.

        • Syn

          Whats that….cant hear you… I tell ya, back in my day.. words were much clearer and easy to read, and the sun glowed nine times brighter too..or was it paper…..darn namit, need my glasses.

        • Morricane

          Dang, I’m three years too young to be a senior…O.o

          • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

            So 24 then? For you realize you can’t have been playing since you were one. So I am saying I am 27.

          • Morricane

            23-3 = 20 years of playing FF. First FF at 13…what am I missing here? :)

          • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

            My bad, did math in the reverse. But the point is still the same. Been playing a long time is the point, yourself included.

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Folks, lets not use this thread to ‘hate’ games which well — might not be targeting you.

    • Godmars

      Except he could be talking about anything from mature themes, in dept story telling, or just boob physics and nudity in a *All the Bravest* spin off.

      • Unless one doesn’t understand English, I think it’s quite evident from the wording what he means.

        • Godmars

          Except we’re talking about a second language. A literal interpretation of PR speak no less. We wont really know what he means until there are actual games. Trailers.

          • This is from an official Square Enix translation meant for company shareholders. I assure you, much thought has likely gone into the wording of their English documents. There’s little room for doubt.

  • leingod

    “My aim for the projects centering on Final Fantasy XV is to achieve the
    highest-acclaimed, highest-profitable installment in the Final Fantasy

    Highest profitable sounds possible, but highest acclaimed… I doubt it. He’ll never top the work of his predecessors in that particular aspect. He should just desist on that and give fans what they’ve been clamoring for years… you know, that particular remake.

    • Monterossa

      Highest profitable is impossible. XV will never make profit more than XI and soon XIV.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Yea, there’s no way XV is outgrossing a decade-long subscription based RPG. And XIV will have a considerable head start on it as well.

        Acclaimed is a much more realistic goal in that light.

        • outlawauron

          If you actually look at reviews, it only needs a 9.4 or higher. That’s the bar that FF9 set for the series.

          • Solomon_Kano

            That is pretty lofty. Well, let’s see if he and Nomura can make it happen.

            I want to believe!

  • Last Star

    Final Fantasy: The Elderly Scrolls

    • RichyGaming

      No, I don’t like that idea.

  • Alphabet Soup

    I wonder what exactly he means by seniors. In Japan, the gaming audience for RPGs and such is usually thought to “graduate” sometime around college age. I like the idea that he is thinking of gamers beyond that demographic but I’m still a little confused.

  • Suicunesol

    Interesting. The problem with is that seniors (that is to say, 40-50 year olds) don’t really have time to play games. They’re either working, taking care of their kids, networking with coworkers, or doing more important, outgoing activities before they get too old to do them. If the games he makes can compliment those activities, he might succeed. I don’t think he means games like Brain Age which are too sterile and clinical to be everlastingly interesting. Maybe he needs to marry a mature narrative with problem solving? I don’t mean sex and violence, as those aren’t really “mature” themes that appeal to the “mature” crowd. Maybe a social game about being the President in World War II, negotiating with Hitler or Mussolini. Or a game based on really old films, like a Casablanca game or a real Star Trek game that isn’t about shooting things. Something that only the older crowd can relate to.

    Or maybe games that make old people feel young again. >_> Didn’t Nintendo already tackle this with the Wii?

    • l777l

      That’s nonsense. Of course “seniors” have free time. It depends on what they consider important free-time activities. It appears watching TV is among these. Substitute video games for some TV time and you got seniors playing games and having time for it.
      As a side note, sex and violence do matter to “seniors”. They may prefer a less than common approach to these themes. But that would simply mean making a game for seniors, which is the very goal here.

      • Suicunesol

        So what’s a senior in your view then? Yes, of course they have free time. But I meant that their freetime is always spent doing something else. And there’s a certain stigma that older people have against video games when compared to other things. When I mean older people, I mean 40-50 year olds.

        I’m sure sex and violence matter to some seniors. But I think that’s not what the general older populace is really looking for, especially the female senior crowd (because they matter too!) At least, it needs to be approached differently. You’re right.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Considering Tabata says that he’d like to make games that he’d enjoy as he gets older, I don’t think he’s targeting just any seniors, but aging gamers in particular. The average 40-50 year old has other things to do, but the same can be said of the average 30-something or 20-something.

          If you weren’t playing games before you hit 40, I don’t think Tabata believes he can suck you into gaming all of a sudden now. His inclusion of himself was pretty telling of his target, I felt.

        • l777l

          I assume he is talking about people around 40, but that’s speculation. Regardless, by the time such a new IP would be released, many gamers would be of such an age.
          A side note on women: they tend to reach a sexual peak at around 40. Female sexual desire/’appetite’ appears to increase as their fertility declines, and until it is gone.

        • 40 year olds are not seniors. It’s generally 65 and older.

  • $36598391

    Or Square Enix could resurrect some of their IPs through other means then mobile games or social games

    • Demeanor

      It’s really beyond me how they see remakes of past glories as harbingers of doom when there are tons of other sw houses shelling out successful remakes. But maybe it’s just my selfish desire speaking there and it wouldn’t be a sound business decision :P
      Want to make a good FF XV SE? Just don’t forget the basic jrpg rules when striving for innovation, learn from the gap you created between FFXIII and FFXIII-2.

  • TomSkylark

    Relax, folks: Given the conventions by which one is judged to qualify as an “old man” in JRPG’s, I’m guessing “seniors” here means “people in their mid-30’s or with any amount of body hair.”

    • l777l

      Quite possible.

    • epy

      JRPGs have taught me that you’re supposed to be a master of your craft, known across the land for your legendary skills when you’re around 32. Maybe it is a game where you play a 33 year old?

    • “Given the conventions by which one is judged to qualify as an “old man” in JRPG’s”

      LOL as soon as I read that, I thought of Jade Curtiss from Tales of the Abyss. Everyone calls the guy an old man– he’s only 35!

      • TomSkylark

        I was also thinking of Raven in “Tales of Vesperia,” but I don’t think it’s a “Tales”-specific trope–look at Barret in FFVII, or Balthier in FFXII, or Dunban in “Xenoblade.”

        I guess it’s a wider thing in Japanese pop culture, too–remember how the Outer Senshi were supposed to “older and wiser” on Sailor Moon, and we knew this because Haruka and Michiru (gasp!) lived in their own apartment even though they were ostensibly high school students, while Setsuna dressed all School Marm-ish because she was the ripe old age of college student?

        • Anime10121

          Stop reminding me of the Sailormoon anime. I keep thinking when am i gonna see the new ones visuals :(

          But yea agree, I’ve always found it funny, in RPGs and anime. Once you finish high school (or get a job period) you’re an old timer.

        • Ashelia Poundland Dalmasca

          but balthier is 22, you could have used the 36 year old basch

          • TomSkylark

            Woah, srs? Balthier looks much older than 22 to me, and Basch looks a lot younger than 36.

            I guess Basch also brings up the actual issue here, given that FFXII was last-minute redesigned to focus on Vaan and Penelo because Basch was considered “too old” a focus, even if the storyline ultimately does revolve around him (and, iirc, has really little to do with Vaan). I don’t mean to step on the toes of other Squeenix titles, but I think that decision probably had a lot to do with the popularity of franchises that patently are aimed at–and star–children, pre-teens, and teens, in which case it seems like maybe part of Tabata’s comment registers frustration about the design limits the fiscal successes of such franchises are perceived (wrongly) to place on mainline FF titles.

            I identify with other commenters’ frustrations that “more mature” in game design often equates to boobs and violence, rather than more nuanced (but not convoluted or baroque) storytelling and design choices. But if it COULD mean the latter instead of the former, or simply avoid the nostalgia trap of fanservice for older gamers, then maybe something really great could come out of such a focus.

    • leingod

      Heh, I’ve always thought that was weird about japanese games. I’ve seen guys being called “old man” at as early as 25 in JRPGs. Apparently japanese folks’ peak in life is at 15-16, and everything after is old age… whereas in western games, I can’t think of any teenage game protagonists that aren’t a turtle.

      Must be depressing being a 30-something in Japan.

      • Presea

        I agree with you, like in almost all JRPGs/animes I have ever seen, the main cast is usually made out of teenagers for some reason and any adult is called an old man/woman, even though they are just in their 20s. Maybe Japan just really like teenagers or something, but it’s just kinda sad for the adults.

        So I really like the sound of this new I.P, it’d be nice to see a cast of older people for a change in a JRPG (if that is what Tabata is planning to do anyways).

        • leingod

          Yeah, it’d be kinda nice if the new cast of a FF game were some 20 year-old geezers for a change.

  • l777l

    Final Fantasy, before you’re about to kick the bucket.

  • BOOOOOO. Square, send Tabata back to making shitty mobile games and let Hiroyuki Ito or Takashi Tokita direct another numbered Final Fantasy, for god’s sake.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Tabata hasn’t worked on a mobile game since KH: Coded >_>

      I want a new Ito Final Fantasy more than anything, but come on.

      • Well, I was going to say “handheld games”, but I’d rather have actual talent working on those, too. Besides, SquEnix is all about the mobile games these days.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Hm. I’m curious, what game did Tabata do to sour you on him so?

          I’d guess T3B, but I’m told that’s a rather fine game from a gameplay perspective. If you said CC though, I wouldn’t really have much to say to that, since I’m no fan of the gameplay there myself. Type-0 showed he’s capable of much better though, I felt.

          • Crisis Core was a putrid load of ass, and I resent all of its fans for telling me it was the one worthwhile FF7 spinoff. T3B looked like an embarrassment, too. Kingdom Hearts: Coded also looked exceptionally crappy, and I don’t even like the Kingdom Hearts series to begin with.

          • Solomon_Kano

            So you actually haven’t played T3B either? Or Coded?

            As of Re:Coded (since we never got the original) Coded plays just as well as the other handheld KH games, I felt. I actually did have the dates mixed up though, that’s his most recent mobile title.

            Kinda odd to have such passionate feelings about a guy’s work when you haven’t experienced most of it though. It’s not really a fair shake, y’know?

  • Zonder88

    Games for seniors?

    Final Fantasy Xtreme Beach Volleyball confirmed!!!

    • gRiMmYdArK13

      I wouldn’t mind seeing both girls and guys in swimsuits!

      • Tom

        LOL, Zack was in a swimsuit in Crisis Core, fighting bad guys with a parasol :D So it’s a great idea!

        • $36598391

          Tifa and Aerith in Swimsuits!

    • Tincho D

      With 40yo ladies.

      I’d buy it.

    • Morricane

      Of course being played with Blitzballs!

    • rurifan

      As a compromise I’d accept just a few playable female characters in FF15….

  • JustThisOne

    I’m going to assume this means older gamers as opposed to seniors in general. If the average gamer is around thirty, that average gamer’s going to get old some day. So I think there should be games catering to their tastes.

    But I wonder how he’ll define this difference, though? Does he mean the themes are different? The game length? The genre?

  • I’m kind of surprised the market isn’t targeted more. They have money, time and would probably be comfortable with limited motion like sitting down tapping on a controller.

  • Jackie

    what exactly does IP for seniors mean? somebody clarify please? :(

    • Stranger On The Road

      Hopefully it would translate to a game targeted at adults with a mature mind; instead of the current trend of making games targeted at teenagers but enjoyable by grownups.

      That being said… I hope that it doesn’t translate to ‘gore’ but to a JRPG with a series story :-)

      • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

        From the words he’s used, I think it can be taken that he means the former and not the latter. Gore =/= maturity.

      • Jackie

        ah, i see what you mean :) thanks for replying!
        cool, then i hope so too it would be nice to see different games for grown ups thats fine with me

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Nah it sounds like he wants to make a challenging game targeted at more developed and older minds. Like an RTS that deals with things relevant to an older person. Drastically different game mechanics.

          • Jackie

            either way it sounds good :)

  • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

    I like this idea. Having grown up with FF since 1990 when I first played it, it would be nice to play some more mature themed games from the makers of FF. Hoping FFXV satisfies my 27 year old mind, and that this new IP will bring back the love of old possibly.

  • Kevi Johnson-el

    Seniors you say…so can we get a new Chrono game…its been about 13 years…

    • TalesLaw

      That would be nice.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Sounds good to me. Can’t wait for FF XV!

  • Sergio Briceño

    How exactly is an 8+ years development cycle for a game profitable is beyond me…

    • Anime10121

      It hasn’t been in development for 8 years, its been about 4. When they announced Vs. they hadn’t actually begun work on it in earnest.

  • りんごタルト@エスカのアトリエ

    Put Matsuno on contractual work already, Squeenix.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    Senior citizens? Final Fantasy (age) 90! I would love that.

  • whatinthewolrd

    That should be the everyone’s goal in the first place.

  • Rogerrmark

    Basically,he wants to develop jRPGs with more mature themes,like Persona 2(or well…Type-0 itself)? I would love to see that.

    I do like light-hearted stuff like Dragon Quest and Atelier series too,but mature-toned RPGs are always welcome. :)
    (and are kinda rare,btw)

    • I… wouldn’t call Type-0 a “mature” RPG by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Rogerrmark

        I still need to play it,although people I talked about told me the game overall had a more serious tone than most FFs. :x

  • psycho_bandaid

    “Mom! Grandpa is hogging the Playstation again!”

    …I think I just took a glimpse into my future…

  • Aaronrules380

    I’d probably care more about this type of thing if the vast majority of Square Enix’s old amazing talent hadn’t left the company leaving it to be run mostly by talentless hacks.

  • Unlimax

    Wai- .. I think i post my comment here yesterday
    what happened and if so who did this ? i’m a little upset by this move ._.”
    Anyway .. Hope this new IP will be Survival Horror game from Square .

  • echokanon

    I just hope it will not turn out as FF themed pachinko…

  • Otaku-Sama

    I miss my old-school turn based JRPGs…
    To me, FF died after FFIX or FFX-2, if I am in good mood.

  • foopy

    Considering Japan’s aging population, this might not be a bad idea. However, “Senior” seems like a very wide niche to fill, and perhaps a precarious one. The demographic needs to be considered carefully and tactfully, as opposed to falling back on stereotypes about older adults. Basically making a large-font Final Fantasy that just uses one button is a surefire way to denigrate the intended audience.

    The broad pool of potential gamers is also going to be a huge issue. With a younger audience, it’s easy to follow current trends to create something that is immediately interesting to them. With a more mature audience, however, it might be more difficult to find a single theme that will connect with a wide array of individual tastes.

    I’d like to see what Square could pull off with this idea. At the very least, it will require a new perspective.

    TL;DR Final ftansy sux maek chrono break

  • Storm

    Not sure I understand this. What would be so different about a game that is aimed at gamers that have been playing for decades? When I get older I intend to be playing Mario, Zelda, FF, Pokemon etc. just like I already have for years. I don’t see myself craving different experiences.

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