After Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy XV has changed directors from Nomura Tetsuya to Hajime Tabata, some fans felt uneasy, but the new director recently talked with Famitsu and assures them that the development team is still building on Nomura’s original plans.
Famitsu starts the interview by expressing their surprise to hear that Tabata is taking over as the director of Final Fantasy XV, and ask him to share a few details on how that happened.
“It started for me back in July of 2012, due to a request by Yoichi Wada, who was the [Square Enix] president at the time, to have the Final Fantasy Type-0 team participate in the development of Final Fantasy XV,” Tabata replies.
He continues,“At the time, we were at the turning point of either continuing the production of Final Fantasy Versus XIII or changing it to Final Fantasy XV and keep going from there. As a result, the console and structure has changed, and it was also decided to change the game’s direction.”
Famitsu points out that it was at last year’s E3 that the change of hardware and Tabata joining the development team were announced.
“Yes, it was about a half a year after I began working on the trial product developed as Final Fantasy XV,which was approved, and then we officially continued the project as FFXV, and announced it at E3 in 2013,” says Tabata.
He adds, “Afterwards, with the latest set of announcements, we said that the director has changed, but it wasn’t something that happened abruptly. When we transitioned to new hardware, the characters and main point of the story had already been solidified by [Tetsuya ]Nomura.”
“Things like the content, techniques, and how to make the game better are some of the topics we’ve continually discussed with Nomura, the development team, and the management.”
Next, Famitsu asked if the change [in director] has had any influence on the development of Final Fantasy XV.
“Development-wise, there weren’t any demerits,” answers Tabata. “However, I believe that there was certain the possibility of having fans feel a bit of unease, and that’s why we decided to show not only the trailer, but actual footage on-stage during Tokyo Game Show.”
“Adding the demo version to Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is also part of a plan to show that the production is going well,” Tabata says. “We feel that once you get to see it and try it for yourselves, you’ll feel at ease.”
Finally, Famitsu asks Tabata what some of the most important concepts he has for Final Fantasy XV are.
“That would be ‘friends’ and ‘trip’,” replies Tabata. “We’re working on the game design in earnest to convey those two words to their fullest.”
“While Noctis is the protagonist, we’re consciously treating his friends that constitute the party in the same way as the protagonist in all of the game’s scenes. Even the battles will have you fighting and cooperating alongside your friends.”
Final Fantasy XV is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.