Final Fantasy series staff discuss their past, present, and future

This week’s Famitsu came packed with a bonus booklet to celebrate the end of the year and Final Fantasy’s 25th anniversary.

Contained within included not only a look at the future of the series, but guest illustrations as well as several comments from a selection of the series’ staff.

Yoshinori Kitase:
The most striking memory he has is from one of FFVII’s early meetings where Sakaguchi proposed the game be set in 1999’s New York since it was a pretty big surprise.

Motomu Toriyama:
He thinks the best part of working on a FF game is crafting each world from the ground up.
He holds a special place in his mind for FF fans, as he has experienced their support in real life. The support they get from fans is, he thinks, the most important thing for developers.

What the future holds, nobody knows.

Tetsuya Nomura:
It’s been 21 years since he joined the company.
Because of the severe winter, he’s been taking care not to catch a cold. He’s looking forward for Spring to come since it’s warmer.

Ichiro Hazama:
Recommends playing Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

Hajime Tabata:
Back at the FF 25th anniversary event, Tabata introduced Tokimeki Final Fantasy as a F2P game in which you can spend Otome Points. Your Girl Power will level-up before you know it. Whether you can do it or not is unknown. He feels that if they can at least deliver this to fans, it’d be fun, so they started with this as a serious plan. He wants to think about this project more if he has a chance.

He wants to create a new FF since he gets excitement out of seeing the reactions of others.
Gameplay and drama must be exciting to create a special experience, which is what his idea of FF is. How that is accomplished is another thing altogether.
In order to create FF games that are special experiences, the development team is facing great challenges, which is why he appreciates all kinds of feedback.

Isamu Kamikokuryo:
While the first FF he was involved with was FFX, since working on more games he along with the other staff members have been gaining more freedom in what they do.
When it comes to development, it’s like he’s in a competition with his fellow co-workers, but he thinks it’s more important to try to enjoy yourself and do fresh things, which is what he’s aiming for now.

Yusuke Naora:
Although he only began working on the FF series with FFVI, he gets a wonderful feeling of awe when looking at the different production materials from every entry.
When he thinks about the huge amount of dedication everyone puts toward each title he gets a bit tense.

Shinji Hashimoto:
He’s had the fortune to work on the series since FFVII. He’s gotten to where he is only because of everyone who helped along the way.
Currently the staff is aiming to create the ultimate fantasy. Because of the many things that have been happening, he’s getting old quickly.

Akihiko Matsui:
He started working on FFIV, and he remembers those days as the ones where you’d go drinking with your bosses and such after work.
The FFXI team is continuing development on the game’s future updates, so he hopes to gather feedback.

Naoki Yoshida:
When he reads comments about people who quit or no longer play FF games, he feels pressured, yet motivated.
Currently, the challenge is to create games that are wonderful and exciting, but above all, fun.

Yoshihisa Hashimoto:
He thinks that the answer to “What is FF?” varies from person to person.
On one hand, he thinks it’s interesting to see how the community reacts to each FF’s world, but he also thinks it’s important not to fear change, since he thinks it an important part of Final Fantasy. The challenge from now on is to offer a first class game world for everyone, even to those inexperienced.

Takeshi Nozue:
He’s been involved with the company since FFIX – that’s about 13 years now.
During development, numerous hardships have to be overcome, and he thinks that it’s thanks to the fans’ support that they’ve been able to do so.
In order to offer new experiences to the players, the development team is currently undergoing many hardships.

Finally, he thanks everyone for their continued support.

About the Author

Erren Van Duine As a self-professed Final Fantasy fan, Erren created Nova Crystallis in 2009 as a place to collect the latest information on her favorite series. As owner and Editor-in-Chief, she also spends her time as a freelance illustrator.