Final Fantasy 15 which will be released this autumn has the great burden of defining the future of the entire franchise. One of the longest video game series in history, Final Fantasy was released thirty years ago.
It all started back in 1986 when the gaming industry was still new and unknown territory for many of us. The first game was created when Square Enix along with designer Hironobu Sakaguchi were in a not so favorable period. As one last attempt at regaining its pride, the studio decided to tackle the RPG market and succeeded in doing so.
The first Final Fantasy game did not record a tremendous success, but it did its job by making Sakaguchi famous and saving Square Enix. It was only in the 1990s when the franchise truly set the world on fire, with its sixth and seventh installments. The change happened when the studios decided to try out other IP, which allowed the game to expand across multiple genres and platforms, as dozens of spin-offs were also designed.
Final Fantasy was meant to become a one-hit pinnacle of gaming, but instead turned into a neverending series of JRPGs, but also Square Enix’s flagship IP. However, as we entered the new millennium, the series started to dwindle. The great expectations placed on its shoulders have impeded it from keeping its huge fanbase.
In the present, this pressure has shifted from Square Enix on the IP, as the studios are no longer in danger of bankruptcy. However, the game series might soon face its end because of the dwindling interest of Japanese gamers, but also the general fan dissatisfaction. In order to regain its success, the franchise has to set the world on fire again, and it seems it only has one chance of doing so with Final Fantasy 15.
Its greatest challenge will surely be proving that after fifteen games and numerous installments the series can still be original and innovative. Since fans have been waiting for ten years for it, Square Enix must make it worth the wait. At the moment, we know that a Final Fantasy movie and an anime will be released before the ten million copies of the game hit the stores. While the game has the potential and all the weapons it needs, it can be rightfully named a “make or break” moment, as director Hajime Tabata has named it.
Image Source: Prima Games