Final Fantasy team balancing costs with creativity

Final Fantasy team balancing costs with creativity

By Rob Crossley

May 5th 2009 at 3:12PM

While executive producer Yoshinori Kitase looks to handhelds and download services as platforms for experimentation

Square Enix’s longstanding producer Yoshinori Kitase has challenged suggestions that developing a game as expensive as Final Fantasy XIII can stifle creativity.

Kitase, executive producer of Final Fantasy XIII, does concede that the cost of creating an RPG on a console is “almost unfeasibly high”, but he adds that the development customs of Final Fantasy games have always endorsed input from all angles.

“There is an unusual sort of pressure on Final Fantasy XIII”, he said in an interview with Edge. “I’d say that we need this game to have ten times the success and impact of these smaller titles. But I don’t think that means we’ve compromised in terms of the game design or creativity in any way. Indeed, the development of the game has very much followed in the tradition of the previous titles in the series, welcoming input from the full range of development staff.”

Yet when speaking of “adventurous, leftfield ideas”, Kitase cited handheld releases and various download services as the platform for experimentation.

Kitase himself has been involved with the majority of mainline Final Fantasy games, though he also has a reputation for his work on titles such as Chrono Trigger and Kingdom Hearts.

He has recently expressed his desire to shorten the distance between FFXIII’s release in the East and West, telling Videogamer that the team has already begun English voice-acting and text localisation.

The game is now in its fifth year of development.