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Can Final Fantasy’s Next Edition Scale Up After The XV Flop?

by Kevin Bellah
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Final Fantasy can count itself lucky that it has legions of adoring fans after the critical flop that was XV. As Digital Trends highlights, XV wasn’t a bad game per se – but it was a bad Fantasy game. With rumors abound that Square Enix have taken their eye off the ball while development pumping the WoW-chasing FFXIV, there’s a lot of expectation – or perhaps, trepidation – about what the next game will look like. Many are of the opinion that the developer should look to previous editions to make the next release a classic.

An inclusive heritage

Part of the charm of Final Fantasy comes in its heritage. Characters like Quina are praised precisely because of their charm, and the fact they helped to open up conversations on modern societal talking points long before the current discourse emerged. As Comic Book Review highlights, the simple implementation of this character brought with it non-binary representation long before the current discussion. This inclusivity is why FF characters are so beloved by fans, and it helps to develop a strong community. That strong community absolutely relishes the lore and history of the Final Fantasy story arc, from the original game up till now, and more than anything wants to experience that flavor and nostalgia.

Taking it easy

While some fans dislike the massively multiplayer format of FFXIV, the game is nevertheless well received for sticking to the Final Fantasy history and roots. The soul of the game is clearly still there with the developers. With that in mind, it’s crucial that they take as much care as possible on the way to release. With delays reported by IGN, ostensibly because of the need for more development time, the producer has sought to address fears by fans that they will rush through the next instalment.

Good signs

As TechRadar highlights, there are positive signs that Square Enix are taking development very seriously. Producer Naoki Yoshida has said that XVI is being completed with “the utmost care”, effectively quelling concerns that his time is being dominated by the MMORPG development of FFXIV. That’s a piece of good news for long-time fans of the series, and a sense that there really will be something good to come out of the franchise after the poor showing last time. In many ways, all the fanatic fanbase of the series wants is a game that really appeals to their core interests. The MMO can try new systems and develop new ways of playing – the main series games should be there to serve up favored tropes and plotlines.

With all of that in mind, it’s safe to say that FF fans can get excited. The last game was underwhelming, and the developers know this. If the next game can incorporate the charm and function of beloved previous editions, it’ll be a win for the entire community – and, potentially, the wider gaming industry.

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