Final Fantasy developer Square-Enix may not develop any more titles internally, especially after the difficulty that both XIII and XIII-2 gave the company.
Speaking at GDC Taipei, and reported by Gamasutra, Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama spoke out on the issues that the company had faced.
“Within our company, developing on PlayStation for Final Fantasy XIII we required a huge amount of graphical data. … At the peak, there were over 200 people working on it.” The breakdown there was 180 artists, 30 programmers, and 36 game designers.
“With a large-scale development team, we didn’t use our time well.
“How do you communicate to everyone in the department what the drive of the game is?”
The large-scale development process really messed with how Square-Enix handled the project, leaving little room for the testing and quality proceess. ”Because it’s a large-scale project, we had to keep it secret, but this led to user testing happening way too late in the process,” said Toriyama. ”We heard a lot of feedback about things we needed to fix, and we decided we would do that with FFXIII-2. … We decided that we would have a milestone every month, and realized we needed to applied more western technology and production techniques.”
Then the bomb dropped: ”We are also thinking that we will not do large-scale internal development any longer.” he said. “We have a lot of great creators in Square Enix, but for larger-scale development we will be doing more distributed and outsourced development to reach our targets on time.”
This lack of internal large-scale development doesn’t mean an end to games as big as the Final Fantasy series, but it does mean they will probably be outsourced to one of their other development teams within the company.
We sincerely hope that if Square-Enix decide to end internal development, it doesn’t spell the end to the potential projects that Agni’s Philosophy teased.