Wada: Recent Final Fantasy Games Cannot Beat VIIby Adam Riley on 06/26/12
The CEO of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada, recently made it seemingly clear that he believes none of the Final Fantasy games after the milestone that was the first PlayStation edition actually match the standards of the highly revered Final Fantasy VII. Talking about how fans have been clamouring for a remake of the seventh entry into the multi-million selling RPG series, Wada-san apparently said, "...we'll make a Final Fantasy VII remake once we've made a Final Fantasy game that exceeds the quality of FFVII. If they were to release a VII remake right now, the FF franchise would be done with."
The severity of such a comment calls into question the accuracy of the translation from Japanese, but the message still appears to be clear enough; Square Enix simply cannot currently match the levels reached with Final Fantasy VII back in 1997. Fans who loved Final Fantasy VIII and IX, also on PSone, may disagree, whilst Famitsu rating Final Fantasy XII its elusive 40/40 score clearly points to a different opinion, but maybe Wada-san's comments are meant to encourage his staff to up their game after the lacklustre reception of both Final Fantasy XIII and XIV.
What will not help matters, though, is the departure of long-term staff member Hiromichi Tanaka, who was there pretty much from the start, working on the likes of Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, Seiken Densetsu (Secret of Mana), and then later, Chrono Cross and Xenogears. His success with Final Fantasy XI led to him working on the plagued project that is Final Fantasy XIV, and now his departure comes due to unspecified health issues, something that also led to Yasumi Matsuno leaving during the development of Final Fantasy XII.
The positive news, however, is that Tanaka-san, just as Matsuno-san did, has mentioned his hope to go on a become a solo unit, creating his own games. Previous Square Enix members that have done this include Koichi Ishii, the former head of the Mana team, who set up Grezzo, the group that helped Nintendo with its 3DS port of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as well as Hironobu Sakaguchi, who founded Mistwalker, which is set to follow up The Last Story on Wii with Party Wave for iOS devices in July.