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  1. #1
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    Square Enix to avoid large-scale internal development after Final Fantasy XIII-2

    It is well documented that the development of Final Fantasy XIII was fraught with difficulty, and that Square Enix wished to get its franchise back on track. While the game sold very well, it came at a much higher cost than the company would have liked.

    "The development time was quite long," admitted Motomu Toriyama, director of FFXIII and FXIII-2, at GDC Taipei. "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," he said. "How do you communicate to everyone in the department what the drive of the game is?" The company had previously been using the story as the basis for development, but as it changed, it was tough to keep that many people abreast of the changes. "We decided we needed to create more practical milestones, not story-based ones."

    "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," he said. "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. We learned this not only from GDC, but also from Eidos [now owned by Square Enix]."

    "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."

    Moving to this monthly milestone-type development, "In the beginning of a month we decide the achievements for that month,” he said. “We decide the core of what we need to do, and plan for that."

    Development went well for XIII-2, but he still feels it could be better. "We feel like we need to add more buffer time for player testing in the future," he added. "We improved for FFXIII-2, but it's still not enough time to add everything we learn back into the game."

    Toriyama also touched on the success of the Asian launch, meaning all parts of Asia that are not Japan. The Chinese and Korean versions were made with the assistance of Sony, helping them achieve a worldwide launch for FFXIII-2.

    He further revealed that Final Fantasy XIII sold 350,000 units in Asia, making it the number one third-party game on PlayStation 3, while FFXIII-2 sold 200,000. "This may not seem like a lot," he said, "But compared to other games in Asia, this game even beat our numbers for other markets like Germany and France."
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/1...tasy_XIII2.php

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  2. #2
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    $#@!. Just the thing I had been fearing for so long. Goodbye Final Fantasy XV, hello Final Fantasy: Midgar Zombies.
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  3. #3
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    Square Enix to avoid large-scale internal development after Final Fantasy XIII-2

    It is well documented that the development of Final Fantasy XIII was fraught with difficulty, and that Square Enix wished to get its franchise back on track. While the game sold very well, it came at a much higher cost than the company would have liked.

    "The development time was quite long," admitted Motomu Toriyama, director of FFXIII and FXIII-2, at GDC Taipei. "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," he said. "How do you communicate to everyone in the department what the drive of the game is?" The company had previously been using the story as the basis for development, but as it changed, it was tough to keep that many people abreast of the changes. "We decided we needed to create more practical milestones, not story-based ones."

    "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," he said. "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. We learned this not only from GDC, but also from Eidos [now owned by Square Enix]."

    "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."

    Moving to this monthly milestone-type development, "In the beginning of a month we decide the achievements for that month,” he said. “We decide the core of what we need to do, and plan for that."

    Development went well for XIII-2, but he still feels it could be better. "We feel like we need to add more buffer time for player testing in the future," he added. "We improved for FFXIII-2, but it's still not enough time to add everything we learn back into the game."

    Toriyama also touched on the success of the Asian launch, meaning all parts of Asia that are not Japan. The Chinese and Korean versions were made with the assistance of Sony, helping them achieve a worldwide launch for FFXIII-2.

    He further revealed that Final Fantasy XIII sold 350,000 units in Asia, making it the number one third-party game on PlayStation 3, while FFXIII-2 sold 200,000. "This may not seem like a lot," he said, "But compared to other games in Asia, this game even beat our numbers for other markets like Germany and France."
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/1...tasy_XIII2.php

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    So basically there saying that there "internal" people aren't talented enough or they don't have enough people to do large scale games? So is this how there doing FFXV?

    And they said they took input from Western devs, GDC, and made milestones on development on XIII-2 as appose to the original. Well XIII-2 is still worse then XIII even tho it does have more unique things to do. And the way there done in the game in cheesy and crappy in some ways too.

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    I dunno how I feel about this. Sure their games might be made faster, but how are they going to get that essential input from people like Nomura to make it a Final Fantasy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Versus View Post
    So basically there saying that there "internal" people aren't talented enough or they don't have enough people to do large scale games? So is this how there doing FFXV?
    No, what they are saying is that "We're tired of spending tens of millions of dollars on game development and only getting a couple of million units in sales, so we're going to reduce how much money we spend by outsourcing a lot of development for much cheaper than we can do it in house since the average salary at SquEnix is over $200,000 a year"

    And they said they took input from Western devs, GDC, and made milestones on development on XIII-2 as appose to the original. Well XIII-2 is still worse then XIII even tho it does have more unique things to do. And the way there done in the game in cheesy and crappy in some ways too.
    What I fear this most is that this somehow affects vsXIII. That's the game I really wanted so far this generation. I hope they let Nomura do what he's going to do and leave the $#@! alone.
    Shinei!

  7. #7
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    Final Fantasy XIII was a masterpiece. It was well worth the cost SE.


  8. #8
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Versus View Post
    So basically there saying that there "internal" people aren't talented enough or they don't have enough people to do large scale games? So is this how there doing FFXV?
    Well it's kind of obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Versus
    And they said they took input from Western devs, GDC, and made milestones on development on XIII-2 as appose to the original. Well XIII-2 is still worse then XIII even tho it does have more unique things to do. And the way there done in the game in cheesy and crappy in some ways too.
    I haven't played XIII-2 but my brother has and his feedback is that it was "Okay", the only good things about the game is that there was more things to do and that the character Noel played marvelously. Other then that, everything else from the story to the rest of the characters was still unsatisfactory.







  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-The-Rave View Post
    I dunno how I feel about this. Sure their games might be made faster, but how are they going to get that essential input from people like Nomura to make it a Final Fantasy?
    Did Nomura have any involvement with IX and XII? Because if not, less of him and more of whoever those folks were is fine by me.

    I think having a smaller team is smarter. There may be less man power for the graphical and coding work, but a tighter team with a more focused vision is what the company needs right now.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forcedme View Post
    Did Nomura have any involvement with IX and XII? Because if not, less of him and more of whoever those folks were is fine by me.

    I think having a smaller team is smarter. There may be less man power for the graphical and coding work, but a tighter team with a more focused vision is what the company needs right now.
    Hiroyuki Ito was the director for Final Fantasy IX and XII. Hironobu Sakaguchi played a large role in Final Fantasy IX as well, although he left Square Enix.
    Last edited by Metal King Slime; 06-29-2012 at 20:10.
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  13. #12
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    IX is my favorite FF of all time. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant game.
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  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forcedme View Post
    Did Nomura have any involvement with IX and XII? Because if not, less of him and more of whoever those folks were is fine by me.

    I think having a smaller team is smarter. There may be less man power for the graphical and coding work, but a tighter team with a more focused vision is what the company needs right now.
    I agree for the smaller teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksite View Post
    Hiroyuki Ito was the director for Final Fantasy IX and XII. Hironobu Sakaguchi played a large role in Final Fantasy IX as well, although he left Square Enix.
    Ah, I see. Thanks for the information. Ito is now my boy.

    And Dave-Zee-Rave, don't act like you don't love me.

  17. #15
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    So, more outsourcing to C rate western developers that will do anything for work?
    Retired FFXI player. FFXIV player, Malboro Server.




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    If the developers of XIII would have spent 1/10th as much time working on the gameplay, characters and story, dialogue, leveling/upgrade system etc. as they obviously did on the graphics, the game would have been immeasurably better off for it. Perhaps this will give them that opportunity. I just finished XIII yesterday and I honestly can't imagine how it could get any worse at this point.

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