Final Fantasy 15 is 'make or break for the franchise,' says director

Final Fantasy 15 isn't just a much-anticipated game in the long-running JRPG series - it could very well be the straw that breaks the franchise's back. That's not doom and gloom proselytizing from me, by the way. That's straight from game director Hajime Tabata, who in an interview with Game Informer characterized the current state of Final Fantasy as … well, not good.

"It is a more grave and serious situation than we had initially thought," Tabata told GI. "For Japan, I believe it is a make or break for the franchise. And if the Final Fantasy brand is on its demise in terms of numbered mainline series within Japan, then I feel like it would also follow suit globally."

What's particularly distressing is that Tabata claims several times during the interview that Final Fantasy 7 is the entry that many gamers consider to be the best of the series and thus, the one that Final Fantasy 15 has to beat. Here's where that idea goes a little off the rails:

Speaking to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu last month, Tabata said that Square Enix hopes to sell 10 million copies of the game. To go back to the Final Fantasy 7 comparison, it was only after decades on the market and availability across multiple generations of PlayStation, as well as PC and mobile devices, that FF7 was able to hit 11 million sales.

Tabata clarified that 10 million is not how many copies the game needs to sell to be profitable, just how many the team and studio would like it to sell. And, while it may have taken FF7 to reach such lofty goals, games like Grand Theft Auto 5 hit 11 million within a day. Even such silver linings are of little comfort however, when Tabata insists in the interview that numbered games in the series might be done if FF15 is unsuccessful.

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