FINAL FANTASY XIII celebrates its 5th anniversary today!

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Sora96

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Nov 12, 2014
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#1
Today is March 9, 2015. It's been five years since the FINAL FANTASY series entered the HD age, and FINAL FANTASY XIII showcased what this new age can look like with amazing visuals that still look great five years later.

FINAL FANTASY XIII was Directed by Motomu Toriyama (FFVII, FFX series, FFXII: Revenant Wings, Bahamut games, Dissidia) and Produced by Yoshinori Kitase (FFV, VI, VII, VIII, FFX series, KH series, Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core, Dissidia) with art direction by Isamu Kamikokuryo (FFX, FFXII, FFXII: RW) the scenario designed by Motomu Toriyama and written by Daisuke Watanabe (FFX series, FFXII, KH series, Dissidia), main character designs by Tetsuya Nomura (FFV, VI, VII, VIII, FFX series, KH series, DoC, CC, Dissidia) and the music composed by Masashi Hamauzu (FFX, Dirge of Cerberus) with Shinji Hashimoto (FFVIII, FFIX, KH series) serving as Executive Producer. The team behind FINAL FANTASY XIII was mostly the team behind the FINAL FANTASY X series.

FINAL FANTASY XIII was highly anticipated and sales proved that, as it is the fastest selling entry in the franchise and went on to sell close to seven million copies on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The game also received plenty of praise for its graphics, music and story.

It would spawn two direct sequels, a first for the franchise.

Its first sequel, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 released on January 31, 2012 in North America, which sold close to 4 million copies on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 worldwide and was also the first console title in the franchise to receive DLC and a digital version. It was also the major title in the franchise to be partly outsourced to another company in tri-Ace, known for Square Enix's Star Ocean series.

Its second sequel, LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII released on February 11, 2014 in North America and despite the market more quickly than expected shifting to next gen, still managed to sell close to 1.5 million copies worldwide on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Again, it had a few firsts for the franchise with a digital version available at launch with pre-loading in Japan and a Japanese voice pack available as DLC which allows fans to play LIGHTNING RETURNS with the original Japanese voices. Square Enix also enlisted tri-Ace to again assist with development while Yuji Abe stepped up to Lead Game Designer with everyone else continuing their roles from XIII in the sequels.

The FINAL FANTASY XIII team managed to develop two sequels whilst working with Virtuos to develop FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita and a unknown studio (I believe it to be Square Enix London) to remaster the PC versions of FINAL FANTASY VII and FINAL FANTASY VIII.

Last year, FINAL FANTASY XIII was released onto the PlayStation Now streaming service along with FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 allowing it to be streamed on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and select TVs. FINAL FANTASY XIII and FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 were also ported late last year to PC and Square Enix's Dive In streaming service for iOS & Android with LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII expected to launch on these services very soon.

Right now the FINAL FANTASY XIII team resides in Square Enix's first Business Division working on multiple projects:

MEVIUS FINAL FANTASY, a console-quality title being developed for iOS & Android with Yoshinori Kitase serving as Producer, Kazushige Nojima as Scenario Writer, Toshitaka Matsuda as Art Director and Toshiyuki Itahana as Character Designer. The Director is currently unknown but I speculate it to be Yuji Abe.

Motomu Toriyama has confirmed he will reveal a new title in 2015.

And they're also working with external studios to port their past games to other platforms including PlayStation 4 and PC.

In addition, some staff have of course been moved onto FINAL FANTASY XV and FINAL FANTASY XIV including Isamu Kamikokuryo who is now serving as the World Art Director on FINAL FANTASY XV.

Square Enix's Business Division 1, Headed by Yoshinori Kitase takes some crap from fans but this division will always be dear to me.

Happy 5th birthday FINAL FANTASY XIII! I hope to see you and your sequels on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One soon!

 

Mistwalker

SOLDIER Second Class
Sep 20, 2014
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#2
A good summary, but -and I'm sorry for saying this- I can't help but find it a little into a too positive light when addressing what FFXIII meant for the Final Fantasy franchise in the long run. Don't misunderstand me, I love this saga (sans LR:FFXIII. Frankly, I hated that game), but I can't avoid thinking on the damage some decision did to the series, as its linearity, confusing -and very bad explained- story, non-likeable characters (the only one who saved himself on the reviews was Sazh), et cetera.

FFXIII was a beautiful game but it didn't feel as a Final Fantasy game. You know the story: there were no towns, no shops, you were stuck in the Highway until Gran Pulse (which wasn't that open either when compared to other games), the tutorials lasted almost 40 hours, etc, etc, etc. Some chocobos, cactuars and regular names don't make for a FF game per se. There was no feeling that this game belonged to the franchise. At least not at first, because since then Lightning started appearing in a lot of FF spin-offs and it added FFXIII a little more of that 'Final Fantasy feeling', at least for me.

FFXIII-2 tried to correct all of those problems and it was a very entertaining game (with a very sad, silly story nonetheless). I found Serah to be a very compelling character, Sora-- I mean, Noel was a likable and sensitive guy, and Mog was... very Moggle on his (hers? its?) ways. The story was light-hearted but with a lot of dark (very dark) shades, and I loved it. The battle system was an improvement from XIII and I just could continue on. But the most important thing about that sequel was that it felt more as a FF game that FFXIII ever did. It had side-quest, it had mini-games (puzzles), it had towns, shops (and one shopkeeper... It's better than nothing) and all those things you tend to expect from a JRPG.

And then we have Lightning Returns... This game took every lesson learned from FFXIII-2 and ignored them (as I read in another place). It had a very silly story that infuriated me because it closes every character story-thread very poorly, in a very uninterested effort to give Noel, Snow, Caius and everyone else and ending just for the sake of giving them an ending to their side of the story. The graphics took a deep down dive, with LR:XIII being the ugliest of the trilogy. The music wasn't great, nor it was bad... it just 'was'. And Lightning was a more boring character than it was ever before, all the character development she achieved on the previews both games destroyed for the sake of Toriyama's wished of presenting her as a divinity. The only good thing I can say about LR is that it managed to give a boost to FFXIII and FFXIII-2 in terms of quality, with both games looking way better in almost every was after the threequel was released to the market.

In short, I don't think the FF trilogy was a bad saga for the Final Fantasy franchise, but it wasn't as good as some want it to be. I've played each game three or four times (I'm a fanboy, don't forget that), so I can say I can find some charming to those games, but they were more of a harm than an asset for the franchise. Was it for the decisions Kitase and Toriyama allowed when they were in the development process of the game? Maybe. Was it because they tried to be progressive in a series that has the characteristic of always trying to be progressive? I think so. Was this because Square Enix had a state of mind at the time that made them think that everything they released to the market would be a huge success? Surely, the same thing happened with the awful FFXIV 1.0 (I know. I played it.)

I'm glad I played the XIII games, but I'd prefer they didn't exist.
The good thing is that after what happened during and after XIII, and after what happened with XIV 1.0, Square Enix seems to have learned a lesson, that's why we have a very awesome FFXIV: A Realm Reborn and a very promising FFXV.

That's my opinion.
¡Saludos!

Edit: Redaction.
 
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Nov 17, 2014
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#3
Motomu Toriyama has confirmed he will reveal a new title in 2015.
Which would you prefer: FFXIII-4 or FFX-3? IMO I would prefer a spinoff. As much as I'd love a sequel to any of Square Enix's old franchises, I would much prefer that he wouldn't dare handle most, if not, all of them. (I hope I'm not too harsh)
 
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Kagari

神羅カンパニー社長
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#4
Those numbers are shipped. The game sold less than 6 million units to consumers when all is said an done.
And I don't know who was praising the story because honestly that's the worst part of the game. I can look past the linearity because to me the most disappointing aspect of XIII was its bland story and characters. I had expected more based on pre-release marketing but unfortunately it was a bunch of carefully crafted trailers that led to a different end.
 

LeonBlade

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#5
Those numbers are shipped. The game sold less than 6 million units to consumers when all is said an done.
And I don't know who was praising the story because honestly that's the worst part of the game. I can look past the linearity because to me the most disappointing aspect of XIII was its bland story and characters. I had expected more based on pre-release marketing but unfortunately it was a bunch of carefully crafted trailers that led to a different end.
Amen.
 

Squirrel Emperor

Nuts
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Sep 26, 2013
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#8
Also, you can say praising was given to the graphics and to the music. But to the story...
Oh, that story..................
Probably the only two things many people on both sides can agree on.

But looking at the product as a whole, the overall quality of FFXIII hasn't been overwhelmingly positive or anything.
 
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Mistwalker

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#9
Probably the only two things many people on both sides can agree on.

But looking at the product as a whole, the overall quality of FFXIII hasn't been overwhelmingly positive or anything.
I completely agree. And that's why I fear of Toriyama getting involved on another numbered Final Fantasy. I don't think he's a good director or, as I've said before, an asset for the franchise. He has my respect for what he did as one of the directors of FFX, but I think his vision isn't good for FF and that he isn't capable of telling a good story if his games aren't linear (paraphrasing himself, he said something like "you can't tell a good story in an open-world game" --GameSpot said to that: "It's not that you can't tell a good story in an open-world game, is that Toriyama can't").
 
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Sora96

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#11
Those numbers are shipped. The game sold less than 6 million units to consumers when all is said an done.
And I don't know who was praising the story because honestly that's the worst part of the game. I can look past the linearity because to me the most disappointing aspect of XIII was its bland story and characters. I had expected more based on pre-release marketing but unfortunately it was a bunch of carefully crafted trailers that led to a different end.
That's not true at all, unless you see a million copies lying around stores. It's funny when people bring up the "shipped" thing. Lol.
 

Sora96

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#12
Which would you prefer: FFXIII-4 or FFX-3? IMO I would prefer a spinoff. As much as I'd love a sequel to any of Square Enix's old franchises, I would much prefer that he wouldn't dare handle most, if not, all of them. (I hope I'm not too harsh)
X-3 easy, after Nojima's novella and audio drama.

Feels like I'm reading a press release.



I think the public perception was pretty polarizing.
I like the press release style.

Haters gonna hate.

Just follow them very closely. :p
 

Lulcielid

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#13
FFXV has got to be the kind of game where it's so damn amazing that people will forget the company's mistake with XIII games.... As the majority thinks that way. It'll also mean a bright future for SE & the FF franchise as well.
They are already reinforcing their bright future with FFXIVARR(and its expantions), FFXV and other games.
 
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Storm

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#14
I really enjoyed my time with the trilogy, mainly because of the interesting mythology/lore, amazing art direction, music, and the fun battle systems (FFXIII was challenging, and Lightning Returns is probably the most hardcore FF since FFV in my opinion).

the story and characters itself (including the writing) were not very good, but I really got involved with that universe.
 
Sep 26, 2013
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626
#15
That's not true at all, unless you see a million copies lying around stores. It's funny when people bring up the "shipped" thing. Lol.
Shipped to retail and sold to customers are two different and real things in the world of business. There's really nothing funny about it.

I like the press release style.

Haters gonna hate.
That's cool. No hating here. Those who are really REALLY big fans of something and write in PR format about that thing they really REALLY like seems rather appropriate.
 
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Sora96

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#16
Shipped to retail and sold to customers are two different and real things in the world of business. There's really nothing funny about it.



That's cool. No hating here. Those who are really REALLY big fans of something and write in PR format about that thing they really REALLY like seems rather appropriate.
Hardly, it's not like the retail stores will send them back or something. Again, you don't see a million copies lying around retail stores.

Well someone's rude.
 
Sep 26, 2013
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#17
Let's understand something here.

When a publisher announces how many units they have sold in something like a PR statement (FFXIII selling 7 million for example), that number will always be shipped. From the perspective of a publisher, "shipped" is "sold" because their customer are retail chains.

That number will always be talking about how many copies a publisher has produced and shipped to a retail chain. If they say sold, it doesn't matter and mean what you think it does (how many people bought a physical copy of the game in this case).

Does that mean 7 million people have bought FFXIII? No, it does not. Shipped to retail doesn't mean that.

Does that mean all 7 million copies will eventually be sold to consumers? No, it does not. Some copies are left unsold. All one has to do is go to a retail store, walk into the videogame section and observe. Those games you see on a store shelf? They haven't been sold to a consumer yet. Some games just don't sell and hit the trash or bargain bin. I'm sure many people still see brand new, factory sealed, copies of games that came out years ago.

Sell-through/sell-in is the number of copies a retail store sells to a customer, the people who walk into a store and buy the game. These numbers are tracked as well from organizations like Media Create, NPD and GfK to name a few. They can help us know things like how many copies of a game have been left unsold based on how many copies have been shipped to retail. The numbers kinda help with a little thing called market research too.

And publishers most of the time will never report the sell-through number in a PR statement.

With FFXIII-2, the publisher over-shipped too many copies to retail chains and got bit in the ass by price protection. Projections were way off.
 
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Fin

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Nov 22, 2013
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#19
I dunno, a million copies lying around in stores doesn't sound that far fetched. How many games fit into the average shipment box? A lot of shops have storage in the back. Plus one box of games multiplied across tens of thousands of stores, and it's believable. Back in my hometown you could buy XIII at the pharmacy for under 10 dollars, next to games like Imagine Party Babyz.

Anyway, I actually enjoyed XIII quite a bit when I played it. But it had no lasting power for me. As soon as I stopped playing I felt no desire to replay, and it's not simply a matter of linearity. I never felt compelled to try the sequels, either :x I hear XIII-2 is rather decent, but Lightning looks so creepy/badly proportioned in LR, not to mention extreme flanderization. The eventual treatment of her character is one of the things that makes me not want to replay the first entry :/