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Hironobu Sakaguchi

The last time Hironobu Sakaguchi worked on consoles was for the 2011 Wii RPG The Last Story. Since then, he’s dedicated his time to mobile projects, including the Terra Battle series.

Switch could mark Sakaguchi’s return to dedicated gaming systems. In an interview with Forbes, he mentioned that Mistwalker has started on Terra Battle 3, which could be a fit on consoles. Sakaguchi specifically said that Switch “is a very good piece of hardware”, so bringing Terra Battle 3 over may not be out of the question.

Some have been under the impression that Final Fantasy VI was a disappointment from a sales perspective in Japan whereas it sold moderately well in America. However, this isn’t actually true.

Hironobu Sakaguchi, who produced Final Fantasy VI, has now cleared things up. It turns out that is was the United States is where the RPG didn’t sell. He added that Final Fantasy VII “actually did very well in Japan.”

Interestingly, bigger characters were used in future Final Fantasy titles – starting with Final Fantasy VII – due to the response to VI. Sakaguchi is also “mystified” by VI’s newfound popularity in the west.

“In terms of numbers, [Final Fantasy VI] didn’t sell in the States. It actually did very well in Japan. I’m mystified, because I see [Americans] are playing the [mobile] version. I think size of the characters really matters to an American audience, so from Final Fantasy VII onward, we used bigger characters. [I think] that’s why Final Fantasy VII took off. But I am kind of mystified [by VI’s current popularity in the West], because [Americans] didn’t buy Final Fantasy VI back then.”

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Contrary to popular belief, the “Final Fantasy” name didn’t come about because Square thought it would be its last game in light of supposed financial trouble. Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the series, recently said at an event in Japan that the team instead wanted something that could be abbreviated to FF in English (pronounced as “efu efu” in Japanese).

The original plan was to call the title “Fighting Fantasy”. But since there was a board game using the same name, it was changed to Final Fantasy. Kotaku points out that “Final” was probably a a logical “F” word to pick since it’s a famous word in Japan.

As for those who suggest that Final Fantasy’s name was created as the company’s final project, he said: “Those days definitely seemed like end times, but honestly, any word that started with ‘F’ would’ve been fine.”

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Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi worked on a bunch of Final Fantasy games throughout his career. But which one is he the most proud of? That honor goes to the original Final Fantasy.

In an interview with IGN, Sakaguchi explained why this is his choice:

“There was no guarantee that this game would make it. There were a lot of worries, a lot of unstable factors going into this project. The original team only consisted of four people. Even in the end when we wrapped up the project, there was probably about ten of us.”

Sakaguchi added: “The culmination of [all] the feelings and memories I have towards the first Final Fantasy is probably the largest.”

Speaking with IGN, Final Fantasy and The Last Story creator Hironobu Sakaguchi expressed his disinterest in making sequels.

“I don’t like sequels,” he said. “I hate them.”

Sakaguchi added, “That’s why every single Final Fantasy had a new cast of characters, a brand new story, [and] a different system.”

Sakaguchi still maintains his belief that a game should be a complete experience at his Mistwalker studio.

“Our promise to ourselves is that for every single game that we make, we are going to give it our all, and then we finish it, we’ll end it in such a way that there is no to be continued checklist.”

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Hironobu Sakaguchi revealed during a PAX Prime 2014 panel yesterday that he wanted Chrono Trigger to “evolve into something like a Final Fantasy” in terms of serialization.

Sakaguchi told attendees who stopped by his “Hironobu Sakaguchi Reflection: Past, Present, Future of RPGs” session:

“We wanted to continue it as a series… But — and I think the statue of limitations has passed and expired so I think I’m okay saying this — but we just didn’t see eye-to-eye with management, and so I went and fought for it, and I officially lost the battle.”

Sakaguchi also said the following when it comes to working on past projects like The Last Story:

“Just between some of us that worked on it, we would hope or we talk about it once in awhile that we’d like to. All those IPs, there isn’t a continuation or a series. Nothing’s confirmed. But again, it would be nice to be able to work on a continuation of my old creations.”

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Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi held a panel at PAX Prime 2014 today. Sakaguchi mentioned that it would be nice to work on a continuation of The Last Story (or Blue Dragon/Lost Odyssey), although nothing is happening behind the scenes currently.

At one point, Sakaguchi was specifically asked if there’s a chance of a new The Last Story. He responded in English: “Ok, yeah, you talk to Nintendo.” The audience cheered and applauded when the panel’s moderator asked who would like to see a sequel on Wii U, and Sakaguchi again added: “And maybe PlayStation 4 too?”

Sakaguchi may not have been too serious throughout all of this. He was laughing, and could have just been teasing the audience.

Other than The Last Story, Sakaguchi was also asked about which systems he plans on working with. One of his comments stated that Nintendo always keeps people on their toes when it comes to new hardware announcements. Additionally, Sakaguchi is looking forward to the New 3DS and hopes to have a chance to work on the platform.

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