You have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the Final Fantasy Franchise in some capacity one way or another. It is one of the most popular and enduring video game series of all time. It paved the way for other popular RPG franchises coming out of Japan and not. As a matter of fact, we can go even as far as saying that the video game industry wouldn’t be where it is today without it.
With 15 main entries and countless spin-offs, it’s no wonder that fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installment for decades. Now it got us wondering: why is the Final Fantasy franchise so long? How come it managed to survive and continually thrive through the ever-changing video game landscape and others couldn’t? Read on as we try to answer all of this and more.
The Longevity of the Final Fantasy Franchise
Many have since grown up playing this storied franchise. The gamers who luckily got the chance to play the original Final Fantasy game back then now have children or grandchildren of their own eager to play the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI. That is how long this legendary franchise has been going on and there aren’t any signs of it slowing down still.
Many attribute this insane longevity of the Final Fantasy franchise to three reasons: It is unafraid to take risks, its high production values, and its large scope. Let us briefly discuss each of these reasons below:
Taking Smart Risks Pays Off
First is that Final Fantasy games are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in video games. Square Enix makes it a point to always strive to be ahead of the current norms—unafraid to experiment and take substantial risks.
They are often the first to feature cutting-edge graphics, innovative gameplay mechanics, and epic stories. In fact, they aren’t even afraid to change genres every now and then to keep everything fresh. This level of ambition requires a lot of time and resources, which is why Final Fantasy games typically take several years to develop.
Take, for example, FFXVI, which is marketed as the true stepping point of the franchise to a brand new age. It aims to throw away some of the JRPG genre elements fans of the franchise grew to love to establish itself as a true Action RPG. While it risks alienating long-time fans, it does make the game more approachable and enticing to a broader set of audience.
It Goes All Out, Every Time
Second, Final Fantasy games are known for their high production values. They feature high-quality voice acting, music, and art direction. This level of polish also takes time and money, which is why Final Fantasy games are often more expensive than other video games.
Building Experiences Larger Than Life
Finally, Final Fantasy games are simply very large. They typically have dozens of hours of gameplay, and there is always a lot to do and see. This can be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective. Some people love the fact that they can sink hundreds of hours into a Final Fantasy game, while others find it daunting.
Those are just some of the reasons why we think the Final Fantasy franchise managed to survive and continually thrive for so long. It is their masterful combination of all these that makes it truly a franchise like no other. Upcoming franchises can only imagine having—let alone sustain the success of Final Fantasy.
Yes, there may indeed come a time when another franchise can threaten the grip of Square Enix’s series over the RPG genre but it is certainly difficult to imagine that there would be another to have the same impact as it has managed to have.
At the end of the day, whether or not you appreciate the longevity of the Final Fantasy franchise is a matter of personal opinion. While some of us (including me) can’t have enough of it and still are clamoring for more, others are just tired of it already and desire something new. With all that said, the Final Fantasy series is here to stay for the next few years more…or decades.