“I keep challenging myself to create something new” – Nomura


During the Japan Expo, RPGSite managed to speak to game director, Tetsuya Nomura. He is currently working on two major upcoming next-gen titles: Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV.

Nomura-san is a very important individual when it comes to the Japanese gaming industry and is a pivotal part of Square Enix. Some would argue that Nomura is the only person at Square Enix who understands how Final Fantasy works and what appeals to the players. After the unsatisfactory Final Fantasy XIII and the reveal of Versus XIII (i.e: Final Fantasy XV), this point has been reinforced many times. Quite frankly, Final Fantasy, to many, is a sinking ship. Tetsuya Nomura is currently Poseidon and has it within his hands to either let the ship sink or raise it above the waters.

RPGSite asked Nomura-san what he could have done differently in the previous games he has worked in, to which he replied, “Well, as a creator I always create something new – I keep challenging myself to create something new. Looking back on my old games and everything I was involved in, I often think to myself ‘I could have done this’ or ‘I could have added that,’ and stuff like that. It’s part of the process.

“Right now, though, for Kingdom Hearts specifically – the original game was released more than ten years ago now, but looking back, the original Kingdom Hearts Final Mix… I don’t feel like I should add this or that, or any more. Back then, it was perfect as it is.

“Even though I’ve played this HD version of the game knowing its age, I don’t feel that it’s very old when I play it. I can still feel the passion I had back then in this original game – so, yeah. If we remake a game, maybe we then go and think about adding new elements and sequences and stuff like that, or making large changes – but I think a HD remaster, with the visual upgrade, is the right thing for this particular game.”


Although we knew this already, this reinforces the fact that there will be nothing ‘new’ in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX, and nor should we expect anything to be different in the eventual 2.5 ReMIX. The games are only getting a visual upgrade, nothing more and nothing less.

Nomura-san is known for his love of movies. He has admitted to being a movie junkie and watches two or three films every night. Sometimes, gamers fear that the line between movies and games may fade away. This would be tragic of course, since the two forms of entertainment will feel greatly similar and lose their unique attributes. It’s not difficult to assume that Nomura-san might incorporate one too many movie elements in his games. Heck, at one point, Nomura-san thought of turning Final Fantasy XV into a musical after watching Les Miserables.

Fortunately, Nomura-san understands the word ‘balance’ and knows how to maintain it too. He was asked if there’s a parallel between movie and game creation.

“To an extent, but of course there’s a massive difference between balance in films and balance creating a game,” he answered “Especially creating some games for next-gen consoles – because the next gen consoles have a high spec and a lot of new functionality and everything – there’s a kind of gap between the film-making and game creating at the moment.

“Especially at the moment for game-making, there’s just loads of staff involved… as a director, I can’t do anything by myself! A director on a film can control things more, but I can’t instruct all the people by myself. If the game is triple-A, a big, big project… the way I can use my power, and how to direct people… it’s very difficult!”

Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV will be coming to the PS4 and the Xbox One in the future. Will Tetsuya Nomura meet our expectations? Only time will tell.

  • jak mckratos

    Maybe just focus on the game you promised 7 years ago?

  • Exare

    Sounds like this guy is burnt out. I get that feeling from a lot of veteran game developers now, it’s like they just don’t have the energy or the drive to start a new console generation.

    There’s a lot of old names I see plastered all over the net in interviews, each of them oozing a sense of dwindling enthusiasm. Names like Nomura, Aonuma, Miyamoto and Kojima trying to find something new to do with their own franchises (franchises that have been around for decades) and sighing at the thought of another project with them. Dare I use the word “jaded.” Even Molyneux, with his 22Cans studio trying to find a place to do something different.

    I read all these interviews and each of these gentlemen pussy-foot around trying to be politically correct and safe talking about their projects instead of saying what’s really on their mind. It’s because of the $$$ involved. Say something wrong and it will be all over the internet garnering a fair amount of negative attention whether or not your comment is repeated in or out of context. Then you start playing the recovery game to stop the money from bleeding out of potential profits. Sure you had to be safe with what you said before but nowadays it’s gotten silly.

    The way I see it gaming has gotten too big, too expensive, and because of that, too risky and too stressful. There isn’t a handful of guys in a studio anymore with a decent budget with an audience they know at a size they can fathom, it’s a team of 100+ with millions of dollars at stake competing in an industry with close to a dozen platforms competing for consumer dollars. If I was a developer like them I’d call it quits before I started hating what I loved. Hell, to me “what I loved” doesn’t even seem to be around anymore.

    I have a hard time believing the smile on Miyamoto or Iwata’s face when they announce yet another Mario Kart. Sure it makes money, but do you guys REALLY think they want to be doing that again? I know if it was me, after all these years… no friggin way. Especially at the age some of these guys are now.

  • Lord Akki

    Give us the release date for XV already! My PS4 is being impatient.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    These two games better defy my expectations…many gamers expectations given that many people have been anticipating these titles for far too long.