Ex-Final Fantasy XV developer Hajime Tabata took out time to talk about Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV and his new venture JP Games, Inc. in a sit down segment hosted on Nico.
The segment featured some great Japanese gaming industry including the likes of Danganronpa Writer Kazutaka Kodaka from Too Kyo Games, Dragon Quest XI and NieR Automata Producer Saito Yosuke, CyberConnect2 President Hiroshi Matsuyama and of course JP Games, Inc. President Hajime Tabata.
Tabata on Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV and his exit from the company
When Tabata decided to leave Square Enix there was a discussion on who would take over the FFXV project and development, in the end it was decided that the future Final Fantasy XV DLCs would be cancelled.
Tabata stated that he’s personally very disappointed that the DLCs were cancelled and that he’s sorry to the fans looking forward to them.
CyberConnect2 President, Hiroshi Matsuyama, who was sitting aside Tabata in the segment mentioned that as a Final Fantasy XV fan he wanted Tabata to finish the development on the future content releases before quitting the company. Tabata answered that although he couldn’t take the project to end, he thought the work the team did was good.
Tabata mentioned that he decided to quit Square Enix because he just wasn’t as motivated in what he was doing anyone, he didn’t want to prove troublesome or hold back the development team.
Tabata again apologized that he was sorry that he couldn’t complete the promised Final Fantasy XV DLC but assured fans that his quitting the company was not related to Final Fantasy XV or its DLC. He confirmed that him and Square Enix ended their relationship on good terms.
Tabata on JP Games, Inc. and their future projects
The hiring process for the new company is going well with them having managed to hire several staff already.
Tabata mentioned headcount will continue to increase but they’ll continue with a small group in the future.
JP Games, Inc. is self funded and has not received any outside investment.
Tabata has thought about making a AAA game independently for other game companies.
He has ideas for some games but he can’t reveal them yet. As far as platforms are concerned Tabata wants his games to be multiplatform for consoles and PC as well as for smartphones.
Tabata mentioned struggles with AAA game development like his experience with Final Fantasy XV. He mentioned creating satellite studios in regions like Vietnam and Malaysia due to manpower shortage in busy seasons. Tabata explained the struggle to scale up these studios due to high investments and security concerns for high end PCs to use for development. He then changed the process to be cloud based which streamlined the development. Tabata mentioned that he wants to evolve making games similar to this example.
He mentions that although he wants to create large scale games, he will probably not hire a lot of developers in a single place. He wants to look into cloud based development or something similar.
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