Gamebusters myth 16: Final Fantasy was going to be Square’s final game
Welcome to another entry in the Gamebusters series, where I track down gaming myths and try to discover the truth of them. Before we begin this myth, I want to apologize to any who clicked the original and was taken to a blank page. It seems I experienced some technical difficulties, which caused the post to go through without content. For this I am truly sorry.
This myth deals with Square and their ever-popular series, Final Fantasy. For those unaware, the story goes that Sakaguchi had long wanted to create a role-playing game, but his employer, Square, refused to grant him permission to do so. Their reasoning was that a product like that would result in low sales, and they did not want to take the risk.
One game caused Square to reconsider their stance on RPGs, however. This was the wildly popular Dragon Quest. Once Square realized how much of a hit it was in Japan, they decided to let Sakaguchi go through with his vision of Fighting Fantasy, an RPG that was inspired by games like Ultima and Wizadry.
When Sakaguchi went to recruit members to his team, however, he had a bit of an issue. Only three of his colleagues wanted to join the project because he had the reputation of being a rough boss. In the end he was able to convince a total of six other people to join him in creating the project, but Square was soon under the threat of bankruptcy and decided that they’d only produce one final game before they were forced to shut down.
Myth or fact? This is another myth that turns out to be fact. Square experienced some severe financial troubles and was facing the threat of bankruptcy. This, in addition to Sakaguchi’s personal situation, prompted the name of the game to be changed from Fighting Fantasy to Final Fantasy. For those wondering about his situation, Sakaguchi explained that if the game hadn’t sold well he would have quit the games industry completely and returned to university. In the end the game sold well and Square was able to stay open.
I hope you enjoyed this myth. If you have any game myths you’d like to see here just post in the comments and I’ll make them a priority. Happy gaming!