As if the staff list and trailers weren’t enough to get you excited about Final Fantasy XV, it seems like every week there’s a new quote or interview segment designed to fan the fanboy fervor even further. This week, Epicstream are reporting that the game’s director, Hajime Tabata, has name dropped Naughty Dog’s magnum opus The Last of Us as an influence on his teams work.
“It’s important that the story progresses through the gameplay in a very unforced way, in a similar way that it was done with The Last of Us, for example” Tabata is reported to have said.
On the one hand, this shouldn’t really be surprising. The Last of Us was a critical and commercial success story and countless developers have cited it as having an influence on their work, or simply appreciating its attempts at forging new narrative ground in the medium. On the other hand, this is Final Fantasy we’re talking about. This is a franchise so ingrained into Japanese culture, a franchise that has been so determined to disregard any trace of western influence that Square-Enix actually shut down a western-developed entry that they themselves initially greenlit because it wasn’t Japanese enough.
Not only is that acknowledgement a big deal for Square-Enix, it’s also a damn good quote to base your feverous excitement on, as the best Final Fantasy‘s are the ones where narrative and gameplay were organically intertwined and if that quote is to be believed, they’re making that an integral part of their process.
Information about Final Fantasy XV‘s 2016 release is scheduled to be unveiled in March.