WhatIfGaming E3 ’08: Final Fantasy XIII Sit Down With Shinji Hashimoto

Final Fantasy 13: Lightning

Final Fantasy XIII is finally coming to the Xbox 360 in North America and Europe that had all of us buzzing the moment it was announced. Now the problem with this is that there grew some concerns as to why a seemingly PlayStation 3 exclusive went multiplatform with the announcement of Star Ocean IV also a 360 exclusive. At least for the time being anyways. We heard a lot of buzz everywhere and from all the analysts and top notch guys at the conference and most were convinced something bigger is occurring between Square Enix and Sony. Something very seven-ish. To elucidate, Final Fantasy VII-ish for the PlayStation 3 only. After our preview of Heavy Rain for the PS3 behind closed doors, we caught up with Shinji Hashimoto for an interview of all things Final Fantasy XIII and any fallaciousness behind exclusivity in general and that of Square Enix titles.

WhatIfGaming: So, Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360 is the biggest announcement Square Enix saved to make for E3 2008. How did all of this come to happen? Did Microsoft contact Square Enix and say: “This is what we want, let’s get to what we need to do,” or was it more of a company decision to begin with?

Shinji Hashimoto, Square Enix Ltd: To start off, it was more so a collaborative decision than anything. We have The Last Remnant, a 360/PS3 role-playing game that we have been working very hard for since it is development and this presented a lot of efforts for newer projects. We also recently announced multiple collaborations with tri-Ace for Star Ocean IV for 360 and of course Infinite Undiscovery. We want to share as much of our games with many people as possible and felt this was the right time to do so.

WhatIfGaming: But in order to share as much of its games as possible, wouldn’t Square Enix want to make Star Ocean IV on the PlayStation 3 as well?

SH: We want to share as many as possible, but sometimes certain conditions come in the way that prevent that. Next question please.

WhatIfGaming: Why is Final Fantasy XIII taking so long to make? I mean, we know that Square Enix is localizing the production towards these newer and upcoming titles for Fall, but there was more of an urgency to see something on Final Fantasy XIII in the near future. Instead, Square Enix is devoting time to Last Remnant and Infinite Undiscovery which is getting a lot of people embroiled. Even for us, it seems like Square Enix is taking a lot of titles under its belt and not really focusing on one especially Final Fantasy XIII for which we heard the progress is going awfully slow.

SH: That is quite a powerful question (laughs) but a good one. As for us taking too many titles under our domain, I have to disagree. We have teams working on all the projects all around but it is very well true that some are more in full focus than others. We want to take our time with XIII and get it out when it is ready and when we feel it is ready. It is a highly expected title so we want to give people the best.

WhatIfGaming: Alright, that makes sense.

SH: Just want to add that we are always trying our best for balance in titles and listening to what people are expecting of us and fulfilling that.

WhatIfGaming: Speaking of that, I know that the PR will be pretty pissed that I’m asking this anyways but you and I both know I have to. Even if it does not get an answer, I need to (fist clench gesture)!. Back when PS3 was launching, there was a pruriently impressive demo of Cloud at a subway station and all of that. Since then a lot of people have been asking and hoping for a remake of Final Fantasy VII only for the PlayStation 3. Will there be any announcement at all before the release of Final Fantasy XIII for an exclusive Final Fantasy VII on the PS3?

SH: (laughs) I hate to avoid this question but I will say one thing. We currently know a lot of people are asking for this but we are already very busy with all of the titles as you mentioned before to be even considering a remake at the moment.

WhatIfGaming: Mr. Hashimoto thank you for taking the time to answer all of our questions here today at E3 2008 and we look forward to being in touch with you for the future.

SH: It is my pleasure. Thank you.

I'm all about one thing: reviews that are easy to understand and make sense of.


  1. LOL. my god you totally grilled him

  2. Hahhaha wow. No Final Fantasy VII. Sucks!

  3. Way to grill him on the progress rate too btw. I bet he got nervous

  4. amazing interview again


  5. Wow.

  6. I’m just speechless at that. An interviewer who speaks his mind. about fucking time seriously

    Bdog replied on July 18th, 2008 7:46 PM:

    Same here man. I love this site a lot

  7. Thanks again WhatIfGaming

  8. No VII? Darn

  9. Amazing article

  10. Great stuff

  11. Yeah good question about SOIV

  12. To share, they should share on all consoles

    IBKING91 replied on July 18th, 2008 7:49 PM:

    Yeah 100% what gives with him just ignoring the q? lol

    JoshDargie replied on July 18th, 2008 7:50 PM:

    He was taken off guard. That’s the stuff I want to see more often. And also them answering it

  13. I agree. Amazing interview, great q’s

  14. Great article again

  15. I’m pretty sure he was shocked that a journalist/interviewer was actually doing his job and asking juicy questions. hahah

  16. I love this site so much as well. It’s my homepage and I even have all the wallpapers from the pack. Thanks

    Lajk192 replied on July 18th, 2008 7:51 PM:

    Dude. I have Rubescent calm. It ROCKS

  17. Yeah nice article

  18. Lol. Amazing interview so much. I really do love this site. Heard of it from Gizmodo and ArsT, so came on here. Not regretting it since

    Lajk192 replied on July 18th, 2008 7:52 PM:

    I got it from Penny arcade. Gizmodo covered their camera thing though. I saw that

  19. Love it a lot

  20. Now that it’s on the 360, it better not effect graphics. That would suck

  21. Great exclusivity questions

  22. Love this so much reading it AGAIN

  23. Awesome thank you !!!

  24. I thought the interview would stop when I grilled him on Star Ocean IV

  25. That was SO good. Thanks. I was thinking they would like…drug you so you forget you ever interviewed them or asked that. It made my jaw drop! LOL

  26. Usman, I love your websiteeee please please never change into the corporate conglomerate sites of other media

    <3! Much love

  27. Awesome interview!!! A lot of details

  28. Thank you !!

  29. Cool.

  30. Can’t wait to see more interviews. I’ve been following up since Monday

  31. So excited, please have more pleaseeeeeeeeeee

  32. hahah. not beginning. Just asking : /

  33. Thanks again! Love this website

  34. Awesome interview.. as usual! :)

    I like… “next question” hahah

  35. Awesome interview!

    Finally the questions nobody else would ask.

    Nice site BTW

  36. You really should have followed up on that Star Ocean 4 question! Just because he said next question, doesn’t mean you can’t be pushy. Everyone’s asking about the release of Final Fantasy XIII and all, but you could have got a real scoop!

    lol there’s always next year right?

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