Thirty years ago, in December 18 of 1987, videogame developer Hironobu Sakaguchi of Square (now Square-Enix) saw the release on videogame stores of what at the time he felt would be his final title on the business before quitting. Such was his thought on the matter that he entitled the game “Final Fantasy.” It was a fairly basic roleplaying game (RPG) where the player controlled a party of four adventurers to save the world. Today, the “Final Fantasy” franchise is still going strong with 15 main installments and near-countless spinoffs. What a way to spend a videogame franchise’s 30th anniversary.
Monday this week marked three decades of the best-selling RPG series “Final Fantasy” from Japanese game company Square-Enix. Needless to say the past couple days were a blast for longtime fans of the multi-title and multi-platform franchise. So much has been going on in the way of celebration that a special website at finalfantasy30.com was set up to be an online hub where the flood of tributes can go and be seen. Most of the sendups are Twitter posts that have been collated for the site by means of their hash-tag #FF30. Images range from in-game screenshots to character cosplay.
But it’s not merely the fan community who has been hyped. Square-Enix and their commercial partners have also been releasing tie-in “Final Fantasy” merchandise outside copies of the game series’ installments. Commemorative items run the gamut from coffee mugs, ballpoint pens, postcards, clothing articles and stuffed toys of various franchise mascot creatures. On the videogame front, day-1 edition copies of the latest “FF” game, “Final Fantasy XV” which came out on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are now retailing online with up to 50% discount prices. The love for all things “Final Fantasy” is evident in all these developments.
The first title in the series came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987, and subsequent “Final Fantasy” titles stayed on Nintendo consoles and handhelds until “Final Fantasy VII,” which released on the first PlayStation. Square-Enix has kept the mainline series with Sony, and later Microsoft’s Xbox line ever since. Original creator Sakaguchi’s final work had become anything but, with eager fans purchasing the games enough to keep the developers churning out new titles and spin-offs. The next big “Final Fantasy” project is a remake of “FFVII” for the PS4. No tentative release date has yet been announced however.
Photo courtesy of finalfantasy30.com