Lead Designer Claims Final Fantasy Versus XIII Failure Was Not Nomura’s Fault


Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been rebranded as Final Fantasy XV after years and years spent in a development hell, which also involved Kingdom Hearts III as the games shared the same director, Tetsuya Nomura.

Nomura is one of the most controversial creatives in the industry mainly because fans believe that every project he works on requires ages and ages before releasing, and even when they do they end up disappointing for some reasons.

In an interview with Game Informer, lead game designer Wan Hazmer, who worked on both Versus XIII and XV, offered an interesting defense of Nomura and tried to let us know that it was not his fault if the original project ended up being a failure for Square Enix.

Twitter account DKFH has shared a transcription of the podcast on the social network and reported that “asked why Nomura’s games “take so long to develop” he says it’s not under Nomura, there are so many circumstances involved in development.”

“It’s not really the director there’s so many other things even if it’s not in control by the company, e.g., the ecosystem, platforms changing.”

Hazmer also said that Nomura is a genius in terms of design, as “the team was stuck for a week or so trying to solve a level design problem, and when they met him he solved it in 5 minutes.”

“He looks at the game at its completion; it’s already there in his head. He’s very adaptive; he can change according to the situation. But man does he have a lot of answers in his head,” the former lead game designer, now gone indie, has shared.

That’s very interesting and allows us to have a deeper look at how things work in a video game company, even if there’s one single person who takes the responsibility and the blame, if needed, in front of the public.

We’ve also had an example of that on Kingdom Hearts III, which has taken so long not because of Nomura but due to Square Enix’s decision to switch to the Unreal Engine in the middle of the development process. Fun enough, Final Fantasy Versus XIII had a homage in KH3.