Shuhei Yoshida, Head of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Independent Developer Initiative by day and cool YouTuber by night, made an interesting comment regarding two long-running JRPG franchises and their impact on the PlayStation’s trajectory in the 1990s.
Speaking at the BIG conference in Bilbao, Spain (thanks to GameReactor), Yoshida noted the growing pains Sony was experiencing at the time, when the industry was dominated by companies like SEGA and Nintendo and when developers still had reservations about the emerging startup.
Something had to be done, though, and Sony reached out to the two biggest names in JRPGs at the time, Square and Enix, before the two companies merged, convincing them to bring Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest respectively to PlayStation. Yoshida recalled the episode, noting, “These two RPGs are the biggest IP in Japan. And, you know, they were talking behind the scenes.” [things] I can’t tell, but they both committed to bringing their new games to PlayStation. It completely changed our fortunes, and we finally got the games we needed to make PlayStation a success.”
Of course, today the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises are bigger than ever and are synonymous with PlayStation despite being cross-platform in most respects, so the union has been fruitful for everyone involved.
Given that Final Fantasy VII was originally in development for the SNES, things could have gone very differently for Sony, as it was one of the games that made the PS1 a must-have console, and the same goes for Dragon Quest VII (which It was itself under development for the N64 at one point), although to a lesser extent in the West.
What do you think of Yoshida’s comments? Can you imagine a world where the PlayStation wasn’t the driving force for JRPGs that it was in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, aka the greatest time to ever be a teenager? Let us know in the comments section below.