Shuhei Yoshida, head of Independent Developer Initiative at Sony Interactive Entertainment by day and adorable YouTuber by night, has made an interesting comment regarding two old venerable JRPG franchises and their effect on PlayStation’s trajectory in the 90s.
Speaking at the BIG Conference in Bilbao, Spain (thanks GameReactor), Yoshida recalled the growing pains Sony was experiencing at the time, when the industry was dominated by the likes of SEGA and Nintendo and when developers still had reservations regarding the young upstart company.
Something had to be done, though, and Sony reached out to the two biggest names in the JRPG game at the time, Square and Enix, before the two companies merged, and convinced them to bring Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest respectively to PlayStation. Yoshida recalled the episode, noting, “these two RPGs are the biggest IPs in Japan. And, you know, they were talking behind the scenes [things] that I cannot tell, but both of them committed to bring their new games to PlayStation. That totally changed the fortune for us, and finally we had the games that we needed to make PlayStation successful.”
Of course, today, both the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises are bigger than ever and are synonymous with PlayStation despite being multiplatform in most respects, so the union has been a fruitful one for all involved.
Considering that Final Fantasy VII was originally in development for 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 was true of Dragon Quest VII (which was itself in development for the N64 at one stage), although admittedly to a lesser extent in the West.
What do you think of Yoshida’s comments? Can you imagine a world in which PlayStation had not been the JRPG powerhouse it was in the late 90s and early 2000s, also known as the greatest time to be a teenager ever? Let us know in the comments section below.