Publisher Square Enix is known for their robust games with great storytelling, but to make such a compelling title, you need a team with passion and talent, but also a team with a considerable amount of staff. With that said, Square Enix has become worried with the size of development teams involved with one title so to combat the problem, the publisher has promised now to cut back on such large project teams for future titles.
Speaking recently at GDC Taipei, the director behind Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, Motomu Toriyama, talked about how communication was difficult with such a large development team. With over 200 people working on both titles at once, 180 of them were artists, 30 of them programmers, and 36 game designers, just too many. Square Enix is looking to outsource their development teams to different projects and in turn give the publisher more variety with what games are being made. Toriyama said:
Because it’s a large-scale project, we had to keep it secret, but this led to user testing happening way too late in the process. “We heard a lot of feedback about things we needed to fix, and we decided we would do that with FFXIII-2. … We decided that we would have a milestone every month, and realized we needed to applied more Western technology and production techniques. We learned this not only from GDC, but also from Eidos.
We are also thinking that we will not do large-scale internal development any longer. We have a lot of great creators in Square Enix, but for larger-scale development we will be doing more distributed and outsourced development to reach our targets on time.
Toriyama went on to talk about how well development with Final Fantasy XIII-2 went, but said, it still could have been a lot better. Maybe outsourcing smaller teams will add more attention to detail and cut down on cases of too many cooks spoil the broth for future titles, it’s a transition the publisher will certainly have to keep an eye on. If you think Square Enix is making the right decision cutting back on the size of development teams, let us know in the comment section below.