Final Fantasy XIII was given a very mixed reception when it was released earlier in the year, but according to a recent interview, some of this could have been avoided.
Square Enix were aware of a need to cater slightly to the Western audience, but decided to only do focus groups late into the game's development cycle - so late that they couldn't do anything about the feedback they received.
"Even before the current generation of consoles was introduced, it was obvious that the game market in the West was gaining momentum, and we couldn't ignore it", write developers Motomu Toriyama and Akihiko Maeda. "The sentiment that stood out the most to us at the time was the increasingly harsh criticism towards JRPGs.
They followed this up by saying:
"There were some minor hiccups [with the Western testing], as we did not have much time to prepare for the focus group sessions, but we were able to successfully conduct player tests and interviews globally. Even though it was too late to apply the majority of the feedback, most team members felt the tests were worthwhile, as it gave them insight into what players wanted globally."
Perhaps they'll apply this feedback to Final Fantasy XV, but they're acting like they learned nothing from Final Fantasy XII.