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Everyone’s Favorite Executive Shuhei Yoshida Says Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest Saved PlayStation

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Image: Bloomberg

Shuhei Yoshida, head of the Independent Developer Initiative at Sony Interactive Entertainment by day and charming YouTuber by night, has an interesting take on two classic JRPG franchises and their influence on the PlayStation’s trajectory in the 90s.

Speaking at a major conference in Bilbao, Spain (thanks Game Reactor), Yoshida recalled Sony’s growing pains at a time when the industry was dominated by the likes of SEGA and Nintendo and when developers still had reservations about the young upstart company.

Something had to be done, though, and Sony reached out to Square and Enix, two of the biggest names in JRPG gaming at the time, before the two companies merged, and convinced them to bring Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest to the PlayStation, respectively. Yoshida recalled the episode, noting, “These two RPGs are the biggest IPs in Japan. And, you know, they were talking behind the scenes. [things] What I can’t say, but they are both committed to bringing their new games to PlayStation. It completely changed the fortunes for us, and we finally had the games we needed to make PlayStation a success.”

Of course, today, both the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises are bigger than ever and in most respects synonymous with PlayStation despite being multiplatform, so the union has been a fruitful one for all involved.

Considering that Final Fantasy VII was originally in development for the SNES, things could have been very different 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 that c. at one stage in the development of N64), although to a lesser extent in the West.

What do you think of Yoshida’s comments? Can you imagine a world in which the PlayStation wasn’t the JRPG powerhouse it was in the late 90s and early 2000s, also known as the heyday of being a teenager? Let us know in the comments section below.

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