During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Final Fantasy games mostly appeared on Nintendo consoles. After Final Fantasy VII stopped being developed for Nintendo 64 and jumped to PlayStation, Nintendo may have harbored some ill feeling towards Square Enix (then Squaresoft). In a recent interview with multiple Square Enix developers, it was revealed how Nintendo reacted when Square Enix decided to switch to the PlayStation. According to Character Programmer Hiroshi Kawai, Nintendo said, "If you're leaving us, never come back."
Hironobu Sakaguchi - When we made our decision, the president of Square [Masafumi Miyamoto], our lead programmer [Ken Narita] and I went to a meeting with Yamauchi-san. There is an old cultural tradition where, in Kyoto, someone will welcome you with tea, but you're not supposed to really drink that tea. It's just polite to have it there. And Yamauchi-san welcomed us with a very expensive bento meal and beer, and gave us a very nice welcome and basically patted us on the back to say, "I wish you the best." No bitter feelings or anything.
Hiroshi Kawai, Character programmer, Square Japan - I think [Sakaguchi] is just trying to be politically correct with that one.
Yoshihiro Maruyama, Executive vice president, Square U.S. - I don't think [anyone from Nintendo gave us a hard time]. They said, "Oh, we don't need that." That's what they said. [Laughs] Their philosophy has always been that Nintendo hardware is for their games, and if a publisher wants to publish, "OK you can do it." But if you don't like it, "We don't want you."
Hiroshi Kawai, Character programmer, Square Japan - What I heard was Nintendo said, "If you're leaving us, never come back."
While the relationship between the two companies has apparently been mended, it's interesting to hear that Nintendo handled the situation the way they did. What are your thoughts on Nintendo's reaction towards Squaresoft? Discuss in the comments below!