Speaking to SPOnG, Yoshinori Kitase, one of the current stewards of the Final Fantasy franchise over at Square-Enix, said that the studio was aware of the criticisms levelled at the last release in the series, Final Fantasy XIII, and that they were addressing all the concerns in the direct sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2. He was quoted as saying:
I think Final Fantasy XIII was criticised by lots of people because we think it was meant to be story driven, but so much so that people thought it was quite linear, which people didn't like. So before we started making Final Fantasy XIII-2, we were determined to take all the negative comments seriously, and rectify every single one of them, thoroughly and completely.
This game is more player driven rather than story driven, so that the player will have an active involvement in each phase of the game. There are a lot more things in the field that you can explore, like towns… and you can also choose what you want to say and do during various scenes. It will give players more freedom.
While that will likely make many long time fans breathe a sigh of relief, one big question remains. What is happening with the earlier game, Final Fantasy Versus XIII?