How the Japanese Games Industry Got Its Groove Back

It’s a simple scene. Four handsome men in expensive-looking black outfits find that their even more expensive-looking car is in need of repair. They need to get out and push, and as they do so a cover of Stand by Me performed by Florence + the Machine plays in the background. It’s a beautifully serene moment that captures the essence of Final Fantasy 15’s messaging perfectly. Here are four friends, out in the wider world for the first time, about to explore many new locations and test the very fabric of their friendship.

More to the point, this was a series trying to re-establish itself, and it kicked off its first current-generation mainline instalment with its characters trying to start a broken car. The metaphor is hardly subtle, but it is apt. This is poetic enough in and of itself, but the timing of the release has gone on to make it something more.

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