In their E3 2013 interview with 4Gamer.net for FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster, Yoshinori Kitase & Motomu Toriyama talked about how challenging it was to make Blitzball in FINAL FANTASY X. They mention how they were more involved than a Producer and Director usually are. They also in the process confirmed Blitzball was developed late in development after Kitase had been promoted to Producer and Toriyama had been promoted to Director. Toriyama also talks about PS2 era development in comparison to HD era development. You can read their thoughts below translated & summarised by Twitter user @bk2128
It was difficult developing Blitzball in the original (PS2) version. At that time Kitase who was working as the Producer had to work on game designs and internal scripts all by himself. And Toriyama who was the Director also did a lot of work by himself, such as scripting parts of the menu and event scenes. [I think he mentioned that this kind of work should’ve been normally done by a game planner]
Toriyama also made further mentions. The dev environment back then had some quirks. but it was much easier to make shape of what you were thinking at the time. Nowadays, what you’re thinking is being poured into a game design document, and you’re giving it to other people to work on it. By doing so it can have high-quality results, but on the contrary there will be some portions that are going to be spoiled [read: omitted, whether intentionally or not]. Toriyama’s conclusion is that the past (PS2 dev) era was the time staffs could apply fun factors they’ve been thinking of directly into games.
Yoshinori Kitase & Motomu Toriyama also talked about what it was like making the first ever direct-sequel to a FINAL FANTASY game in FINAL FANTASY X-2. You can read it below thanks to Twitter user @bk2128
4Gamer: FFX-2 is not a brand-new game, but a continuation to the same numbered game. I think there was never a case like that in past games, but what was the trigger for making this?
Kitase: Since we constructed FFX characters & world settings very firmly, the result was that all of our users supported the world, making it much more vast. That was the biggest reason.
Looking in past FF series, there were no examples of a sequel that have returning characters, so for the game contents, we also challenged to include things that couldn’t be done in past series.
Toriyama: It’s our first experience after all, so when we were thinking how to change things from FFX, we had to change the contents as much as we could in the allotted time, and the concept that was done was FFX-2.
When we went from FFXIII to FFXIII-2 later, our basics were not to destroy the atmosphere of the world settings and the original tastes of the characters. But for FFX-2, since FFX had a happy end, and Yuna was also freed from her duty as a summoner, we tried to draw a new side of the world that is Spira, and changed Yuna with a bursting image.
4Gamer: So how was the development scene at such time?
Kitase: As we have talked before, there were no examples of a sequel to a numbered game before, and furthermore the developments of FFXI and FFXII had already begun in our company.
Staffs are also creators, and we have the wish to make a new game after all, so people [in SE back then] weren’t too interested in a title named FFX-2. They thought it was just changing the story from FFX a little, and also just changing the battle data.
4Gamer: I see…
Kitase: However, when we tried starting the development, everybody challenged themselves with enthusiasm in making something totally new. As a result, a really interesting thing got completely made.