1up has a massive quartet of features up this week, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series. Starting with 'Origins', the site looks at the beginning of the series, an event that was supposed to spell 'the end' for Square. The company lived on, of course, and in 'Everyone's Fantasies' series author Nadia Oxford looks at the rise of the Final Fantasy dynasty going from 8-bit obscurity to the 'mega-fame' of FFVII. Her final piece in the set 'Fertile Fantasy', examines how Square/Enix is now franchising the heck out of the name. To wrap up with 'Future Fantasy', Jeremy Parish looks at the staggering fifteen games with the FF brand due out in the next year. "Even if all of Fabula Nova Crystalis slips to 2009, that's still one title per month -- and we haven't even seen what's on the roster in the way of announcements for the new year. Clearly, Final Fantasy is going strong, but Square Enix's franchising efforts may be doing as much harm as good; of those 15 titles, only one is a new 'true' Final Fantasy game. True, the series has always supported its share of spin-offs -- even blatant name-whoring back in the Game Boy days. Still, we can't help but worry that the Final Fantasy name is being spread a bit too thin; if Square Enix really hopes to keep the series alive for another 20 years or more, they'll need to reconsider what the name Final Fantasy really means."
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