Gaming's would-be innovators

What it Tried to Do: Take gaming and movies to a new level of synergy. Synergy, people!

What it Did: Damn near killed Squaresoft.

What Went Wrong: Yes, cleverclogs, we’re well aware that Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a movie and not a game. Don’t think you’ve caught us napping there! However it’s worth mentioning, as this is the project that could have ruined Squaresoft. With Fantasies VII-IX featuring increasingly sophisticated CGI cutscenes, Square figured: why not a whole movie of CG characters summoning monsters and brandishing weapons the size of a 747? But while gamers are willing to put up with second-rate cinematic tomfoolery in the context of a good game, the moviegoing public aren’t so patient. The Spirits Within lost around $94 million dollars, forced Square to temporarily close its motion-pictures division and almost put the kibosh on the company’s merger with Enix.

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