Egad, how times have changed! Once the ruler of the free world, Final Fantasy has become quite the shadow of its former prevalence on the video game scene. In fact, the numbers behind the current “coming-of-age” generation show that a majority of its members haven’t even played one!

NicoNico recently polled Japanese college students through MyNavi asking them if they had ever played a Final Fantasy game, and result showed a overwhelmingly negative response. Out of the 401 students, 200 males and 201 females,  70.3 percent of them replied with a negative.

Flipped around, that means 29.7 percent of Japanese college students have played a Final Fantasy video game at some point in their lives. Granted, this poll was open to general population and not directly aimed at video gamers, as noted by some of the responses.

  • “Because it’s a genre I’m not interested in.”
  • “I’ve never really had any interest.”
  • “Because it doesn’t look fun.”
  • “Because I wasn’t allowed to play video games at home.”
  • “Because I don’t really play video games.”
  • “Because my parents were totally against video games. Personally, I really haven’t played that many video games.”
  • “I was interested but haven’t had the chance to buy one [a FF game].”
  • “I was a little interested, but it looks difficult, so I haven’t played it.”
  • “I don’t have a game console.”

I would throw another bit of reasoning onto the pile and guess that this generation was born just a little too late to truly appreciate Final Fantasy during its heyday. If they are in college now, they would have only been about 3 to 7 years old when Final Fantasy X, the last universally loved game from the series, came out, and it’s been roughly downhill for the series since then.

Plus, the upswing in portable gaming and focus on Monster Hunter and other newer franchises also must have something to do with this figure.

Again, this is a poll that was open to the general college demographic, and not just aimed directly at gamers. 30 percent actually seems quite high when assuming that, gasp, not everyone plays video games! If it had been aimed more closely at gamers, I might guess the gap would be a lot closer.

However, if the same poll had been taken on the same general demographic ten years ago, my guess is it would feature more Final Fantasy fans. Pfft, my sister has even played a Final Fantasy game, and she has rarely ever branched beyond Harvest Moon or gamed on anything besides a Super Nintendo.

Don’t worry, Final Fantasy fans. Final Fantasy XV is going to make things all better. I promise. Just a few more months before we get this crazy train back on the rails.