At the GDC held at the Taipei International Conference Center in Taiwan, Motomu Toriyama of Square Enix held a presentation on the development between Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Toriyama, who held the position of director for both games, took the podium and revealed the inner working of development on Final Fantasy XIII to a crowded room. The Final Fantasy series has long been regarded as a visually high-spec series and Final Fantasy XIII was no different, employing at its peak 180 people to work as artists. Unfortunately, in order to attempt to tap the hardware's full potential, new development software must be created for every game. Indeed development on XIII began before the groundwork had been completing leading to difficulties later on. Toriyama himself admitted that while publicity and promotion for XIII had been a success, he had some regrets on the side of managing the design and development.
For XIII-2, Toriyama looked to developers of Western triple-A games. By meeting with developers at Eidos, he incorporated scheduling tactics like setting monthly milestones and setting up both a monthly and total schedule for development. By dividing portions of the game that could be outsourced and portions for in-house development Toriyama was able to reduce the overall team size and fortify the development structure. As a result, Square Enix was able to release Final Fantasy XIII-2 only about two years after the release of Final Fantasy XIII.
Looking back on the development of XIII-2 Toriyama expressed regret that 1) a properly expansive development environment had not been initially established; 2) that there was not a method set up to implement suggested changes from user feedback; and 3) that they had not set up a system to work on DLC in parallel with working on the main game. It looks like Square Enix is trying to move forward to match its Western counterparts.
With the creation of the Luminous Studio engine, they may have the first issue mostly solved.