While no official statement was made at Gamescom, Hajime Tabata (director of the game) was quoted as having said that fans would not have to wait until 2017 for Final Fantasy XV. That lead to most of the industry assuming a 2016 release date. In today’s Active Time Report at PAX Prime, Tabata official confirmed this information. As for the exact date, well, fans will have to wait until a “special event” in March of 2016 for this information. Tabata noted that it is in this time frame that the team plans on having all of their assets polished to the point that they would be prepared to launch. From that statement, I think it is safe to say that it is very likely Final Fantasy XV will be a fall 2016 title.
There was some new footage shown off today as well. It mostly consisted of a progress report on how far various aspects of the game had come, which was pretty cool. There was even a few seconds of Noctis, the player-controlled protagonist, wielding a revolver and shooting up his armored foes. However, the fact that “magic” and “quests” are at 30% and 40% respectively troubles me. It does seem like most animation, rendering, and kinetic combat systems are near completion, thankfully.
The presentation did finish off with some more impressive gameplay footage showing off the development of the driving aspects of the title. Gamers will have the option both to manually control the car, or have their party members drive for them. Unfortunately, like in the real world, one will be making regular visits to gas stations as fuel will be a finite resource.
Additionally, a number of concept arts and rendered images were showed off along with an explanation as to how these pictures we have been seeing fit into the game. For example, some art was showed off for the car which will be used by the player and his party to navigate the world, and it was revealed that the car belonged to none other than the father of Noctis, King Regis. These relationships, stressed Tabata, will be essential to the story. Also prominently featured in the lore and story will be Eidolons, a series staple (also known as Espers, Aeons, Summons, etc.), as predicted based on previous trailers.
Square Enix promises that we will learn more before March 2016, so stay tuned for TGS where the next Active Time Report will take place.