Later today, the unthinkable is happening: Final Fantasy XV is getting a release date.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, the game wasn’t always a main series title, in both name and treatment. In 2006, a subseries within the Final Fantasy franchise was formed and announced, titled Fabula Nova Crystallis, meant to unite the 13th entry with multiple spin-offs under the same mythos. The subseries at the time of announcement consisted of 3 titles: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
Final Fantasy XIII released March 2010 (December 2009 in Japan) for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and eventually spawned multiple direct sequels in the years after.
Final Fantasy Agito XIII became Final Fantasy Type-0 and released in October 2011 only in Japan for PSP. It finally just made its way west in March 2015 in the form of a high definition remaster for Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII was re-branded as Final Fantasy XV during E3 2013. It still has yet to release.
Throughout the years, we have received several trailers, tweets, and even rumors of cancellation leading to its eventual name change and development shifts. Originally directed by Tetsuya Nomura (of Kingdom Hearts fame), the action JRPG is notorious for its long development cycle, frequent absence at trade shows and conventions, and high anticipation amongst fans (Credit: Game Informer). In fact, it’s been so long since Versus XIII was announced that many things have happened in games between then and its inevitable release:
- The Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii life cycles came and went
- Almost every prior main series Final Fantasy title was re-released at least once (the only ones to not re-release were XI and XII, which released in North America in October 2006, several months after the Fabula Nova Crystallis announcement)
- Tetsuya Nomura, who was director of the title until 2014, was co-director on several Kingdom Hearts spin-off titles, including Birth by Sleep, 358/2 Days, and Dream Drop Distance
- Final Fantasy XIII released and spawned two direct sequels, all of which were later ported to PC
- Final Fantasy XIV launched to poor reception, was rebuilt and relaunched as A Realm Reborn, and has even received an expansion
- An entire new generation of consoles has launched (which development for the title switched to)
- Several large franchises began and have had multiple sequels, such as Assassin’s Creed, Gears of War, and Mass Effect
- The entirety of the Uncharted series will have released
- Duke Nukem Forever finally came out, which also notoriously had a long development cycle
In the time since it publicly became XV, everything sped up. We started seeing trailers more often, a demo was included with Type-0 HD (and later updated with more features), Hajime Tabata took over as lead director, and frequent reports of development progress were released to satiate fan desire. It became a main series title, and Square Enix finally started treating it that way.
Tonight, “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV” aims to finally finish what was started almost 10 years ago. This event, hosted by Greg Miller and Tim Gettys of Kinda Funny, promises to “offer new information on the game as well as key surprises that speak to the full entertainment experience.” We are guaranteed to receive a release date. Tune in at 10pm EST for the event (or at 9pm EST for the pre-show). The wait is almost over.