Final Fantasy XV is very much an anticipated game for fans of the series. One, because it’s the first single player game that isn’t a part of the horrible Lightning based story that has been taking place over the last few years, and two, because it might be able to satisfy our interest until Kingdom Hearts 3 finally releases. But is this game really going to come out in 2015?
The game was originally announced back in May 2006 under the title, Final Fantasy Versus XIII. A game which was meant to be an exclusive to the PlayStation 3. Instead the development on the game was silent and it wasn’t until 2013 that the game was revealed under the new title, Final Fantasy XV and that it would release on PlayStation 4. Something similar to what had happened to The Last Guardian, which is now expected to release in 2016.
Considering that most AAA games like this are developed on a two to three year development cycle, it would seem that nearly ten years into development that this game would be very close to, if not already, complete. However, there are some things to consider.
New Consoles, New Engine
You can say that what this game is now is nothing like it was back when it was first in development, which isn’t hard to believe after the team has had almost ten years to rethink the game. It’s possible that the game was near complete when the title was changed to Final Fantasy XV instead of Versus XIII but with being so late into the PS3’s life cycle Square Enix pushed for a move to next generation consoles. Which meant scrapping a lot of the work the team had made at that point and possibly starting over from scratch. Meaning the development cycle was either pushed back to the start or fairly close to it. With the introduction of the new Luminous Studio Engine, it is safe to say the team had some challenges to face.
Demo Part 2
Creating a demo can be very helpful for a team, and allow them to build interest in a game, allowing them to gather feedback on what features need adjusted or removed. But these demos take time and money to develop, which is why many studios don’t make them. However, the team behind Final Fantasy XV have not only released a demo which they called, Episode Duscae, but they’ve also updated it time and time again with a major overhaul being titled Episode Duscae 2.0. An update that was released in June 2015. Now, while the response to player feedback is nice to see, these are not changes expected of a demo. For the reason stated above, demos take time and money to create, recreating portions of a demo take that even further, and those are resources that could be put towards the final release of the game.
Although many of these changes could be moved over to the final build, it’s important to note that a demo is more than likely an outdated build of the game. Typically shared to the press, or a larger test audience, these demos are provided for people to play while the team continues development. Though feedback from the demo should be taken from the players, and accounted for with the development of the rest of the game, it isn’t exactly wise or common place to go back to the old demo build and rework its mechanics. With a release date expected to be later in the year, it is odd to dedicate what little time you have left to improving a demo.
Running Out of Time
Square Enix has promised to announce a specific release date during Gamescom in August, meaning that the year, nearly two-thirds over, before a date could be provided. Though it’s possible to have a last minute release like this (last minute being compared to the last nine years of development), it is more likely that the date given will be pushed back into the first half of next year.
Understanding the Competition
No one expected E3 to go the way it did, and with Fallout 4 to be released in November. It can be expected that other games will avoid going against such a behemoth title. After all there is only so much time consumers can dedicate to time consuming, open world, action packed games that you can fit into people’s Holidays. So, avoiding a release, near a similar, and just as popular title, may not be a bad idea. Especially with Square Enix’s push to make this game feel more westernized than previous titles, after all, going against one of the most western of all RPGs is no easy task.
When do you think Final Fantasy XV will be released? Do you think a delay will happen due to being incomplete or due to marketing challenges? Let us know in the comments below.