After a weak showing at Gamescom, Final Fantasy XV gets a release window...kind of

Hey, at least compared to the 10 years we've been waiting for the game, this is nothing.

It feels like a lifetime ago that Square Enix showed off Final Fantasy Versus XIII at E3 2006.  That's because it has been.  An entire console generation has come and gone, and we are heading into year three of the PS4/Xbox One life cycle.  

Final Fantasy XV's development has been unquestionably troubled, and it's debatable whether or not any progress was made during many of the years that the game was in the dark - despite what Tetsuya Nomura and the most forgiving Final Fantasy fans have claimed over the years.

"We really do get the feeling that people are a bit worried." - Hajime Tabata

But finally at Gamescom 2015, Game Director Hajime Tabata (likely reluctantly) confirmed in an interview with Gamespot that the release date of Final Fantasy XV is "not going to be 2017. It's going to be before that".

After skipping E3 2015 to focus on Gamescom, Tabata and Co. promised a strong presence in Cologne, teasing a reveal of "never-before-seen gameplay".  In the technical sense, they delivered, but it was nowhere near the big blowout people were anticipating.

Sqaure Enix started off Gamescom by showing a story trailer that was meant to "establish the relationship between Noctis and his father", according to Tabata.  Eventually, they did show a very brief trailer with a few new environments and an encounter with a classic Final Fantasy monster, the Malboro.

Unfortunately, many fans and media members were left (unsurprisingly) underwhelmed, and Tabata acknowledged this in speaking to Gamespot:

"We really do get the feeling that people are a bit worried. Certainly, one thing I would like to say to them to reassure them, is that we've set down the release date, we know when it is, and we've got a complete road map lined up, right up to launch, and we're proceeding along that as planned."

'Worried' may not be the right word in this circumstance.  At this point, people have gotten their hands on a build of the game, so whether or not the game exists is no longer a question. Weary is more like it.  Weary of the delays, the excuses, and watching a once great and proud franchise fall as far as it has.

What do you think? Are we rightfully exasperated with this game? Let us know in the comments!

Published Aug. 8th 2015
View Comments
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    The franchise hasn't fallen, and technically there hasn't been a delay, as this game never had a release date. It's more so people get impatient and expect things on their schedule and are unhappy if that isn't how things go.
  • Daniel R. Miller
    Featured Contributor
    As far the the franchise falling, you really think it's as strong and as popular as it was in the '90's/early 2000's? Perhaps that could be partially attributed to the rise of the Western RPG, but it's clear that more recent entries, like Final Fantasy XIII are not even close the same level in quality as older entries.

    When you unveil a game in 2006, it's generally expected that there is something cooking in the kitchen. That's just standard PR practice in the industry. I really don't think 'being impatient' or 'people expecting things on their schedule' really applies to this situation. It's been almost a full decade. I'm sorry but it does not take 10 years to make what they are making, without poor leadership/questionable decision-making rearing its ugly head behind the scenes.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    The game they announced in 2006 was not FFXV, it was a FFXIII tie in game. Everyone seems to forget the game has been completely changed since the original unveiling in 2006. Hence why it has taken so long to conceptualize and develop, so I'm sorry but your gripe is invalid.

    Also, FFXIII was very big in Japan, it may have had a poor showing comparatively in the US, but at the end of the day SE is a Japanese company and design games based on that.
  • Daniel R. Miller
    Featured Contributor
    Yes, I know what it was when it was announced. 'Completely changed' is a bit of a stretch, it's not like they scrapped everything they made and started from scratch. They still have a lot of the same characters, an open world, and the action oriented battle system they planned for Versus.

    I think you're either misunderstanding me or passing off what I'm saying as a gripe. I'm not complaining, I'm just not pretending like everything is peachy because it's Final Fantasy, like a lot of fans tend to do.

    When you skip the largest gaming convention in the world because you are planning to make a big splash at another one (which is fine), and come up short, it doesn't reflect well.

    I understand XIII was big in Japan. You don't think that branding has something to do with that? Where a game is made is largely irrelevant. Good game design doesn't discriminate based upon region.

    Atlus is Japanese game company and Persona 3/4 were far superior games from a design perspective.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    Actually the battle system has changed, prominent characters have changed. In 2006 they had a teaser trailer and a highly basic concept of what they wanted. That basic concept changed in 2008 I think. Then the whole project went dark for several years.

    FF13 was a good game and unique story. Anyone who disagrees is blinded by their expectations of what a FF game should be. World design was actually much like FFX in that it was completely open world, but it still felt large enough to fit the game and story.

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