It’s about damn time.
Square Enix has announced at PAX Prime that the end of the agonizing wait for very long-in-development RPG sequel, Final Fantasy XV is in sight. The company has confirmed the previous rumblings that a release date has already been decided internally, and that the official release date will be revealed to the world during a special event in March 2016!
Moreover, the game is definitely coming out in 2016, and so far, that’s the only clue that Square Enix has given us at PAX Prime. Still, this is more than enough to put restless fans significantly more at ease, especially since Final Fantasy XV is the first entry in the entire franchise that will be releasing simultaneously across all territories worldwide on the same date. For many years, the game has gone without a release date, though fans could get their first taste of the game by pre-ordering and purchasing a first-run copy of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One back in March (sadly, not the belated PC port that just released on Steam last week), which entitled them to an exclusive demo of the game called Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, introducing the lead characters, visual design and combat system in playable form. Square Enix will update the demo with some refinements soon, and the updated demo is currently playable on the PAX Prime show floor.
The long, twisted road to Final Fantasy XV’s release began in 2006, when the game was first announced as a PlayStation 3-exclusive spin-off to Final Fantasy XIII, called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. After a couple of subsequent showcases, the game pretty much became vapourware, and many fans assumed that it was being quietly cancelled, particularly after the other planned Final Fantasy XIII spin-off had its plans axed, with the assets evolving into what became Final Fantasy Type-0. In 2013 however, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was re-announced for PlayStation 4 at Sony’s E3 conference, and was confirmed to be re-branded as the next proper numbered entry in the series, Final Fantasy XV, with an Xbox One port announced soon afterward. Since then, the game has had sporadic showings at trade shows, but is only now getting its release plans ironed out.
Final Fantasy XV aims to be the latest reinvention of the series, now re-imagining it as a real-time RPG with cutting-edge next-gen production values. The game stars a young man named Noctis and a group of his friends, in a modern, heavily realistic world that maintains recognizable Final Fantasy sensibilities like magic and monsters, on a quest that spans a whole new setting and universe, with most of the specific plot details otherwise being kept under wraps. Unlike its immediate numbered predecessor, Final Fantasy XIV Online, Final Fantasy XV will be a strictly offline game that’s single-player-only.
Look for Final Fantasy XV on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. Keep questing back to Eggplante as well, for all news and updates on the game, and the Final Fantasy series at large.