Rumour: Final Fantasy Versus XIII Is Cancelled
For a while now it has been rather difficult for most thinking gamers to regard the Final Fantasy Versus XIII project with much in the way of enthusiasm, and a Kotaku report this week seemingly vindicates such dour pessimism. According to an anonymous Kotaku source Square Enix has formally cancelled the development of Final Fantasy Versus XIII as of two weeks ago, and the assets dedicated to the project have been folded into the development of another title. Apparently Square Enix are not planning on announcing the game’s cancellation, as that may negatively effect the company’s share price, instead they will go silent on the project until it is forgotten, much like they did with the PS3 version of The Last Remnant.
A different anonymous Kotaku source has seemingly corroborated the story by confirming that for the last several months Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been put on hold yet again, while its personnel were reallocated to the development of a title which is set to be announced as Final Fantasy XV. It was presumably during this period (March) that Nomura made the cryptic statement to Famitsu that: “We’re almost done with preparing the latest info for the game. Because of a totally unrelated reason, there are circumstances in which that info cannot be released.”
It is only natural for people of standing to dismiss the insinuations of tabloid rags like Kotaku, seeing as most of their nonsense stories are designed to generate page hits, yet this report is of some considerable concern due to the simple fact that when contacted for comment, Square Enix refused to confirm that Final Fantasy Versus XIII was still in development. When Kotaku contacted Square Enix to ask very simply whether the game was still in development, Square Enix responded: “We have no information on the status of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but will be sure to update you as it becomes available.”
It might also be tempting to suppose that Square Enix may have just upgraded Final Fantasy Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV, yet Kotaku’s primary source noted that: “the decision impacted morale at Square Enix and staff were reportedly saddened by the move.”, so if one accepts the premise that this rumour is accurate, then it would seem to indicate that the project is dead in all of its forms.
Predictably, many Final Fantasy fans, or at least those not resigned to the project’s doomed status, have met this report with some considerable animosity. Meanwhile, fanboys in denial have been grasping at some of the most tenuous straws to debunk the rumour, citing the release of ‘Somnus’ for Theatrhythm as an indication that Square Enix plans to release the game (DLC for the game has been set in stone since months before Nomura’s team was allegedly dissolved), seeking to invalidate Kotaku’s rumour by dint of their refusal to put a name to their anonymous sources (betraying how little they know about journalistic integrity), and citing the assurances of RPGSite.net’s Erren Van Duine as definitive proof that the game is still in development (Duine’s most recent source is E3 2012, and her own site is carrying news of Final Fantasy Versus XIII‘s demise). It is eminently possible that this rumour could be complete rubbish, but nothing short of a Square Enix statement will kill the premise of Kotaku’s assertions at this point.
After 6+ years in development and hardly a scrap of footage to show for it, one is almost relived to have the project seemingly put to rest. One’s only misgivings stem from Square Enix’s terrible mistreatment of their customers by withholding confirmation, and the fact that this was to be the first Final Fantasy scenario to be penned by Kazushige Nojima in a decade.
Rumour: Final Fantasy XV Has Been in Development for Four Years
In a far more positive (albeit less substantial) rumour, GamesMaster UK has this week cited an anonymous source to suggest that Final Fantasy XV is in fact four years into its development cycle, beginning a month after the Japanese release of Final Fantasy XIII, and progressing at full speed with a staff of 200 people since January 2010 – the game will allegedly be announced some time this year. The project is apparently being headed by Hiroyuki Ito, who has acted as co-director for Final Fantasy VI, IX, and XII (whilst also designing the majority of the series’ better battle systems), along with Hiroshi Minagawa, who acted as the replacement co-director for Final Fantasy XII after Yasumi Matsuno left the project, he has allegedly gone on to direct Square Enix’s remake of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together concurrently with the development of Final Fantasy XV.
Allegedly, the game will be a significant iteration on the duo’s Final Fantasy XII formula, with expansive world scope and volume to rival Skyrim, and bustling cities to rival Assassin’s Creed – or at least that is what Yoichi Wada desperately wants the game to be, though it never strikes one as being particularly useful to compare one’s own game with another successful property. Forget any notion of Agni’s Philosophy, this title is said to be in development for current generation consoles, and, if true, may offer Square Enix one final shot at redemption before the close of the current generation.
Rumour: Square Enix Has OC Remix Project Pulled From Kickstarter
Overclocked Remix’s Kickstarter project to fund a physical release for their forthcoming four disc Final Fantasy VI tribute album, Balance and Ruin, was able to quickly sweep past its $15,000 goal, accruing nearly $100,000 and counting. In celebration of fans completely obliterating any conceivable stretch goal, the guys at OC Remix announced that all people who donated the $50 required for a physical copy of the album would also receive a free copy of their four disc Final Fantasy VII tribute album, Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. Sadly, shortly thereafter the Overclocked Remix Kickstarter page vanished without a trace, leaving their forums in an uproar.
This is a rumour in the truest sense, in that neither Square Enix nor Overclocked Remix have released a statement on the matter. The page simply vanished, opening the floodgates to rampant conjecture. Ultimately however, the most logical explanation for the disappearance is that Square Enix, as owner of the original music, felt entitled to the 100K that was raised by Overclocked Remix. When approached by Square Enix lawyers, it is not difficult to believe that Kickstarter quickly folded and pulled the page, as it would be a very difficult prospect to argue that the money raised was for construction costs alone, and not part of some commercial venture. It is possible that Square Enix took this Kickstarter’s success as an indication of the demand for Final Fantasy remix albums, and possibly we will see something on that front, though it seems unlikely that Square Enix would garner anything close to the monetary support that OC Remix fans were willing to shower upon the beloved online musicians. Then again, perhaps they just saw this as a threat to Theatrhythm. Either way, if Overclocked Remix feel that the project can be legally justified as being not for profit, then there are any manner of avenues that they can go through in order to generate the money, including a direct PayPal option.