News: The Final Fantasy Rumour Mill

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.”

T'was a love that was never meant to be.

T’was a love that was never meant to be.

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.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII + Ghost

Noctis makes my pottery go wonky <3

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

Final Fantasy XV + Wii + Vanille, Lightning, Snow

Because this seems likely…

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

OC Remix Balance and Ruin

Wouldn’t it be nice to own this in a physical format?

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.

20 Comments

  1. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.22 at 13:13 | Permalink

    Hey, is it just me, or is Noct’s expression in the second picture identical to Lightning’s expression in the third picture?

  2. Mel
    Posted 2012.07.22 at 15:51 | Permalink

    Someone once made the comment of SE that they are just a trailer-releasing company. They don’t actually make games, they just make trailers for them.

    FF15 will be something like FF12? If that’s true, I’m very happy.

    And the more I think about it, the more I think it was skirting a problem when the OCR guys started offering physical copies of their remixes for a price. Personally, a physical copy has less use than a digital copy does. The only thing I have that plays CDs and that I would actually USE for music is my PC.

  3. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.23 at 03:16 | Permalink

    People don’t buy the CDs to use them, rather, they buy them as a collectors item.

  4. evilpaul
    Posted 2012.07.23 at 05:01 | Permalink

    If you guys haven’t seen the FFXIII-Versus Development Journal on blog spot you really need to. It’s so good that I’m starting a religion based around it.

  5. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.23 at 07:49 | Permalink

    This one ( http://thatcrazytetsuya.blogspot.com.au/ )? It only has two entries, and hasn’t been updated since 2010.

    The FFXIII development journal was a masterpiece though.

  6. Mel
    Posted 2012.07.23 at 16:15 | Permalink

    @ SN: Yeah, I guess. I still think it was asking for trouble, in a way.

  7. Korusi
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 03:01 | Permalink

    FF15 like FF12 a good thing? Where have you been? Seriously I mean FF12 was a disaster in flow and storyline… The sequels were 100 times better than that game. I still don’t understand what the motive in FF12 was…. While I’m on that subject what exactly WAS the point? The things that FF12 got right…. I have searched my brain and ya know…. Voice acting is about the only thing I can think of that they got right. I felt that each character was matched well with somebody that sounded like they looked. Still…. Voice acting doesn’t carry an RPG.

    Personally I want a game that goes back to the more traditional format Pre-FF10. (Not that I didn’t love Final Fantasy 10…. I just want a bigger world to explore.) I miss the over world where you can pick up the control stick of an airship and fly it all over the world…. it was what made Final Fantasy something I could fantasize about.

    Final Fantasy 6 got the character (Particularly the villain) development right. FF7 had the unique battle mechanics that were simple yet complex. Final Fantasy 9 had an interesting romance, and Final Fantasy 8 had…. RIGHT now I remember – it had breathtaking places and wonders. (The gardens specifically; I almost wish we could explore a real life Garden.) Last but not least; Final Fantasy 4 had the gripping story; the one that always had a quest; always had a goal. You never wondered why you were doing what you were doing, you never questioned the task at hand; you knew what you had to do.

    Also I didn’t mention FF13 because I have not beaten that game yet… I don’t feel it’s fair to say anything about it without having played it all the way through. So far I’ve liked it actually but… It does have the same problem I had with FF10 about missing that open world to explore. Also FF13-2 appears to have Instance based areas so I can’t exactly explore that the same way either.

  8. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 03:56 | Permalink

    You, sir, are MAD! Stark, raving MAD!

  9. Ethos
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 09:40 | Permalink

    FF12 did so many things right. Would be fantastic to see 15 be similar, but with more than 1.5 interesting characters.

  10. Mel
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 11:58 | Permalink

    12’s story was something of a chore to try and digest, but I enjoyed it and the well composed lore of its bestiary all the same. It laid it on thick, to be sure. The motivations were there, its just that most of it was couched in political ties and behind the scenes movements. I don’t blame people for not liking that or finding it a jarring turn for FF (especially after the much simpler overtones of 10). You just had to actually listen during the custscenes. It wasn’t all going to be repeated for you later in bold letters.

    But the worlds were amazing to explore, and very open. The Hunts were fun just to track down. And I felt the music was VERY strong, not just the voice acting.

    And while some say the Gambit system was putting the game on auto pilot, I think (and the developers have stated) that it should have gone deeper. They wanted to make things more complex, so you could perform more actions depending on more subtle circumstances. Perhaps they’ll have their way in 15. And the Gambit system really wasn’t a set-it-and-forget-it experience, especially not in boss battles. Not to mention, if you truly hated it, you *could* play the whole game without it.

  11. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 13:27 | Permalink

    I don’t understand what people find to be overly complex about XII’s story; there isn’t very much of it, and I remember it being quite straight forward. Definitely not a good example of a complex political narrative (which I would have adored). Story is FFXII’s once Achilles heel, though it still does a better job of it than FFIV.

  12. evilpaul
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 15:52 | Permalink

    I’d say FF4’s plot was absurd and almost certainly made up as they went along. Hmm. Ran out of world map. There’s totally another one underneath. Hmm. Ran out again. TO THE MOON! What carried FF4 was the characters being likeable and the never before seen ATB. Cecil got a little character development in the Dark Knight -> Paladin thing, but immediately after was just generic a good guy.

    I like FF6 because of how dark it is, the story, and the not really well, but decently developed, large cast of characters. Everybody had a character arc even if it wasn’t particularly deep. There was the nonlinear (mostly) explore the world third act. I can’t think of any game up to the point FF6 came out that wasn’t post-apocalyptic to start with where the villain wins, destroys the world, and rules over its decaying ruins. Also, I really liked flying the airship around swooping and stuff.

    FF7 was THE GAME THAT CHANGE EVERYTHING and there’s not much I can add about that.

    FF8 was proof that FF7 was the series’ high point.

    FF9, to me, is basically just a nostalgia-fest with an interesting, flawed character progression system. The problem with the plot is that really not much happens. I realized that watching the Disc 1 ending FMV with Queen Brahne dying. They really didn’t do much to have me invested in the Queen (she’s physically unpleasant to look at) or her daughter who mourned her. Also, this: http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/4956/questz.jpg I find it hard to believe that whoever translated that wasn’t cackling evily to himself.

    FF9 also suffered from PSX Final Fantasy Syndrome. In FF7 the battles had annoying loading times compared to SNES ones, but it wasn’t terrible and other than the really long Summons I can’t complain. FF8 Squaresoft decided to get better looking, more intricately designed and animated enemies. And boy did they want you to watch them. The battles, even if you don’t use Summons, take goddamned forever. In FF9 this came to a head where you could tell all your dudes to just to a normal attack, go make a sandwich, come back, and they still haven’t gone. I think it’s so bad to the point that it creates artificial difficulty.

    FF10 had a good battle system and was pretty. The story was predictable, mostly anyway. The storytelling was decent they had the sense to include the annoying Tidus as a fish out of water character so the audience could get explanations of the fantastic shit we were seeing. Without doing any “As you know,” speeches where somebody exposits crap everyone present should already take as second nature.

    FF11 I’ve played many hundreds of hours of and has a number of really good stories. It’s just you needed a static group or you’ll never see any of it.

    FF12 actually has a really good story. It’s just spread out so much that by the time you reach your destination you won’t remember why you went there. I didn’t like the Hunts though. I’m 99% sure that they were designed to sell Brady’s Guides. I also didn’t like the Gambit system and usually found myself broke.

    FF13 I haven’t played a minute of, so I can’t comment.

  13. Mel
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 17:31 | Permalink

    I also like how, in FF12, chest drops were randomized so you could either get the best weapon in the game or a “knot of iron” to throw at enemies. And by “like” I mean, it was one of the MMO flavored things that didn’t need to be injected into the game.

  14. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 21:49 | Permalink

    @evilpaul: I’ve found that FFX works best as a character drama, with the fantastical saving the world stuff only really serving as a backdrop. I like how all of the party members are given a personal obstacle of some sort to overcome; it feels well balanced in that regard.

    -I heard that Ito had wanted to make the ATB super fast for IX, but when they tried to run it the PS1 CPU was insufficient, and the battles were plagued by slowdown. Thus they had to slow it down somewhat, though it seems that they were a little too successful in this regard.

    -My sense of XII’s story is that it’s of an appropriate volume for a game the length of Vagrant Story, but in a 60-80 hour RPG it tends to melt away into nothingness.

    @Mel: I didn’t really like the randomised chests, as I didn’t often feel like I was receiving anything of any great worth (save for useful gambits in the early portion of the game).

  15. Ethos
    Posted 2012.07.24 at 23:37 | Permalink

    @SN – Bah-hahaha “a little too successful”. So true. Man, what a slow-ass battle system. That’s why it’s the perfect handheld RPG now.

    Although Evilpaul, I have no idea what you’re talking about in regards to not being invested in the story. I think the game has the most thorough character progression. It has a clear-cut plot so that the focus can be character. Like what SN is talking about with his experience with X. And nostalgia was no part of it for me, I had only played VII at that point and hadn’t even beaten it at the time. It’s also my favourite character progression system, just edging out Materia.

    Yesyes, Ethos, you like FF9, we get it.

  16. Korusi
    Posted 2012.07.25 at 00:07 | Permalink

    Final Fantasy 4 was basically an excuse to do a Starwars homage. I won’t lie; that’s basically where it makes it’s stand. Still I’d pick the flow of that story over FF12 any day.

    Final Fantasy 5 had an interesting story that was more like the description that was provided of FF4 “Ran out of map? Go to another world! Ran out of that map? Combine the two!” Still I think it had a better story than FF12.

    Final Fantasy 6 was a masterpiece… it never felt like the story was out of your hands; you made choices and they had consequences which was a fairly new concept for RPGs back then. More importantly the soundtrack, setting, theme, Final Boss, and even the enemies will bring me back again and again to this world.

    Final Fantasy 7 hasn’t aged well though… while the story and characters are endearing and the game play was fantastic it still feels unfinished to me… It feels like something is missing. The translations were laughable and the censoring of language was rather silly… Granted this was another world back then. I think it’s way overdue for a facelift.

    Final Fantasy 8 brought us some of the most breathtaking scenes that were not reproduced till Final Fantasy 10. While Final Fantasy 9 was a beautiful world it was still nothing compared to the majesty that was this game. The story was the weak point for me though; it only pushed you to go to the next area and it was missing the thing that FF7 had; you had to kill the guy who killed your girlfriend. Seriously that’s kinda the plot of FF7…. FF8- BURN THE WITCH.

    Final Fantasy 9 returns us to the age of well thought story; good progression and while it had moments of bad translations (what game doesn’t?) it still shined in my eyes and made me enjoy it. I don’t gush over it the same way but it really did something for me in the way that it returned to it’s roots.

    Now Back to 12…. I think I must make clear;

    The main character of FF12 was not Vaan…. Why is this a problem? I don’t know if you notice this but you basically follow this kid around and watch somebody else get all the glory. You are along for a ride and really… who wants to play a game where you are the sidekick? I really want to know WHO? I think it’s the same reason I didn’t like how Final Fantasy Tactics ended… Which I think is relevant since it’s basically the same world. You basically quest along and turns out you save the world from demons and NOBODY EVEN KNOWS YOU DID IT. Then again; at LEAST FFT gave you a real quest; Save your Sister…. Okay fine I’ll save my sister. At least somebody in this world will love me.

    Anyway I got sidetracked which is pretty common when it comes to FF12… Mainly because I really wasn’t always sure what was going on…. know what happened; not sure why.

    In the RTS sequel of the game I find myself more interested and the story didn’t drag on and make me want to screw a bolt in my head and end it. Also; Vaan is the hero of this game.

    I think I’ll end on this note about FF12…. Do you know the only reason I decided to beat that game?

    Gilgamesh… Seriously; I beat the game because of ONE lousy hunt and a special boss song that you only hear when hunting him…. That’s kinda sad. I came back for a Side quest. You know your story is weak when the Sidequests are more interesting.

  17. Mel
    Posted 2012.07.25 at 00:34 | Permalink

    Vaan not being the main character shouldn’t count against this game. It’s not an uncommon story mechanic to have the person the story’s perspective is from not also be the person central to the plot. And aside from strolling around as him in towns and most of the early game, Vaan doesn’t have to be seen or heard much by the player for the rest of the game.

    Now, is Vaan likable? Nope! Does the plot get washed out by long stretches of gameplay? Yeah, I can agree to that. Some of the locations are so vast, and getting through them takes so long that, as EP said, it’s tough to recall why you were doing what you were doing.

  18. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.25 at 04:38 | Permalink

    How is Vaan as a sidekick any different than Tidus as a sidekick? They definitely should have left Balthier as the lead character, but it’s not like Vaan single-handedly ruins the narrative.

    And while XII’s narrative was a little underdeveloped, it is absolutely ludicrous to claim that IV and V were superior in this regard. Have you taken leave of your faculties, man?!

  19. evilpaul
    Posted 2012.07.25 at 16:42 | Permalink

    A thing I liked about FF12 was that it didn’t really have a central character. That’s pretty much the same as what they did in FF6 where it was sort of Terra, then sort of Celes, then sort of we forgot who. By not really focusing on one character you could have not interesting character arcs with Vann and the bunny eared woman. But you could have extremely interesting character arcs with Balthier and Asche. Seeing the confident, but underlying that unconfident Balthier overcome his issues with his possessed lunatic father, Cid, was really interesting.

    And with Asche (am I mispelling all the names?) she had to deal with the loss of her father and spouse. But she also was aware that she was pretty much the only person who could help her people who she also cared about. And when faced with a Press A to win option from the Occurians at the top of that terribly long tower dungeon, that’s only topped by Tartarus from Persona 3, she eschews it in favor of taking fate into her own hands.

    I also liked the sort of thing with Basche taking up his awful brother’s place and protecting that annoying Britishey kid who had unlimited Potions.

    @Ethos, I didn’t mean to suggest that FF9 is by any means a bad game. But it is loaded with a ton of (with Japanese kanji having ‘L’ and ‘R’ confusion) references to previous FF games. And we didn’t get 2, 3, or 5, originally at the time, so those references fell flat. And many were not translated the same in our later releases of them.

    But with regards to the story it was just so light-hearted, whimsical and wacky that I really didn’t get drawn in. There was that cat-man (I think?) who got petrified in the spikey vine thing early on that was kind of sad, but it was otherwise generally not emotionally impacting to me. It was sort of like FF5 to me in that I liked it, but the gameplay was the star of it not the story. I understand that other people can disagree with this.

  20. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.07.26 at 00:17 | Permalink

    FFIX runs on quaint charm and nostalgia of almost nursery rhyme proportions, that’s going to resonate with some people more than others depending on how sentimental you become at such things.