Is this a final fantasy for Square Enix?
Holy crap, so much for expanding the Final Fantasy XV universe. In a sudden announcement today, Square Enix announced the cancellation of three of the four planned FFXV episode expansion packs (via GameSpot).
The cancelled expansions include the ones featuring Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis. The one featuring FFXV’s antagonist Ardyn will still be released and is due March 2019. This cancellation may have a lot to do with the US$33 million loss incurred by the Square Enix Luminous studio in a previous earnings report. Despite this, the team will now focus on making a new AAA game.
That’s not all: Hajime Tabata resigned from Square Enix as of 31st October. He will be starting his own company. Here are his parting words from the Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest house:
“I honestly believe the reason we were able to get this far is because of all you loyal fans. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after FFXV. For that reason, I have decided to leave my current position and start my own business in order to achieve my goal.”
“From this day on, I will cheer on and support Square Enix and Luminous Productions together with all you fans. I would like to thank everyone who continues to support FFXV and those who have also supported myself personally.”
It’s a huge shame, because former Square Enix lead game designer Wan Hazmer championed Luminous and Tabata-san, specifically on how the director is going to do awesome things in the new studio during the week of Level Up.
Does This Spell The End Of Final Fantasy As We Know It?
Hardly. In fact, the following tie-ins are happening:
-The Final Fantasy XV Comrade multiplayer game will be released as a standalone game. The game will feature 10 new bosses, who may be reskins of past FFXV bosses, more costumes, and new weapons. It’s slated for a 13th December release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
-A Final Fantasy XV cross-promotion event with FFXIV Online will happen; it’ll be an event called Adventurer From Another World starting 12 December for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
-A Final Fantasy XV Episode Prologue anime is announced; a teaser will be out 15 December, with a second teaser due 10 January.
-Another announced as a short-form anime called Final Fantasy XV Episode Prologue is on the way. A teaser will be released on December 15, with a second one coming on January 10.
Should we be worried that Square Enix is milking FFXV for all of its worth after its director left? Maybe, but after seeing PC ports of FFXII and mobile ports of FFVI and FFV looking like dipstick Korean games, should we even be surprised at these turn of events?
I’m just sad that Hajime Tabata, the man who saved Final Fantasy somewhat, has left due to all this escalating madness and probably other internal behind-closed-doors struggles. Thank you for Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Type-0, and the not-messed-up parts of Final Fantasy XV, Tabata-san!