For over a year, Final Fantasy developer Tetsuya Nomura promised that Final Fantasy Versus 13 was not cancelled. Even after two (!) Final Fantasy 13 sequels were announced, Nomura stuck to his guns and proclaimed Versus 13 was still coming. And at E3 2013, Final Fantasy Versus 13 finally appeared, albeit in a form most didn’t expect.
At Sony’s E3 Press Conference, Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy Versus 13, the highly anticipated offshoot of FF13 proper, had now been turned into Final Fantasy 15. And, besides being the first numbered, non-MMO entry in the franchise in 4 years, Final Fantasy 15 was announced as a next-gen title for release on the PS4 and Xbox One.
So, now that the elation over that initial announcement – as well as the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer – has worn off, it was time to better understand Nomura’s reasoning behind the change. Fans want to know why Square Enix decided to turn Final Fantasy Versus 13 into Final Fantasy 15.
As Nomura tells Polygon, the idea of shifting Versus 13 into 15 circulated about “one or two years after we announced FF Versus 13.” At the time, however, Versus 13 was still being positioned as part of a trio of games (Final Fantasy 13, Final Fantasy Versus 13, and Final Fantasy Agito 13). Nomura saw Versus as one of three highly anticipated properties, and didn’t want to lose any of that fan-fueled enthusiasm.
Then Agito 13 became Final Fantasy Type-0 and Nomura started to accept the idea, and about two years ago Nomura finally decided to make the switch. But as one decision was finalized, another big decision arose: whether to make Final Fantasy 15 a next-gen title.
The team tossed around the idea of announcing FF 15 last year, but they knew a waning console generation might inhibit their creative potential. And so they held their announcement for a year and worked towards a next-gen release. As a result, Nomura has been able to craft the experience he wanted.
“I wanted FF15 to be as seamless as possible, and to achieve that, we needed to have all the actions you could potentially do always be available in memory. Since this is FF, after all, you have lots of potential factors, from the varied weapons to the party members’ individual actions and magic spells. Keeping this massive amount of RPG character data around, and having them fight all kinds of monsters on a large map, is a lot of stuff. To that we’re adding light sourcing, physics, filters, and other graphical elements, but there’s only so much we could display at once, so we were forced to go through a weeding process.”
Nomura is able to achieve a new level of graphical fidelity thanks to the power of Direct X 11 and a high-spec PC. This, of course, begs the question: will Final Fantasy 15 come to the PC? As of this writing, FF 15 is only coming to PS4 and Xbox One, but Nomura wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a PC version if demand is high enough. He says that a high-spec PC would be required to run the game, but if there are enough fans out there that might those requirements, there could be a PC release.
For now, fans have a pretty stunning (and borderline impenetrable) trailer to mull over while Nomura and his team work presumably around the clock on Final Fantasy 15. It took nearly 7 years for Versus 13 to become Final Fantasy 15, so let’s hope we don’t have to wait that long to actually play the game.
Do you think it was the right move to turn Versus 13 into Final Fantasy 15? Would you be interested in a PC version of the game?