Forget Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is the real savior of Square-Enix’s limping role-playing series! And it’s still in development according to Square-Enix’s Yoichi Wada.
How could it not be magical? A blend of high-fantasy and urban life starring a brooding spiky-haired young man with a big sword? And it’s all born of the mind of Tetsuya Nomura? It’s got a wide open world and sprawling cities filled with people to explore? Why that sounds like the winning formula that made not just series milestone Final Fantasy VII but the entire Final Fantasy franchise the beloved institution it is today. Or at least was until about two years ago when Final Fantasy XIII turned the series into an emblem for Square-Enix’s decline as a creative superpower. Yes, Final Fantasy Versus XIII will save the day.
That is, of course, if it ever gets released. It was announced in May 2006, months before Final Fantasy XII for PlayStation 2 was even released in the US. Since then, it’s only appeared in a handful of trailers and songs from its soundtrack have popped up here and there. At this point, Final Fantasy Versus XIII has taken over Duke Nukem Forever’s crown as the king of vaporware.
Hence why Kotaku’s report on Friday seemed so plausible. Japan correspondent Brian Ashcraft said that multiple sources confirmed that Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been cancelled but Square-Enix, and that the game’s death was kept quiet so as to not cause the company embarrassment or fluctuation in shareholder confidence. Other sources indicated that the Final Fantasy Versus XIII staff—whose past work includes Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children—was folded into the team creating Final Fantasy XV, though it was unclear if the game that was Versus XIII was simply being rebranded as XV. There’s precedence for this. The 2011 PSP game Final Fantasy Type 0 was originally titled Final Fantasy Agito XIII.
Square-Enix CEO Yoichi Wada put the rumors to bed on Tuesday though. The executive said via Twitter (via MCV), “I’ve seen rumors that FFVXIII has been cencelled. The rumors aren’t true. I’ve actually been in a recent presentation about the game and I’ve seen it.”
Excellent news. Kingdom Hearts II was a spectacular game, so Versus XIII’s pedigree is strong. There are still many questions about the game to be answered though. Is it still a PlayStation 3 exclusive? Will it be rebranded as Final Fantasy XV? Will it be out before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 hit shelves? Tetsuya Nomura told GameInformer in May, “We would like to ask for your patience on an official announcement for this title.” Patience can only be worn so thin!