Sometimes you follow the line, and sometimes the line it follows you.
In an interview given to Japanese magazine Famitsu, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata has revealed that the game will only be open world in its first half, after which it switches to a linear format. According to Tabata, this structure is in place to prevent players from eventually becoming bored of the open-world set-up of the game. He also compared the progression to previous Final Fantasy games, “We made it in a way that you’ll also get to advance through it as you have in conventional Final Fantasy games.”
In the interview, as reported by Siliconera, it was also learned that the game has 16 chapters in all, numbered 0 to 15. The folks at Famitsu got to play up to Chapter 3, which Tabata said covers only about 15% of the game. Speaking about the game’s length, Tabata said, “If you play through the first half and only the main route of the second half, I believe the estimated play-time sits at around 40 to 50 hours.” This is consistent with previous comments Tabata has made regarding the game’s length: 40–50 hours for the main story, and over 100 hours of gameplay including all the side quests and optional content included.
Final Fantasy XV was scheduled to launch on Sept. 30, 2016, but was recently delayed. The game will now release on Nov. 29, 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One. Meanwhile in August, Square Enix will be releasing Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a movie tie-in that serves as an introduction to the game’s world. There’s a new TV commercial for it.