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Looking Back on Final Fantasy XV’s 10-Year Development Timeline

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It’s been a long road.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII was officially announced at E3 2006, as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Sub-series. This also included Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII, which would eventually become Final Fantasy Type-0. At the time Versus XIII was labeled as a PS3 exclusive.

After its initial reveal at E3, there was very little information released about Final Fantasy Versus XIII, save for a few screenshots. Finally though, in December of that year the teaser trailer that press had seen was released to the public. It depicted a young man in black, who we now know as Noctis, battling a battalion of soldiers by summoning phantom swords. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtemqeMG8XI” target=”_blank”>Take a look</a>

During Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix finally reveals the name Versus XIII’s  protagonist, Noctis. Additionally, they announce the name of the woman he’s fighting as Stella. The first in-game footage of Versus XIII is released, showing off a conversation between Noctis and Stella. Watch it with English subtitles <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrEjbVxfsaE” target=”_blank”>here.</a>

In June 2008 Tetsuya Nomura, Versus XIII’s director and also known for Kingdom Hearts, says that the team is putting development on hold in order to help finish Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix later denies this and says it was mistranslated. At E3 2008, Square announces XIII is going multiplatform, but says they still plan to have Versus XIII as a PS3 exclusive.

Footage of Final Fantasy Versus XIII is shown off behind closed doors at Tokyo Game Show. The footage shows Noctis exploring wide open areas like a grassy plain in real time. It does not ,however, show off any combat.

In March rumors begin to pop up about Versus XIII being rebranded and moved to the PS4. In June at Sony’s E3 press conference those rumors are confirmed, and Square Enix reveals a stunning brand new trailer. At the end the Versus XIII logo shatters and reforms into Final Fantasy XV. Take a look at it <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcUSXub_ypU” target=”_blank”>here.</a>

Yoshinori Kitase was the director behind many games in the series including Final Fantasy VII and X. In February 2014, Kitase says that Final Fantasy XV is “quite far into development now and it is being given a very high priority within the company itself.” He also says that XV is not competing with Kingdom Hearts 3 for resources.

During one of their Active Time Report updates, Hajime Tabata announces that an event in March will unveil the game’s final release date. He also announces a new tech demo will be released at some point. On the game’s forums lead game designer Takizawa Masashi,discusses how Final Fantasy XV will have two different battle settings.

Sadly XV misses E3 again, but Episode Duscae does receive an update to a 2.0 version. This adds on new combat options, sidequests, and dialogue. Additoinally, Tabata reveals that the previous heroine and love interest, Stella, has been scrapped and replaced with a new character named Luna. This character has a different role in the changing story of Final Fantasy XV.

After missing what feels like almost every E3, Final Fantasy XV has a huge showing at E3 2016. There’s a brand new trailer shown, as well as a demo of the Titan battle. The demo has some technical issues, but would be shown many more times over the next couple months. Watch the trailer <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otVk3EEjgd8″ target=”_blank”>here,</a> and the demo <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEQG0ZSwLOk” target=”_blank”>here.</a>

After 10 long years, Final Fantasy XV will finally release on Xbox One and PS4. Dates for the game’s DLC have yet to be announced, but will be coming at a later date. Additionally, no date has been given for the mobile MMO developed by Machine Zone. We’re nearly there now.

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