Shinji Hashimoto, Square Enix’s producer for big game titles such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, made an appearance at Thailand Comic Con just this past week. Thanks to a fan over at the RPGSite.net forums, we managed to see a brief overview of what he talked about during his keynote presentations and his answers during the fan Q&A sessions.
With regards to Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III making an appearance at this year’s E3, he stated that he wanted “to keep it secret” and that he was sure people would be “surprised.” Right. Surprised at what? The announcement of a possible release window for FFXV perhaps? Or maybe the announcement of what worlds would be featured in Kingdom Hearts III? I don’t know about you guys but I’m hoping for a Frozen world. I sure hope it’s a good surprise, and not more of Square Enix’s usual “Please be excited” smokescreens.
Hashimoto also made mention of other events such as San Diego Comic Con and Tokyo Game Show, so those are definitely some events to be on the lookout for if you’re keeping track of Square Enix’s news.
When asked for his thoughts on mobile gaming, Hashimoto mentioned that the Square Enix development team was quite big and that he was confident that their mobile games will become popular. With Famitsu’s recently uploaded videos showing off Final Fantasy Agito’s features, I will admit that I am quite intrigued by the game. If Hashimoto believes that their mobile games will garner quite a bit of attention from gamers, hopefully it won’t be too long before we hear about a western release of Agito.
And of course, the fans had to address the proverbial elephant in the room: Is Square Enix going to remake Final Fantasy VII or not? Hashimoto says that FFVII is very special to him but an FFVII remake is currently not in the works. He says that Final Fantasy XV needs to be released first because it’s already been 8 years since the game’s announcement. Well, it’s nice to see that Square Enix is very well aware of what a laughing stock FFXV has become with the amount of time it’s spent in development hell.
Square Enix also showed off a trailer of Final Fantasy XV, which was basically the same trailer we saw at last year’s E3 but with little bits of new footage thrown in as well.
Overall, we didn’t really glean a lot of new information about FFXV and KH III. We still don’t have a projected release date for the 8 year-old FFXV and fans are already making jokes about how this title is soon approaching its 10 year anniversary in development hell. For the past two to three years, Square Enix has been responding to such questions with answers like “Please wait a little longer” or “Please be excited” and to be honest, it was getting really old.
Personally, I’m glad to see that Hashimoto seems to recognize the problems that Square Enix has been facing when it comes to game development and announcement. Though it’s been suggested that we probably won’t see Final Fantasy XV before March 2015 (people were expecting it to be out by then??), I certainly hope that Square Enix will finally give the fans some much-needed concrete details about their sought-after titles some time this year. And who knows? Maybe once they get FFXV out of the way and pull themselves out of this slump, we might get other nice things like a localised version of Final Fantasy Agito or the Final Fantasy VII remake fans have been so desperate for.
And let’s not forget Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Volume 2. Yes, I know that game got canned, but one can hope, right? The possibilities that lie in Square Enix’s future beyond Final Fantasy XV are endless, and that’s what I’m really looking forward to.
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