Final Fantasy XV has been around for a long time, almost too long. Since the game was first revealed at E3 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, we have see numerous trailers and no sign of a release date. When Versus XIII was changed to Final Fantasy XV at E3 2013, there seemed to be some glimmer of hope that game would be in our hands fairly soon, but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. With multiple development setbacks and two versions of the demo being released, many of us are scratching our heads and wondering when this game will finally launch. Gamescom is less than a month away and if Final Fantasy XV doesn’t get a release date, Square Enix may have some answering to do.
When Final Fantasy XV was first announced, fans were excited to hear that Tetsuya Nomura was set to direct and gameplay would be influenced by Kingdom Hearts. Numerous fans were not too thrilled about XIII’s gameplay, so the fact that XV would be more action-based meant that the series was heading back in the right direction. Last September, it was revealed that Nomura would be stepping down as director to focus on Kingdom Hearts 3 and Hajime Tabata would be taking his place. While no one doubts Tabata, it was disappointing to see Nomura leave, especially due to the fact that he laid the ground work for the game. From story to character design, Nomura was a instrumental part of XV’s beginning and losing him set things back.
After nine years of waiting, Square Enix finally released the demo Episode Duscae in March. The demo was was met with positive reviews and the similarities between Kingdom Hearts were there. Having said that, there were a few gameplay and graphical hiccups. Soon after the Duscae’s launch, Square put out a survey asking players for their thoughts on the demo. Using this feedback, the developer decided to update the demo called Episode Duscae Version 2.0. The original demo was great, but the problem with the update is that it takes away from the main development process. While Version 2.0 fixed some problems of the first demo and added some new gameplay features, the update was unnecessary. At this point, it would not be surprising if Version 3.0 was announced,which would just be ridiculous in the worst way possible.
It was annoying that Final Fantasy XV wasn’t at E3, but we’ll just have to wait for Gamescom. We’ve seen the game come a long way since its unveiling in 2006, but now with a demo which includes two updates, Square needs to announce a release date. Why wait? In February, Tabata said that the game was about 60 percent complete and one can only assume that the percentage has only risen. Having a developer taking their time is something the industry needs, especially with so many broken games being released, but it would be nice if Square could give us a Final Fantasy XV launch date to look forward to.