Square Enix executive producer and Final Fantasy brand manager Shinji Hashimoto had a lot to share on the series during the Lucca Comics & Games 2016 which recently took place in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. [Thanks, GamerClick.]
Here are some highlights on what Hashimoto-san shared at the event:
On Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
A release date has yet to be decided, but since it’s the game’s 10th anniversary, he hopes to release it as soon as possible.
On Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8
There won’t be a “2.9” after Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8, and it’ll go straight to Kingdom Hearts III after. On the topic of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep, he says that it may sound short, but its duration will depend on how the player plays, and he believes it won’t be something that will be finished in no time.
On Final Fantasy VII Remake
Hashimoto didn’t bring any info to the event, but says they’re working hard on the game and asks fans to please wait a little longer for more. About the rumors online on the game releasing in 2017, he says that the company hasn’t announced anything yet, so those are just rumors for now.
On Final Fantasy X-3
Hashimoto says Final Fantasy X/X-2’s HD Remaster sold well thanks to all the fans. As far as Final Fantasy X-3 goes, he acknowledges that fans have expectations after having been presented a bit of its plot in the audio drama. However, he says that there’s currently facing a wall that cannot be climbed—with director/character designer Tetsuya Nomura and producer/director Yoshinori Kitase both being occupied, they’re unable to work on Final Fantasy VII Remake, Kingdom Hearts III, and Final Fantasy X-3 all at the same time. Square Enix is focusing more on titles that have been announced for now, so he asks fans to wait a little longer [for anything on Final Fantasy X-3.]
Hashimoto adds that he was reminded just how popular Yuna and Tidus are after seeing plenty of cosplayers at Lucca Comics & Games 2016, and their drama is something that he and the staff would like to continue to cherish.
On Final Fantasy XIII
After having released three titles for the Final Fantasy XIII series, Square Enix feels that its results were sufficient. If expectations for it were higher, they would have gone with different approaches to sell the game. He says that Lightning, especially, is still very popular, as we’ve seen with the Louis Vuitton collaboration and such, and Square Enix must think about how they’ll continue fostering her as a character.
On Final Fantasy XVI
With Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix was able to fuse a setting that is both a modern and fantasy world in one. When it comes to main-numbered Final Fantasy games, the directors think of everything from scratch with each installment. That said, it doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily see a modern setting for Final Fantasy XVI. Hashimoto says that they haven’t made anything for Final Fantasy XVI yet, but to keep in mind that just because Final Fantasy XV has a certain setting, it doesn’t mean the next one will follow in the same way.
Hashimoto emphasizes the differences we’ve seen in main-numbered Final Fantasy titles by using VII, VIII, IX as examples on how we saw it go from a very steam punk cyber world in Final Fantasy VII and then back to more of a fantasy world in Final Fantasy IX. He says that this is something that directors might do on purpose to change things up for the series.
As far as the battle system goes, this is also something that is decided by the director, so it doesn’t necessarily mean Final Fantasy XVI will be more on the action RPG side as we’ve seen in Final Fantasy XV. Hashimoto says when they start work on a new Final Fantasy, they set the bar to make the ultimate fantasy of the generation with each installment. So if a director feels that a certain battle system would work best in the current generation, that’s the main system they’ll go with.