After having developed The 3rd Birthday with Square Enix, independent developers HexaDrive made a name for themselves as Japan’s go-to HD Remaster studio, with titles such as Okami HD, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS. Now, they’re working on Final Fantasy XV, which was revealed in a recent interview with Famitsu.
Square Enix previously asked tri-Ace to assist with the development of the Final Fantasy XIII games, but for Final Fantasy XV they’ve been working with Taiwanese developer XPEC Entertainment, who worked on the recent “cat cam” demonstration. However, HexaDrive have been involved with the process for a fairly long time as well.
According to Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata, HexaDrive have been helping Square Enix with the development of Final Fantasy XV since before the integration of the Luminous Studio engine, back when it was still called “Ebony”.
To be more precise, HexaDrive began helping Square Enix with development just a little before the E3 2013 trailer, shown above, when they announced the name-change from Final Fantasy Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV.
“On the subject of Versus XIII’s development , we went with the high-objective development style we’ve seen in conventional Final Fantasy titles and the Kingdom Heart series, but we had a difficult time in shaping it together, and kept at it, going through trial-and-error,” says Final Fantasy XV art director Tomohiro Hasegawa.
Hasegawa continues by explaining that Square Enix eventually realized that they could not make a major HD game using the development system of yesteryear, so in addition to incorporating more from Square Enix’s technology department and members of their CG movie production department Visual Works as part of their new system, they requested support from HexaDrive’s engineers.
With the structural plan and work flow anew at the time, that is how the base of Final Fantasy XV’s current development system came to be. One of the results of this new development system and the help of HexaDrive was the E3 2013 trailer.
As an interesting side-note, Square Enix and HexaDrive went “location hunting” in a Chiba Prefecture cavern so they could gather references for a dungeon seen in the Episode Duscae demo.
Final Fantasy XV is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.