I’ve said it before many times, but for the sake of this article I’m going to say it once more: Final Fantasy XV was born from the ashes of a game called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. That original concept was created in 2005 and revealed in 2006. Several years later it became a mainline title and changed its name accordingly. Three years into its supposed development, Final Fantasy XV had a shift in Directors, and with a Director shift comes sweeping changes to the end product. Now that Final Fantasy XV is out in the wild, we’ve gotten to see what it eventually became after its troubled development period. But there are many people who still pine for that original concept. Well, perhaps they won’t have to wait much longer to find out exactly what that story truly was...
About two weeks, just after the games release, a “leaker” popped up on 4Chan claiming to have inside knowledge that Square Enix was giving heavy consideration to reviving the Versus project, thanks in no small part to not only the fans devotion to the original idea, but also because XV far exceeded the higher-ups expectations. They apparently never had much faith in Nomura’s “Fantasy based on reality” and did not expect to succeed. And while the story that was told was significantly altrered, it did not deter gamers and the game sold very well. And it was because of that that Square Enix was heavily considering a Final Fantasy Versus XV.
Now, the rumor cropped up on 4Chan of all places, so naturally everyone including myself were HIGHLY skeptical of this. 4Chan has no vetting process, no way to confirm if said information is true or false or even whether or not the person is who they claim to be. And so two weeks have since passed with everyone dismissing such a notion. After all, remaking a game that literally just released, within 5 years of its life, that’s just insane right? Apparently not.
Just yesterday someone posted on NeoGAF about Versus XV. Now in case you somehow aren’t aware, NeoGAF is the place you go if you want to leak things and have the information be considered credible. Now, to be clear, this new rumor did not come straight from the leaker themselves, it’s second hand. Apparently the leaker himself posted about it on an Arabian forum. This leaker actually has a proven track record, having outed both Star Ocean V and Final Fantasy VII Remake prior to their respective reveals. You can read the short NeoGAF post at the link below.
So now that this same rumor has cropped up twice, this time from someone with a track record, people are actually stopping and giving it serious consideration, myself included. I wouldn’t have bothered writing this long ass article for such a small thing if I wasn’t at least entertaining the idea. And from some of the comments on my recent Final Fantasy XV articles, there are others who also still wonder what the original story was.
So what does this all mean then...
What is being proposed by both rumors is that Tetsuya Nomura will once again take the helm of the project, bringing both Kazushige Nojima and Yoko Shimomura back to the table with him, and remake Final Fantasy XV under the tentative title Final Fantasy Versus XV, named after the original game Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It will see the final draft of the original story brought back and turned into a full-fledged Final Fantasy game as it was originally intended to be. Whether or not it will be episodic like it was originally planned is up for debate, but considering a massive amount of XV’s assets could be repurposed, I doubt they would need to since they can devote more of the budget to the story without cutting corners. It will likely use the same engine as XV as well. If a separate leaker is to be believed, he said that at the time his contract ran out(May 2016), he had heard absolutely nothing about any other games using Luminous Studio. VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III are both on Unreal Engine 4. The latter because of the engine still being deep in development when it started development, and the former because of Nomura’s team and CyberConnect2 being more familiar with it, thus speeding up the development process. It would have been a major waste of time and money if Square never used the Luminous Engine again, so what’s the best way to get more out of the engine and assets while spending less money? Normally, that’d be a sequel, but XV cuts itself off from having sequels though prequels technically aren’t out of the question. There’s room for two actually. The other way, however, is to create a game that can reuse most, if not all, of those assets. In this case, that would be a remake of XV with the story of Versus XIII. Which means that this trailer:
And this trailer:
Are more representative of what the games story will be like. And of course, some of the character designs may be reverted to what they were before. It’ll be interesting to see if this whole Versus XV thing turns out to be true, though obviously we won’t know one way or the other for years as this is a project that supposedly is not set to start production immediately.
So don’t bite my head off if this doesn’t happen. Still take it with a grain of salt, I’m just letting you know that there just might be more truth to this particular rumor than was originally believed.