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Please Be Excited For E3…

May 20th, 2013 by Tony Garsow

This year’s E3 is just a few weeks away, and there’s plenty to be excited for as a Final Fantasy fan. So with that in mind we’ve decided to take a moment to pause and scope out road ahead. We have several Final Fantasy titles that will be releasing throughout the year as soon as summer and into the autumn. Of course, there may be more to look forward to next year, but the details are currently a well-guarded secret! Here are our expectations for Square Enix Japan’s upcoming Final Fantasy projects at this juncture:

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may as well be the polar opposite of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. A game that needs to prove everything to fans and fire on all cylinders; a game that needs to shed the stigma of the original failed release and deliver a Final Fantasy-worthy experience. In the run-up to E3 and beyond, you can bet your gil that this game will be at the forefront. That’s not only because it’s releasing this summer, but it needs a spotlight moment where it can proudly say: “look at me, look at how far we’ve come”. They say you never get two shots at a first impression, however, the team behind the game is doing their damnedest to try.

Led by Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida as the new director, the team may be gaining some new eyes from the single-player Final Fantasy community with the inclusion of fan favorites such as Final Fantasy VI‘s Magitek armor units and classic locales as Final Fantasy III‘s Crystal Tower. While some may brush this aside as fanservice-y pandering, it’s important to the team to show many that these elements exist within the game. It’s understandable that their selective promotion of these elements has been a touch overstated. If it makes sense within the world of Eorzea, then they’ve done a good job incorporating it. Don’t expect the team to skimp on what makes Eorzea what it is — more trailers are incoming even before the show begins. The third phase of beta testing looks like it will coincide with the show itself, but an official start date has yet to be posted.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD is also a likely candidate for demo, along with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMix. Square Enix is kicking off two remastered collections of PlayStation 2 games for PlayStation 3, and they’ve come with quite a box. The latter of which will be releasing on September 13th this year, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that a release date won’t come around E3 time.

Things have been quite quiet on the Lightning Returns front, and with the previously-scheduled autumn release just a summer away, it might seem like time is running short. Square Enix Japan’s fall release schedule in North America is also looking a bit more crowded than usual. Don’t count the game out just yet! While I may figure FFXIV as the E3 Final Fantasy breadwinner, Lightning Returns could sport a modest performance — but ramping up late in the game around Tokyo Game Show (September) or later. What better time to show off a brand new trailer or a decent chunk of brand-new information to keep you sated until its release? E3 is still very much likely!

The elephant in the room is the fate of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. After a long wait, the game’s director Tetsuya Nomura hinted that a “warm spring” was coming. Cryptic as it was, many began to speculate that E3 (technically in Spring) would be the grand re-reveal of the seven-year absent title. Later, on Square Enix’s MD Radio, Nomura divulged that we would know more about “Versus” soon. The turbulence around the game’s status only increased when previous reports of the game’s death were greatly exaggerated. In contrast to Final Fantasy XIV, even the smallest breadcrumbs of the game’s development generated buzz across the internet for days — most of them a fantasy based on reality.

However, the breadcrumbs have become a bit more substantial, with the re-surfacing of a new Noctis eau de toilette the very evening of this post. (Previously revealed in February.) Other bits include Roen’s “FINAL FANTASY 15″ entry on his website’s resume. Roen, you may remember, was chosen to design the new clothes Noctis & Co. wear and are seen in the most recent 2011 trailer.

At February’s PlayStation 4 reveal, Final Fantasy series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto teased an announcement of a brand-new title in development for Sony’s console before uttering the now famous “please be excited for E3″ line. In the following months, two large camps emerged. One camp that believes that Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be renamed to “Final Fantasy XV” and release on Sony’s next-gen console. Others place their eggs in the Agni’s Philosophy basket, despite Square Enix’s statement that it is Luminous’ tech demo solely. Rumors of “cross-generation” PlayStation 3 and 4 development have been more palatable to anxious Versus fans.

It’s quite understandable to expect the myriad rumors swirling about in the electric pre-E3 climate, with some having more credence than others. To those of you reading who have become distant with the Final Fantasy franchise or know someone who is, this E3 will be your time to take another look and keep your mind open. You are your own best salesman, and should you choose to buy into hype or deflect it, keep the merits of the game that appeal to you in mind rather than the buzz around it! To those who are greatly anticipating the upcoming announcements and fretting over every breadcrumb, what better time kick back and let it all wash over you? The eve of great Final Fantasy announcements are, for me, some of the most exciting times to be a fan of this series. It’s not going to last forever! In the case of Versus, well… I readily admit the amount patience required is more than a person has any right having!

Either way, the future of Final Fantasy will be revealed soon! Please be excited!

So, what I want to know is: how do you think this year’s E3 will play out? What are your expectations for appearances at the show and what must Square Enix show for you to be satisfied? What are your thoughts about the Final Fantasy Versus XIII project, Final Fantasy XIV’s upcoming relaunch, or the conclusion to the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy?

Share your thoughts by leaving us a comment below!

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  • Ehren Rivers

    Personally, I think we’ll get more than just a trailer for Lightning Returns at E3. ARR may be their big focus, but modest might be a little underestimative. I’ve thought about this for a long while, and don’t ask me to explain where it comes from, I just have this boiling feeling E3’s got a surprise waiting for us. I’m very excited about A Realm Reborn though, and I’ll be quite happy when they solidify the launch date!

  • AnimaMagna

    If they do turn Versus into XV… Hmm. I seem to remember the English voice actors for XIII having to re-record their lines about four times as things changed. Maybe it’s been or will be the same with Versus. It certainly sounds like one of those titles. Either that, or it could be like XII and sit both on its own and in a subseries.

  • alexsam

    Seriously, with all those titles, it’s gonna be a war between games of the same company! I have a feeling they’ll try to promote both Lightning Returns and XIV:ARR, in order to get more fans interested in these games since both X/X-2 HD and the new FF game for the PS4 (be it FF Versus XIII or XV) will be practically selling themselves and pretty much be the talk of the town. Either way, this E3 will most likely be the best E3 Square-Enix has had in ever. Things may greatly turn around for them after this conference. I, for one, will be seriously looking to watch whatever they have to show through any sort of live stream, no matter what time it is!

  • Odine

    Well, it is obvious that XIV, Versus and XIII-3 will be there, so there is not much to say about them. I’m glad they finally came, and I am willing to buy those 3 games when I can. I just hope that any of the 3 titles share a release tdate with Grand Theft Auto V… it can be very painful for SQ-EX.

    Q: What must Square Enix show for you to be satisfied?
    A: As the 3 big tittles are mostly confirmed to appear at E3 (XIV, Vs. and XIII-3), it would satisfy me if Square Enix announces and shows a PSVita port of FF Type-0. That would make me buy a PSVita instantly, like I bought my psp just to be able to play Crisis Core (and the next FF games for psp that came). Give Type-0 some love!

  • AnimaMagna

    @Odine
    That might not be such an out-there possibility. I remember seeing some of the PlayStation conference in February (a live-stream on IGN) and they talked a lot about making improvements to the Vita and linking it up more with the PS4. With all that, maybe Vita will become a more profitable medium for Type-0 to be released on. For an announcement, either E3, TGS 2013 or Jump Festa 2014.

  • alexsam

    @Odine I realize and totally get that many people want to play Type-0. Plus, it kinda felt like we were sorta screwed over with the way things have played out with that game, considering it’s been almost 6 months and the only place in the world that has this is Japan and all the western areas haven’t heard anything about it releasing yet. I get all that. But now is hardly the time to be thinking about Type-0. I’m pretty sure that, at Square-Enix, the release of Type-0 to western audiences is probably on the bottom of their to-do list. Not that it won’t ever happen! I’m just saying that they have so many other things that they need to focus on right now that to shift their attention to Type-0 might seem like a little bit of a luxury that they don’t have. If we want Type-0, we ourselves should do our part. We should show Square-Enix that the handheld market is as alive and vibrant as ever. They will be releasing X/X-2 HD for both the PS3 and the Vita. I think that, if it makes a solid number of sales on the Vita, then it will be sending a pretty clear message. Then perhaps, once the company have sorta “cleared their schedules”, we’ll get to see that marvelous game in the west as well.

  • Please be excited for E3. Hell yeah I’m excited. As a FF fan I think 2013 is probably the biggest year in FF ever. Announcement-wise i think this may rival the Square Millennium Conference (where they announced IX, X and XI) and E3 06 (where FNC/FFXIII was announced).

    E3 2013 is probably gonna be big for Final Fantasy. My predictions of FF titles.

    FFV/VI on iOS/Android- I think we may see FFVI being announced on iOS, following suit from FFV. nothing unexpected but the E3 platform is useful for sure. (Personally hoping for announcement on PSP/PSN as well).

    FFX/X-2 HD remaster – probably a trailer or (less likely) playable demo. more coverage anyhow.

    LR:FFXIII – as the last entry in FFXIII releasing within the year i think we’ll seem a bit more from it, perhaps a proper trailer this time.

    FFXIV: A Realm Reborn – probably one of the major showcases. XIV relaunches in Summer so they could use all the media attention they can get for this one, especially as far as showing how its much different from its failed first incarnation

    FFvXIII – i’m willing to bet the fate of Versus XIII will finally be unveiled at E3. My personal speculation is that vsXIII will now be XV since XIII is all to do with Lightning, and also because we’ve moved very far ahead from XIII now. Being a fresh iteration it would likely be renamed to XV (or at least something else). Considering how far into development they already were with it, I think it will end up being the last numbered FF on PS3.

    FFXVI / FF for PS4/next-gen – this will be the big reveal. please be excited for E3 is referring to this, and I hope its good. There’s a possibility that they’ll use Agni’s Philosophy’s setting as a base.. excited!

    pipe-dream speculation:
    FFXI and FFXII HD remasters for PS3 (and NGP for XII).
    Technically a HD FFXI already exists considering how people can oversample on the PC and in-game model quality is actually high enough to work in HD. It’d essentially be a port from PC to PS3, which would still be cool in my book.
    FFXII HD i see as an eventuality, but E3 might be too soon to announce it. Maybe TGS or next year.

  • Axwind

    It seems to me that FFVII, VIII, and IX are more in need of an HD remaster than X/X-2, as their graphical resolution is only 320×200, pitiful by today’s standards. Hopefully SE will get to sprucing them up after they finish with the PS2 titles. They could either all fit into a single release or be released individually with tons of bonus content.

  • Marcus

    *sighs* Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been a fan of Square-Enix for more almost 25 years, but I could not be more disappointed with this company. I know this is a Final Fantasy fan site, but why there’s this excitement about potentially upcoming Final Fantasy releases, I’ll never know.

    You mean we’re going to get a third installment of the overproduced, yet underwhelming, Final Fantasy XIII franchise? Well, color me stoked.

    We’re going to wait to hear about a game that’s been mentioned for over five years, now (FF XIII Vs.)? Great. Another game with no chance of being localized, if it ever gets released, at all.

    You mean we’re going to hear about Square’s going to focus on their Japanese market/fanbase, rather than spend the money and resources to localize games outside that market, yet again? Freakin’ great.

    If Square-Enix wants to know why its shares and sales are tumbling, perhaps they should take a look at the last decade – spreading themselves too thin, going after other niche markets by gobbling up companies and assets that should have long ago fallen off the gaming map (Enix, notwithstanding), and focusing so much on pumping out subpar games and products designed to appeal to subscription/online/casual gamers. They get what they deserve.

  • TheBadass

    I really hope the FF for PS4 is a brand new title and not FF Versus XIII.

  • Bekas

    I would give a pinkie finger for a ‘FFXII HD remaster + Revenant Wings remake’ pack.
    Heck, I’d settle for just the remaster ;w;

  • versus has not been renamed FF15…will people get off that ban wagon. Even SE is still calling Versus13, Versus13. Even the games Producer and director are still calling it Versus13. So no FF15 will be a different game.

  • AnimaMagna

    Revenant Wings? Eugh. They totally ruined the characters in that one (far too kiddish for my tastes). Just give the fans a Final Fantasy XII HD remake with the Zodiac Job System included. I wonder why they’re called ‘International’ when they don’t go beyond Japan? Also, I watched the video of Square Enix’s PS4 slot. No wonder fans were disappointed. Virtually anything would have been better than that (it missed it because of bedtime and bad connection).

  • Khris

    Final fantasy XIII and XIII-2 weren’t failed releases… just wanted to point that out.

  • TheBadass

    @Bekas
    I really want a FFXII HD + FFXII Revenant Wings HD. It would be great if they made Revenant Wings a complete 3D remake using the FFXII battle system.

  • Marcus

    I would call XIII’s 4.95m and XIII-2’s 2.23m relative failures. For the record:

    VII – 9.8m
    VIII – 8.15m
    IX – 5.3m (shipped)
    X – 6.6m
    XII – 5.2m

    For the amount of time, money, and production that went into XIII, 4.95m is a failure, and 2.23 million? That’s just embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that both of those games were released on multiple consoles, thereby opening the games up to two markets, and STILL their sales are that low.

    So…yeah…failures.

  • gmoyajp

    1. Final Fantasy XIV showing us Summoner gameplay that’s all i care.

    2. Final Fantasy Versus or 15

    3. Final fantasy VIII PC or Remake of VIII maybe HD

    Future of Final Fantasy.

  • @Marcus,

    thats not being failures. Its just the way the gaming industry is on decline, and the market penetration of the PS3 and XBOX360.

    both XIII and XIII-2 made money. XIII-2 exceeded sales expectations, because they produced less copies of XIII-2 than XIII anyway.

    sales figures are irrelevant if you don’t factor in development costs, sell-through rate, expected earnings and payment model.

    I can almost guarantee you that XIII-2 made more money for Square Enix than XIII by virtue of it having DLC, let alone it having a much lower development cost.

  • anony

    @Bekas: IK hope that is true have a ff12 bundle and I guess there might be ff7 hd complication pack which is just crisis core and DoC.

    For Perdictions for e3:

    I guess ff14:rr: We’ll get some shine, probably show something to it.

    Obvision ff13:lr will showcase to being the last of lightning saga and closing the ffxiii chapter. I get the there will be screenshot and a trailer. If lucky, maybe demo, but I doubt it. I guess they give some info give more of tgs.

    KH hd remix will have a trailer and maybe a demo. Same goes for ffx|x-2 hd.

    Now for the best ff versus xiii would be another showvase would give some cool new info on it. So there should something, probably a simple short trailer (since ff14:realm reborn, lighting return will be major showcase and probably bit of hd remaster as well), if by chance SE could surprise us with something spetacular otherwise most info will be in tgs.

    finally some ios ports.

    Possible predictions that could happen:

    final fantasy title hinting on a remake for the wii U (rumours from the guy named 100yearOldGamer)

    Potential the next new game for ff game probably announced in tgs.

  • MrSensei915

    Honestly, I just want FF versus 13 on the ps3. I’ve been waiting seven years for it, like many many other fans. It’s an exciting tittle with promising gameplay. I find it silly (perhaps even poor business modeling?) to tease fans with a great game and then fail to make it. I’m not well versed in all the production history; all I know is that I’ve jumped at each piece of news like a hungry lion. I know that in the past, SE said that FFV13 was still in production and asked to wait patiently. Well, I have, SE. What’s next?

    As far as, FF14:ARR: it looks promising on the ps3. If its free-to-play (i.e. purchase the game with no monthly fees), I’ll play it.

    I LOVE FFX on theps2! Honestly though, I don’t need a remake. There’s nothing like the nostalgia of blowing the dust off my ps2 and loading up old game with their now-subpar graphics. That’s what makes them fun!! This remake business, not for me. It’s just a business move to milk money off fans who they know already love the game, which is fine. After all, SE is a business, not my BFF. As far as FFX-2, I didn’t like it at all, but I know it appealed to others. I hope they get what they want out of the remake. I do love how the “international” versions of SE games are sold in Japan only…

    And as far as FF15… I’m excited about the possibility, for sure. Even if it turns out that FF15=FFV13, I might just jump on the ps4 bandwagon (we’re all going to need a ps4 at some point, right?)

  • meep

    If you ask me, if Versus would be revealed in this year’s E3, they’d ought to rename it. I doubt they recycled the concept into FFXV, but I feel that they should at least separate themselves from the XIII franchise while not cutting its ties to the Fabula Nova Crystallis collection.

  • Liz

    Final Fantasy X was the last REAL Final Fantasy for me…I am so dissapointed in the XIII triology…:( So I really hope that XIV, Versus XIII and XV is going to take Final Fantasy back at it’s throne! 😀

  • TheBadass

    @Liz
    Any true FF fan would know the last real FF was FFIX, and before that it was FFVII. It’s FFVIII and FFX where FF started changing too much.

  • AnimaMagna

    @TheBadass
    Final Fantasy is about change. Some work, some don’t. If we can all just accept that and get along, the comment sections would be a much quieter place. And by the way, I think VIII and Versus/XV are the most drastic tonal shifts: X and XIII may have sci-fi pretensions, but it’s as firmly fixed in the fantasy world as IV, VI and IX. In fact, VII seems to be more sci-fi than fantasy in some regards, even more so than XIII.

  • Moogle

    I could’nt agree more with you, MrSensei915!
    People have known Versus, well, as Versus for the past 7 years now? I think
    to change the name for it just because SE has been a total snorlax on getting it out for PS3 is wrong..

    Liz: I agree with you. I think too (even if it cant be compared with VII-IX), that FFX was their last big thing. I have been playing all games up till now, but FFX was the last one to really give me the big FF-rush as I usually got while playing the “good old ones”.

    A remake of FFX/-FFX-2 was unnecessary IMP – FFX is the only reason I pull out my PS2 and let it live a little. That the quality doesnt live up to todays standards? Who cares, it’s all about the nostalgia. Id rather have VII be freshened up a bit (even tho I love the oldie).

  • maggosh

    Wait for it… Final Fantasy I on XBox One.

  • Yoshiyuki

    “Fans” keep on asking for remakes/HD remakes, but if they ask it now, why wouldn’t they ask for another remake of the same game in 15 years? SQE is much more busy trying to develop a FF game that surpasses all the previous ones, and I’m with them. Should SQE focus on the demands of these “fans”? I will surely love it if they release a FFVII remake, but what if they don’t plan on doing it? Will we sit and keep on dwelling on past glories while we should focus on moving forward? It’s time to move on. Wanna play FFVII? Turn on your PSOne. For me that’s just fine.

  • firado

    @Moggle I agree, but I disagree for ffx (for NA) and ffx-2 both containing international version, so it would be new content for us.

    @Anony, totally agreee with your predictions and there could be surprises. your Right 100yearOldGamer did hint ff remake in work for wii U. Like he was correct on the previous, the date on nintendo direct for april and hinted on legend zelda lttp sequel before that. But there was question from one the user asking for ff6 or ffx hd remaster, he answered a remake in works which doesn’t mention anything else, I highly doubt they’ll show trailer but it is possible.

  • AgitoXIII

    Should be a good E3 to look forward to on many fronts. I want FFXV. And for it to NOT NOT NOT be Versus XIII

  • hutch

    Looking forward to hearing about the FFX remasters, and the fate of FF on PS4. Hopefully Vs13 remains so, and XV comes into its own as fresh IP that harkens back to FF I-X (I’m done with futuristic moody emo people).
    hopefully they won’t just inundate us with FF13 & 14 stuff. I can’t wait until we move on from those debacles. Yuck.
    Maybe more blu-ray music releases?

  • hutch

    Aww, heck, I’ll just throw this out there for nostalgia’s sake: another Chrono game maybe? I remember Square’s great days when getting “lesser” (but awesome) RPGs satiated us every year or so while we awaited the big release of a new FF every third year or so. Great times.

  • hutch

    @yoshiyuki: I keep asking for remakes because SE’s attempts at new games flat out suck. BAD. I think remakes will gives us releases of games we loved the ability to function on new HDTVs, while giving the development teams some time to go back and see what great games look and play like. I won’t mind giving them some time off to recharge their artistic batteries instead of of just giving us more “Lightning” stuff. Ye gads!
    p.s.
    I’m a “fan” because I’ve been playing Final Fantasy since 1987. I think I know what constitutes a good Final Fantasy. (and please no “it’s all opinion” arguments. That’s just a cop out.)

  • Moogle

    @Hutch: Even tho I havent played FF for as long as you (9 years less, to be exact), I’m pretty sure I know what constitutes a good FF too. Its not about how long you’ve played them for, as long as you have played them all and have a good insight. So, agree to disagree :)
    However, I totally agree on another Chrono-game. That would be awesome!

    “I won’t mind giving them some time off to recharge their artistic batteries instead of of just giving us more “Lightning” stuff”.
    – Amen to that! Even though I like Lightning&co, I think it’s time to close the chapter on this one.

  • TheBadass

    I really hope that both FFXV and FFXVI are announced at E3 2013.

  • AnimaMagna

    I’m hoping for XV, Type-0 and a new FNC game.