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Nomura: Here's Why Versus XIII Became Final Fantasy XV

During Sony's E3 press conference, Square Enix producer Tetsuya Nomura showed off the anticipated Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

When the slick new trailer was over, the "Versus XIII" part of the title disappeared and was replaced with the new title: Final Fantasy XV. We had heard this rumor for some time and now it's true. But why?

Well, Nomura explained in a recent Famitsu interview (via Polygon) that "the lifespan of current-gen consoles was starting to pose a problem." They had actually considered making this announcement in 2012 "but due to assorted reasons," that got delayed, as we well know. Said Nomura:

"If we were a year later, other companies will have more time to research the next generation, and releasing the game against their products on the older generation could have caused us to look inferior when people inevitably compared us.

With current-gen systems, we couldn't fully express what we wanted to do in this project. There were more and more things that we would've had to change the form of. However, the assumption was that we'd go ahead with a current-gen release, so went through a trial-and-error process to do as much as we could. So we built an alpha version about a year ago, and the company response was 'If you remained bound to the current generation, will it will be the product you envisioned?' They suggested shifting fully to next-gen, and that was the spark that led to the move."

If they hadn't taken so damn long, maybe they could've released it this generation without looking "inferior." Remember, Versus XIII was actually announced back in 2006, the year the PS3 launched. I'm more interested to hear what went wrong over the last seven years or so...why couldn't they deliver it this generation? Maybe their vision really was too big for current hardware, but I'm not sure that's true...

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XV

Tags: final fantasy xv, ffxv, final fantasy versus xiii, tetsuya nomura

6/19/2013 9:38:47 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Siris86
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 10:35:20 PM
Reply

Yeah, Tetsuya, you're making what could be the one of the greatest games in existence. What wen't wrong?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:05:57 AM

When's the last time we saw a Final Fantasy that would qualify as "one of the greatest games in existence?"

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Siris86
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:27:11 AM

Approx. 10 days ago?

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 2:10:33 AM

Thats good...

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Underdog15
Saturday, June 22, 2013 @ 3:02:18 AM

What? An FF released 10 days ago?

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Teddie9
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 10:49:38 PM
Reply

My interest is still dead until it's proven that it's a good game. Zero hype from me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 11:14:48 PM
Reply

So I was right again? K.

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Siris86
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:45:03 AM

Let's visit an old article back in May 4, 2012 titled "When Do We Start Calling Final Fantasy Versus XIII Vaporware." My post (abbrev.): "Versus XIII only went into full production around September of last year, so obviously we probably wouldn't see anything concrete for another year or so. Famitsu editors were shown new images months ago that they felt were close to picturesque. These publicly unreleased screens detailed new areas not shown before (one editor described one screen as an Italian fountain). Perhaps there is a platform shift, but to imply that it's not being made is pretty baseless conjecture at best."

Your reply: "You are ignoring a lot of data in this proclamation."

It's hard to believe that you're right again because I don't think you've ever been right at all on this subject.

Last edited by Siris86 on 6/20/2013 1:50:23 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 10:37:40 AM

Of course I'm touched that you took the time to go that far back and look up one of my responses (shockingly one of my more tame responses) but as you pointed out that was some time ago and my statement is hardly inflammatory.

I was referring to a more recent article where I said that they renamed it to FFXV because if they didn't then they wouldn't get another main numbered title out until the Playstation 5 generation.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/20/2013 10:38:40 AM

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Underdog15
Friday, June 21, 2013 @ 1:36:23 AM

Wow... what an ash.

As if he is keeping track of you that long. Stalker much?

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/21/2013 1:36:49 AM

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Siris86
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 @ 12:01:10 PM

Unlike some posters, I don't just comment on every article. And, given this is a game that I care a lot about, these threads are about the only ones I comment on. And, in case you've noticed, I've been right while every idiot around here says otherwise, so excuse my gloating. A functional memory and a search engine do not a stalker make.

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Yukian
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 11:25:54 PM
Reply

I don't think that really explains WHY the "sudden" change of title...

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 11:40:50 PM
Reply

And yet im still wondering why the name change, why the switch to multiplatform, and why is it taking so damn long! Good explanation.

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broox9
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 11:42:10 PM
Reply

Smells like they had a lot of internal conflicts over this game. Its overhyped at this point unless they go traditional Square style RPG, or do something super original. I'm not excited for it, but I am curious.

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kraygen
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 @ 11:52:40 PM
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It was too big for the 360 and it needed a blu ray disc, so yeah I believe that because even though they said it would remain exclusive, oh my goodness we're all so shocked, it's on the xbox now.

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556pineapple
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:07:02 AM
Reply

To answer why development took so long in the first place, I'm going with George Broussard took an executive producer job at S-E in secret.

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Briar
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:07:11 AM
Reply

Overall, I think Nomura is justified in taking his time. I mean, the continued silence may not have been the best move, but it is his world and his story to bring to life. If in the end he felt that the current gen wouldn't have met his standard, that's his call to make. He's a professional who has proved himself before and I don't mind waiting another seven years to see FFXV if I have to.

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shadowscorpio
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:15:05 AM
Reply

That's not a reason , it's an excuse in my eyes . Take a half decade of our lives to produce a game and you could run on that explanation forever.

Square-Enix's authenticity is fading. Sad to see its taking Tetsuya Nomura's soul with it.

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Knightzane
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:02:39 AM
Reply

He can't tell everyone that the previous President of SE had him chained down only to come out for air when he needed more FF13 character designs.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:06:27 AM

HA.

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MrAnonymity
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:19:48 AM
Reply

He couldn't possibly be hinting at incompetency, could he...?

Really? To echo many other opinions - this is an excuse. Regardless, I can't help but wonder if S-E is even aware of the overwhelming discontent with the series. If that is the case, and they are aware, they'd better have something truly revolutionary in store for the title. Otherwise, XV's release could seal FF's fate. At least for longtime fans.
.
.
.
... never minding FF's fate pretty much has already been sealed for some...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 1:29:45 AM
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Even though I still think interest in XV is decent you have to wonder that if Lightning Returns flops (probably will) the name might be tarnished too much to hope for anything other than halfway okay sales for XV.

The Final Fantasy name has less cachet every time SE acts like a 3rd grader. At this point they have again put themselves in a situation where the sales of the game can't possibly pay for the 28 year development time.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 2:54:08 AM
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I at least applaud S-E for being more open with their titles since E3, it was horrible being left in the dark about Versus for 7 years. While the trailers look good, the graphics do not look up to the standard of PS4 or even tier PS3 games, I do expect a graphics revision for the title if this is to be put on the PS4. Normally I am not as fussy with graphics but for a game I have waited for for over 7 years and now going through such drastic changes, yes I have very high expectations, certainly expect it to look better than any PS3 game - Even the Last of Us.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:31:15 PM

That's why I'm nervous, they have a habit of being all open at first and then going silent.

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Ultima
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 3:18:17 AM
Reply

The rumours that claimed Versus XIII had been shunted into FFXV also claimed that the reason everything has taken so long is because the entire company has been involved in trying to salvage the fiasco that is FFXIV. Since that is now winding down (and, from what I've heard, the new version is fantastic), they're now able to concentrate on other things again. See also: We're getting updates on FFX HD after it was announced in 2011 then forgotten about.

Still, this is just part of the overall pattern of terrible mismanagement that has become endemic at Square since... well, since the Ps2 days really. After FFX, Square seemingly can't develop console FFs that don't take years and years (FFXII: 5 years; FFXIII: 6 years; FFXV: 7 years and counting). It's never continuous development, it's always the project starts and stops, personnel get transferred to do other stuff, actual full production doesn't start until WAAAAAAAAAAAAY late (in FFXV's case, supposedly full production didn't start until last September? For a game that was announced in May 2006? WTF?), etc. It's maddening, especially when you consider their output prior to 2001.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 10:40:03 AM

Except that somebody is going to have to make sure FFXIV STAYS good, which will take a lot of resources.

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daus26
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 9:45:14 AM
Reply

I kinda see his point. Had they released this game back in 2011, it would certainly be one of the true, elite titles, and to get everything out of the current generation would explain why it was PS3 exclusive. But now, with continuous delays due to FFXIII, sticking with current gen hardware may make them compale in comparison to next generation rpg games.

To me, it shows SE's pride in trying to be the best. They probably thought with only FFXIII as their latest FF project, they had to make Vs.XIII (now FFV) as ambitious and top quality as possible. I think it's the game that's suppose to truly show what they're capable of. I just don't know why the original FFXIII was so cut-off to what we expected. Why couldn't FFXIII be as ambitious as FFvs.XIII?

It's just sad to me that we didn't get to experience either Kingdom Hearts or FFvs.XIII this generation, as it was suppose to be the only action rpg from Square Enix that I'd love. I loved the combat in Kingdom Hearts, so even if we didn't get Kingdom Hearts, I could at least experience similar style in Vs.XIII. Who would've thought that we'd get neither and instead a rebranded title for the next genration and a KH game that we probably won't get in at least 5 years.

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Condemnedsoul23
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 10:06:19 AM
Reply

I can't believe my favorite series of all time has changed so much I can't even recognize it. The gameplay of FFVII and X are long gone. If it's even a 13-2 clone I'd be happy but this looks like it's own thing and that is pure non turn based action with a Final Fantasy name with pretty graphics. This looks as close to FF as God of War does or Darksiders 2. For some reason, I keep thinking of Dante's Inferno. I guess I'm just sad and was still holding on to hope even after seeing early video but alas it's time to face the facts.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 10:42:34 AM
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Imagine how much longer it will take to make it PS4-pretty, plus they have to finish the dang thing, AND get it working with a decent frame rate on Xbox One. *sigh*

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ProfPlayStation
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:13:31 PM
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I think, more than anything, I'm more concerned about how the game world feels, and if the characters are likable.

That's where I think FF13 really dropped the ball. The world and its mythology were completely impenetrable. It didn't seem like a kind of place where you could or would even want to live, and that's really important for a Role-Playing Game. The characters were ridiculous cliches and no one with whom I would ever want to be friends. Hope? Lightning? Fang? I was more attached to Hope's Mom, who seemed like a cool character, and she was dead within 2 minutes! I could have taken the "Auto Battle," and the linear corridor, and the weird boss fights...if only I had cared about what was going on. Why would I want to save a world which is so fundamentally unappealing?

When I think of great Final Fantasy games, I'm thinking of the total experience: the world, the characters, the music, the memorable moments. The gameplay system is almost unimportant. Sure, FF10 had a really great turn-based structure, and I adored the Job system in FF5. But I was never overly concerned with the gameplay in FF7--it served its purpose and didn't get in the way; the rest of the production carried the load.

So far, I'm liking what I see from FF15. I even like the main character's name: Noct. It's got a nice punch to it; it's fun to say. I don't mind the switch to a more action-y setup, if the spirit of FF remains intact. If it has an enjoyable world, good characters, a heartwarming story, and nothing too much that gets in the way; well, who says that it needs to be turn-based? Innovation for the sake of innovation is bad, but so is stagnation.

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Arvis
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:21:58 PM
Reply

I'm thinking the title change probably helped it become multiplat.

Squaresoft:
NES - FFI, FFII, FFIII

SNES - FFIV, FFV, FFVI

PS1 - FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX

PS2 - FFX, FFXI, FFX-2, >>shift to Square Enix>>, FFXII

Square-Enix:
PS3/360 - FFXIII, FFXIII-2, FFXIII-3

Ugh. What were they thinking?

-Arvis

Last edited by Arvis on 6/20/2013 12:22:37 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 12:32:19 PM

Actually Final Fantasy X-2 was the first under Square-Enix. I enjoyed the game but the goofyness of it gives you an idea of when things took a turn for the weird.

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homura
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @ 8:31:36 PM
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They should have stuck with versus XIII even if they move it into the next gen then announce a true new FFXV. Oh well it's just a name change and XV looks good.

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, June 21, 2013 @ 5:19:57 AM
Reply

I'm pretty sure it's a simple case of development hell and a opportunity arose that the exclusivity deal was able to lapse naturally... No respect at all left for Square Enix as developers.

They are a PR house for games they publish, making good looking cgi videos for games by actual talented studios under them now.

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VictorDeLeon
Sunday, June 23, 2013 @ 3:19:48 PM
Reply

the reason why? because once again Microsoft put millions before Square Enix for the game to go multi platform so they had to start development only when Microsoft gave them the specs of the X1.
Problem is - again - Microsoft doesn't care about any laws or contracts, Sony signed for full exclusivity for FFvsXIII but not for XV ... I hope this is settled in court.

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diabloblade69
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 @ 4:38:03 PM
Reply

I don't believe Square-enix when I read this article period. I Square-enix you need to prove yourself to me at least in order

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diabloblade69
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 @ 4:44:27 PM
Reply

I still don't believe you Square-enix, this is just another P.R. Cover up. But Square-enix has a lot to prove with this FF for me at least. Please don't screw it up, because you will pay for it. People want a FF with quality and plenty play time. So, pick up the slack please :(

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