A week-ish ago, game publisher Square Enix streamed a special announcement event regarding its ever-expanding Final Fantasy XV universe. However, that expansion came to a screeching halt when the cancellation of three DLC episodes – Episode Aranea, Episode Luna, and Episode Noctis – was announced. The season pass containing these episodes was cancelled as a result, leaving Episode Ardyn, for which a teaser trailer was shown. A collaboration event between Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XV was announced, as well as some information on the upcoming standalone version of XV‘s multiplayer DLC. Updates to the Windows version of the game will also discontinue, leaving modders disappointed. Fans learned from a separate source that Square Enix also lost $33 million. Ouch.
Most heartbreakingly for fans and non-fans alike, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata has resigned from Square Enix. That stream…wasn’t pleasant. It dropped bombshells most people were not prepared for. Tabata’s resignation dashed hopes for a remake of one of his previous titles, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the realization of the project called Final Fantasy Type-Next, which never reached development. However, I suspect that Square may be able to produce these with or without him, should they choose to do so. An upgraded Crisis Core could even be released with the Final Fantasy VII remake currently in production. As for Tabata, he’s apparently starting his own company to continue his work. I hope that this move grants him freedom, success, and a better sleep schedule.
On to better news, Square dropped a short Kingdom Hearts III teaser featuring the world based off of Disney’s Tangled, and more recently another trailer showing off new locations and interactions. As per usual, fans went nuts. We may not live to see January 29th at this rate, especially since director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed that December has more trailers in store as PR escalates leading up to release. My heart (see what I did there?) can’t take this.
Square Enix also released a paid DLC for the 2016 title, World of Final Fantasy. While initially overshadowed by the release of Final Fantasy XV, World of Final Fantasy is getting some time to shine with the release of the Maxima DLC, which adds bonus content to the game including more monsters, a new postgame dungeon, postgame cutscenes, New Game+ (in which the player can collect pages scattered throughout the game world which contain some very intriguing lore), a secret ending, and more. Those who already own the base game on PS4 or PC can purchase the Maxima upgrade separately. Because this release brings the game to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch for the first time, owners of those consoles can purchase World of Final Fantasy Maxima (that is, the base game and DLC as one) digitally. As for PS Vita players, they’re out of luck…as usual. The audience response seems quite positive so far, save for Switch users complaining that the game eats up enough console memory to prevent the user from doing much else with the game running in the background. My guess is that the Switch version wasn’t scaled down at all. Maybe a patch will be released. Or not. Personally, World of Final Fantasy was my 2016 game of the year. Beyond the charm of its cutesy style is comical cast is a complete story that brought tears to my eyes once more after two whole years. The secret ending implies something dark on the horizon, which I’m all for. A sequel has allegedly already been written, and I hope to see that come to light someday. Considering Square’s current tough spot, I won’t get my hopes up. For now, I’m just happy that more people are acknowledging this adorable gem of a game.