Square Enix announced designer Tetsuya Nomura is stepping away from Final Fantasy 15 to focus on other projects, with Final Fantasy Type-0 and Before Crisis: Final Fantasy 7 director Hajime Tabata appointed as the game's new director. In a statement released today, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda said Nomura will shift efforts to "production of titles that can only be made possibly by Nomura himself," and that includes the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3.
The news comes as Square Enix confirmed reports of the Episode Duscae demo for Final Fantasy 15, which players can access via vouchers included with copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. The PS4 and Xbox One versions of the 2011 PSP game are due in North America on March 17, 2015, Japan on March 19 and Europe on March 20, with a US price-tag of $60. As for the Duscae demo, Square Enix said the it's based on the game's opening sections "but alters story progression and more to create a unique first-play experience." [Update: On the PlayStation Europe Blog, Square Enix's Daniel Seto says the demo will be available for PS4 on March 20, which suggests it'll likely also be available on the same day Type-0 releases stateside]
Square Enix marked the news with a two-minute Tokyo Game Show trailer for Final Fantasy 15 featuring some of the combat, and you can check it out below the break. The trailer closes with main protagonist Noctis saying, "It's been a long time coming. Almost there." That said, the PS4 and Xbox One JRPG remains without a release window.
In addition to his work on FF15, Nomura is best known for spearheading the Kingdom Hearts series, his character design work for Final Fantasy and directing CGI film FF7: Advent Children. In his statement, Square Enix boss Matsuda noted Nomura chiefly worked on elements like story, the universe and characters during his time as FF15's director. The decision to appoint Tabata as the game's new director was made following a development structure review.
"Currently, Tabata and the entire development team are working, whole-heartedly, towards completing the production of Final Fantasy 15 and ensuring the delivery of the highest quality Final Fantasy title to date," Matsuda said. "We invite every one of our fans to view the fruits of our labor through Final Fantasy 15's demo, and promise to present a game that further surpasses expectations when the finished product is released."
[Image: Square Enix]
Show full PR text
STEP INTO THE WAR-TORN WORLD OF ORIENCE NEXT MARCH WITH FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD FINAL FANTASY XV Demo Voucher to Be Included As a Special Bonus with the Game
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 17, 2014) – At Tokyo Game Show, SQUARE ENIX® announced today FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0™ HD is scheduled for release on March 17, 2015 for North America, March 19, 2015 for Japan and March 20, 2015 for Europe.
Originally announced at this year's E3, FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD brings the world of Orience to the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft. The game allows for a new type of FINAL FANTASY experience, featuring a gritty worldview and an action-packed battled system.
In addition, the company has confirmed that a downloadable playable demo of the highly anticipated FINAL FANTASY® XV will be included with FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD as a special bonus. Titled 'FINAL FANTASY XV -EPISODE DUSCAE-,' the demo includes elements from the opening sections of the full game, but alters story progression and more to create a unique first-play experience. The demo is activated by a voucher included with FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD. To accompany this announcement, an official FINAL FANTASY XV trailer has also been released worldwide today.
FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD will be priced at $59.99. Both FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD and the accompanying 'FINAL FANTASY XV -EPISODE DUSCAE-' demo will be available for the PlayStation®4 system and the Xbox One. These titles are not rated. Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.
The company also announced today that, as part of a development restructure, Hajime Tabata, director of the original FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 and FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD, will now serve as the director of FINAL FANTASY XV, as the development of the title moves towards completion. This move allows Tetsuya Nomura to focus his full efforts as the director of other highly anticipated titles, including KINGDOM HEARTS III.
"In reviewing our development structure, we have decided to assign Hajime Tabata as the new director for FINAL FANTASY XV. Currently, Tabata and the entire development team are working, whole-heartedly, towards completing the production of FINAL FANTASY XV and ensuring the delivery of the highest quality FINAL FANTASY title to date," said Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda regarding the staff changes. "We invite every one of our fans to view the fruits of our labor through FINAL FANTASY XV's demo, and promise to present a game that further surpasses expectations when the finished product is released.
"As the director of FINAL FANTASY XV, Tetsuya Nomura has mainly worked on the original concept for the story and universe in addition to creating the characters. Hereafter, he will be focusing his efforts on the production of titles that can only be made possible by Nomura, himself, and delivering products that exceed the quality of past titles, starting with another one of his representative projects, KINGDOM HEARTS III. Square Enix will continue to work on these titles with the best staff formation in an effort to deliver them to everyone as soon as possible and appreciates your continued support."
The new trailers for FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD and the FINAL FANTASY XV demo can be viewed on YouTube: FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD: http://youtu.be/WVIc7L230bA FINAL FANTASY XV demo: http://youtu.be/wT3dyanB3pk
Screenshots, artwork and related assets for both titles are now available for download on the Square Enix press site.
About Square Enix, Inc. Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix Group. The Square Enix Group operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 110 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 64 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 42 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.
More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://www.na.square-enix.com/.