Three FFXV DLCs are canceled, game director quits Square Enix

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#1 Posted by Rorie (5405 posts) -

That's all according to Kotaku.

Back in April, we were told there’d be four more pieces of DLC coming for the 2016 game, with episodes called Ardyn, Aranea, Luna and Noctis. Only Ardyn is left, and it’ll be out in March 2019.

In addition to the cancellations, it was also announced that Hajime Tabata, the man who took over from Tetsuya Nomura as director of the game in 2013, has left Square Enix.

I mean, wow! What a weird game this has been. I only ever played the PC version, so I don't really know how the game has evolved over the last two years, but what a weird way to handle a game's post-release! I hope this indicates that they're starting to do something towards getting an eventual FFXVI announced, but at this point that seems likely to not be on the docket until the next generation of consoles comes out. But hey - I'm still working my way through FFXII The Zodiac Age, so I guess I have that to look forward to!

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#2 Posted by berryer (1 posts) -

This news actually really bums me out. XV was a super flawed game, but it really connected with me for some reason. And now it will always be unfinished.

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#3 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3967 posts) -

Honestly i'm glad that they stop putting more & more stuff in Final fantasy XV. People have moved on from this 2 year old RPG. At some point, you should just stop making content for the 5% that is still into the game. I get that they were hoping for this humongeous Final Fantasy fandom that watches their anime's, their movies, reads the comics, drives the official Final Fantasy Audi & listens to their florence & the machine theme song. Remember how much they banked on this game becoming huge? Remember that '15 announcements' event that Greg Miller hosted? There's a pocket edition version of this game out there that is the game remade with chibi characters!

To be fair, this game actually did do quite well for them. 8.1 million sales worldwide by September this year.

But when you take in consideration that this game has been in development since 2006... and they decided to hang all these extra things on this one game.. perhaps that's still not enough?

I always thought the ways they patched this game was sort of odd too. Like i can't really imagine what a multiplayer Final Fantasy XV looks like. I just think about the cancelled game Rise of the Incarnates when i think about it. Noctis vs Noctis? It just doesn't feel like something that you really want out of a singleplayer RPG. Having all the story cutscenes in the RPG at launch? Nope! let's patch those in at some point!

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#4 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

I'm surprised it has gone on this long, honestly.

I enjoyed XV for being a pretty good half of a game, but the idea of finishing it with all this DLC was always a perilous notion at best.

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#5 Posted by Atwa (1675 posts) -

Guess I am canceling my plans of playing it eventually.

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#6 Posted by TheHT (15751 posts) -

Yikes! Hope XIV is doing well for them so they keep working on that.

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#7 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

@theht said:

Yikes! Hope XIV is doing well for them so they keep working on that.

It seems to be doing quite well, Stormblood brought its sub count ever closer to peak WoW numbers.

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#8 Posted by xanadu (1993 posts) -

I don't know how to process any of this.

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#9 Posted by imhungry (1079 posts) -

In a way, it's totally fitting that the dev cycle of the game would end this way. It sucks, because the Noctis and Luna chapters were the only ones that I could have been tempted to check out, but I'm also glad that they're moving away from what was one of the worst FF games to me.

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#10 Posted by FrostyRyan (2842 posts) -

...they were still going to make more DLC for this?

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#11 Posted by Onemanarmyy (3967 posts) -

This reddit post seems pretty interesting.

He probably resigned because the new studio he was running, Luminous Productions, posted an Extraordinary Loss of $33 million in only 6 months.

And to clarify, that is not random capitalization. An Extraordinary Loss is not merely a "big" loss, it's a loss caused by an unusual, infrequently occurring event or transaction. And it seems like in this case, they probably wrote down the entire cost of the Luminous engine, the new IP he was working on, and all the FFXV DLC. That new studio only started in the spring, and somehow managed to burn $33 million.

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#12 Edited by BoOzak (2458 posts) -

I'm personally sad by this news as I enjoyed XV quite a bit but I understand why this would happen. Good luck to the director. Whatever your opinion is of FFXV at least he actually managed to finish it even if it was incoherent at times. (a lot of these games are, lets be honest)

I'm surprised Tetsua Nomura hasnt left yet considering hes put two games into developement hell.

EDIT: Three if you count the Final Fantasy VII Remake he's supposedly directing.

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#13 Posted by Naoiko (1672 posts) -

Holy snap that is nuts. I didn't even realize they still had so many dlc's even planned.

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#14 Posted by Morningstar (2456 posts) -

No big loss I reckon.

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#15 Edited by Epidehl (667 posts) -

It's hard to be too sad about this. FFXV was a mess of a game that bummed me out the more I played it, and by the time the patches and DLC that supposedly made it better rolled around I had already sold it. Combining this with his other game being Type-0, which I also REALLY didn't like, I can't imagine caring about anything else the guy does.

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#16 Posted by CrazyCarl (36 posts) -

Glad they are moving on from this game. While I'm sure it was a financial success, this game was a swing-and-miss for me. Never felt like a finished/fully-realized experience.

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#17 Edited by DocHaus (2717 posts) -

I vaguely remember the FF15 story being something about a wizard who was so mad at being an incel from the gods that he launched this elaborate plan to have the Empire conquer the world and then bring about eternal demon-filled darkness, then shoved Noctis in a hyperbolic time chamber so he could have a DBZ-style fight just to climax at the end. Or something. I never got around to buying or playing any of the DLC missions that might have added context, except for accidentally doing the one that made the hourlong Noctis solo chapter into a faster Gladio/Ignis chapter.

If you have about 52 minutes to spare Super Eyepatch Wolf did a documentary about FF15 and its development, especially regarding its asset reuse and how Nomura couldn't stop changing his vision for the game every few months until Square Enix got sick of his shit and just kicked him off the project so they could bring in Tabata and get something out the door. Also a bit regarding how the woman in the FF15 logo was probably meant to be another character who featured prominently in previous versions of 15 but was disappeared from the final product.

Loading Video...

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#18 Edited by BabyChooChoo (7082 posts) -

Very, very, very few games make me mad. I can't think of any game that makes me more mad than FFXV. The setup for this game is brilliant, but at every goddamn turn, they somehow find a way to squander each and every opportunity presented by the story. It fucking sucks.

Hell, an hour or two into the game they already ruin that brilliant setup by having your kingdom come under seige at the beginning of your super happy funtime buddy roadtrip. The game just brushes that aside too because "there's nothing you can do about it right now, Noctis!" so you just gotta bro out with your bros. Why the flying fuck does it happen so soon? How are you supposed to realistically have fun with that shit hanging over your head? And as if that wasn't stupid enough, you find shortly after that your fiance is believed to be in danger...yet there's no real urgency to get to her either because you gotta fuckin bro out some more.

Speaking of which, at a certain point it becomes very clear the writer thinks Lunafreya is more important than she is. She's legit in the story for maybe 10 minutes up to that point. Noctis hardly even talks about her. Then the thing happens - she dies if you didn't already know - and I'm sitting there like "why should I give a shit?" The game had done next to nothing to flesh out her relationship with Noctis or even just her as a character and suddenly, out of nowhere, it's asking the player to care way more than anyone ever should.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Again, at every possible turn, they somehow find a way to drop the ball in regards to the story and it's baffling that a corporation would shit this game out, a mainline game in their flagship franchise, in such a state.

Say what you will about any mainline Final Fantasy to come before, but at least those all generally shipped with "complete" stories. I think the story in XIII sucks too, but I genuinely still consider it to be exponentially better than whatever the fuck they did with XV.

Goddammit.

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#19 Edited by TurtleFish (224 posts) -

It's weird going through this thread, seeing all the contrary opinions - my wife loved this game so much that even though we're dealing with a new baby (a robust 9.5 months old at this point), she gave up sleep to actually go through the DLC episodes she hadn't had time for (and if you have kids, you know how big a deal giving up sleep is.) She was pretty bummed when she heard the news.

This is definitely one of those things that I would love to hear the inside story on. Especially given the amount of time and money they've pumped into XV - to just now go "Screw it, we're done?" Seems pretty weird.

I'm also wondering how the Japanese market is handling this news, or maybe that's what the motivation was... like, in the end, FF is still a Japanese market franchise, and if any game captures a large Western audience, that's just gravy. If FF XV hit some sort of roadblock in Japan, that would be motivation for change, regardless of what's going on in the rest of the world.

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#20 Edited by cmblasko (2846 posts) -

I feel bad for the people who were fans of 15 and looking forward to the DLC, but selfishly I just want SE to move on from it and figure out what 16 looks like at this point... if there ever is even going to be a 16. I hope that 15 at least was successful enough to justify them continuing to do traditional, long-form JRPGs. It's probably getting tougher for them to care about doing another giant project like that when 14 and the mobile games are very popular and presumably bringing in lots of money.

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#21 Posted by vikingdeath1 (1284 posts) -

I had only just heard about those 4 new DLC's and was pretty excited for them. While FF15 is definitely flawed in many ways, I loved my time with that game. I enjoyed the fun camping road trip with your bros, all their banter and interactions made that game for me. The main story was... not why I liked that game, but I was happy to get more content. I haven't played those first 3 DLC stories yet cause I was waiting for another big "Ultimate" package with even more content that that Royal edition they put out... But I guess i'll have to tempter my expectations there.

Bummer.

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#22 Posted by DocHaus (2717 posts) -

Honestly I think FF15's story would be a lot better if it was just about a boy band doing a roadtrip that accidentally led to them sparking a revolution and freeing the people from the Empire's tyranny, as some people joked when the first trailers of the final build popped up. Allegedly that was one of the ideas Nomura threw around halfway through production when he saw the 2012 Les Misérables movie. It would be a very dumb story, but at least it would be entertaining.

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#23 Posted by StrikeALight (1256 posts) -

Square Enix are a weird company.

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#24 Posted by MindBullet (696 posts) -

My understanding is that Tabata's resignation has less to do with FFXV (which seems to be a massive financial success despite everything), and more to do with the Luminous project losing them millions. Still, it's crazy as hell that they'd hype up a stream to announce they're cancelling almost everything they were planning to do with FFXV post-launch and the resignation of the guy behind salvaging the game itself.

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#25 Posted by Splurge (4 posts) -

I didn't even know they were still putting out anything for it, can't see a business reason as to why you would. Played through the original version of that game and boy it was flawed.

Here's hoping they do get another chance and make a solid footing. FF15 seemed to have gone through a lot of phases and decisions to get to where it is today and maybe not for the better.

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#26 Posted by Rorie (5405 posts) -

@efesell said:
@theht said:

Yikes! Hope XIV is doing well for them so they keep working on that.

It seems to be doing quite well, Stormblood brought its sub count ever closer to peak WoW numbers.

Is there a source for that? I enjoy playing it but peak WoW was like 15 million subs or something crazy. I've never heard of FFXIV getting close to that but I could be wrong!

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#27 Edited by Matticus (60 posts) -

I hope he ends up somewhere on planet earth, cause god knows Square hasn't been there in a while. I liked Type 0, and he actually managed to salvage something from Nomura's mess. Best of luck to him.

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#28 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

@rorie said:
@efesell said:
@theht said:

Yikes! Hope XIV is doing well for them so they keep working on that.

It seems to be doing quite well, Stormblood brought its sub count ever closer to peak WoW numbers.

Is there a source for that? I enjoy playing it but peak WoW was like 15 million subs or something crazy. I've never heard of FFXIV getting close to that but I could be wrong!

I double checked and was mistaken since they announced total Players and not active subs. That number was 10 million with Stormblood and now 14 as of August.

So yeah not actually that much help comparing to WoWs crazy past milestones but still showing it's a very healthy game in this time when it's a wonder any subscription MMO still exists.

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#29 Posted by Vortextk (848 posts) -

So, there is a XIV and XV crossover event(like mon hun/XIV). One of these days I'll go back to XV. Didn't get far into ps4 release, got slightly less far into PC release. I like what it's doing, kinda, but yes you can feel the missteps from minute 1(or technically minute -120 with kings glaive). I don't know how the game plays out but I'm supremely curious. Anyway, I love XIV, currently on it in casual mode, and seeing a Mi'qote in XIV's engine is....cool? I wonder what the thing in XIV will be; not announced yet.

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#30 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

Huh.

I do wonder what big spectacle fight from XV you could do in XIV since most of those were things XIV already has anyway.

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#31 Posted by mikachops (487 posts) -

I'm mixed on it ultimately and can't say I'm sad or disappointed. FF15 was one half a 10/10 experience and the other a 1/10. It's just such a weird, surreal, baffling game to go all the way through that I kind of enjoy it from some weird artistic perspective.

I'm just glad this stage of Squeenix is (hopefully) done with and I truly hope they learn from the last decade and 16 is managed better (by giving Yoko Taro control ;D).

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#32 Posted by Vortextk (848 posts) -

I'm just glad this stage of Squeenix is (hopefully) done with and I truly hope they learn from the last decade and 16 is managed better (by giving Yoko Taro control ;D).

On one hand, Be Still My Beating Heart. On the other, Yoko Taro can do better than the FF franchise at this point lol.

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#33 Posted by doctordonkey (1753 posts) -

No amount of DLC was ever going to finish FFXV. It wears its development hell on its sleeve, there are a ton of strange, unfinished decisions, or places where there were clearly plans for more fleshed out mechanics.

That said, I'm still bummed to see the book finally being closed. I put 80 hours into that PC version, I absolutely loved the 4 main characters. The story overall is pretty poorly told, and downright baffling in spots, but it really did succeed in instilling a sense of brotherhood. The final 2-3 hours of that game are incredibly poignant. I teared up at that final campfire scene, it was very well acted by the English cast. If a story as poorly told as this one could make me get emotional at the end, imagine how fantastic it would have been if it didn't struggle during development and actually turned into a completed product.

Beautiful soundtrack, too. Somnus is a hauntingly beautiful song, and really conveys the tragedy of Noctis' purpose.

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#34 Posted by soimadeanaccount (592 posts) -

So they decided to give up on the band aids?

FFXV is such a weird...thing. The game alone is a mess, but the whole thing does get better with the DLCs, movie, and animu tie ins. The reliance on the surrounding media is a separate discussion along with the ridiculous order to consume them.

I think the last piece of DLCs that came out did add some critical insight to the story. It was getting pretty clear they were banking on using these DLCs to flesh out (or complete) the story. Aranea chapter is probably fan service tho. I am wondering what the Noctis DLC is suppose to be, if I recall it was suppose to be the last one to be release which could have been interesting.

I stand by that FF is a series that should not or could not reasonably exist in today's gaming climate. The only consistency of a FF game is that it is a huge money sink; the financial risk is simply too great to bear.

Even within fans of the series, opinion of what's (supposedly) good and what's (supposedly) bad head in completely opposite directions if not conflicts with each other. It is simply not possible to make a FF game that can please the fanbase without alienating another part of it, and that doesn't even take into account of catering to the general audience.

An approach similar to Forza/Forza:Horizon might work, but that could potentially split an already thin market.

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#35 Posted by Vasta_Narada (747 posts) -

FFXV is one of those this-is-clearly-a-7/10 game that somehow resonates with me despite itself at every turn and feels like a 8.5/10 when I play it. The story is broken, but I still largely enjoyed the moment-to-moment and the final chapter was incredible. The combat is my-first-action-RPG and severely unbalanced but I somehow have a blast. The world doesn't feature a ton to do, and most of the sidequests suck but it compels me to go explore it anyway. The characters are consistently awesome, except that many of those characters get unbelievably low amounts of screentime and have their potential be completely squandered. But man, I love those four main knuckleheads so damn much and their interpersonal relationships and dialogue are great.

Really disappointed to see the DLC getting cancelled, especially considering it was done as the opening act to a 2-year-anniversary presentation that had been hyped up for a couple days prior, but I'm not that surprised. XV's development has been tumultuous since its inception as Versus XIII, and I'm just glad I got to see it at all. I know the consensus is that the patches and DLC "fixed" the game or whatever, but...no. The game was flawed but never needing fixing in the way people mean when they say it. The patches barely add anything, mostly quality of life improvements, the DLCs largely only made explicit information that was already present in the game if you were looking for it (example, the reason for why one character dies is completely hidden behind a newspaper and radio broadcast unless you play one of the DLCs that says "hey, this is probably why that thing happens later"). The Royal Pack DLC they put out with the GotY version added some new story stuff that makes more sense of the backstory to the plot, but it also simultaneously breaks the pacing of the final chapter so like...awkward.

FFXV was clearly made by a bunch of people that really wanted to make a cool game, and that desire shows but that desire also doesn't make a great game. I still really like it though. At least the one remaining DLC looks pretty substantial and gives something that fans were asking for in a different way. Wish Square Enix would stop mismanaging the hell out of their big names like Nomura, Tabata, and Yoshi-P and associated teams though. Every FF starting with XII has been fucked by it.

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#36 Posted by soulcake (2460 posts) -

For all it's miss comings and that chapter that was a endless maze of BS. I really liked FF15 probably my favorite game of that year. And it probably has the best ever fishing mini game in a video game ever. RDR 2 definitely got some inspiration form it.

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#37 Posted by shorap (380 posts) -

I wish Square-Enix would put a hold on these series that they don’t seem to know what to do with and focus more on making games like the ones that were well received like DQ 11 and Octopath Traveler.

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#38 Posted by Efesell (4083 posts) -

I dunno I might take the fractured amalgamation of all this unfinished DLC before another Octopath.

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#39 Edited by GenericBrotagonist (407 posts) -

@boozak: Kingdom Hearts 3 was never in development hell. It wasn't announced until 2013 and 5 1/2 years is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to make a triple A game (five if we're not counting the delay only done as a favor to western fans so there'd be no spoiler-filled wait for a localization). They did, however, make a horrible mistake announcing it mere months after it started development; allowing everyone to come up with these unsubstantiated claims. Then, being Square Enix, they did it again and announced the FF7 remake even though they knew Nomura wouldn't have much time for it until KH3 shipped. He didn't even know he was directing it until he was shown the trailer internally.

Anyways, that sucks about XV. As the final thing is a prequel seperate from everything else, can anyone speak to if the story is any better/comprehensible now after all the stuff they've already added?

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#40 Posted by Relkin (1037 posts) -

I'm curious: I've seen a lot of talk about how the story wasn't complete in the launch game. How incomplete is it? I figured I would wait until the whole thing was done before I tried it, but if what's out already is all we're ever going to get, is it enough as is?

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#41 Posted by Teddie (2089 posts) -

@relkin:The story was never incomplete in a way that adding DLC chapters would fix. It's incredibly rushed, unfocused, and cut to pieces so they could ship the game. I'd struggle to say the story is in a better place now than it was at launch with all the patches and DLC, but there's definitely... more of it now. If you're going to jump in now, you're going to get about the best experience you could hope for from it at this point.

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#42 Posted by Relkin (1037 posts) -
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#43 Posted by Vasta_Narada (747 posts) -

@relkin said:

I'm curious: I've seen a lot of talk about how the story wasn't complete in the launch game. How incomplete is it? I figured I would wait until the whole thing was done before I tried it, but if what's out already is all we're ever going to get, is it enough as is?

I think people say it's incomplete not to say that it's unfinished but to say that it feels like there should be more there. That's kind of a contradiction, but where many games feel like they needed an editor to cut some fluff away, XV may have been better off if there was no editor period if you get my drift. It's not that the plot doesn't make sense because there are scenes missing, it's that the plot suddenly goes at the speed of light because there's not much content between story beats.

@boozak: Kingdom Hearts 3 was never in development hell. It wasn't announced until 2013 and 5 1/2 years is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to make a triple A game (five if we're not counting the delay only done as a favor to western fans so there'd be no spoiler-filled wait for a localization). They did, however, make a horrible mistake announcing it mere months after it started development; allowing everyone to come up with these unsubstantiated claims. Then, being Square Enix, they did it again and announced the FF7 remake even though they knew Nomura wouldn't have much time for it until KH3 shipped. He didn't even know he was directing it until he was shown the trailer internally.

Anyways, that sucks about XV. As the final thing is a prequel seperate from everything else, can anyone speak to if the story is any better/comprehensible now after all the stuff they've already added?

Depends. If the concern was "I didn't understand the story because I missed some things that weren't given explicit screen time and wasn't able to put 2 and 2 together from circumstance and other (in-game) info sources" then yeah, it's more comprehensible. It's the difference between "I heard John said and did this thing" and "here is a scene where John says and does the thing". The added stuff is literally just making things explicit and giving more screen time to things that needed it. The story is better, but I think the additions break the pacing in a couple key spots: the last chapter is incredibly poignant and emotionally consistent, and then with the latest DLC they added a big explorable dungeon-like area with a pretty different tone immediately before that. That was the devs acquiescing to fan requests backfiring on them IMO.

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#44 Posted by lokihellfire2008 (153 posts) -

The Quiet Man strikes again!

On a serious note though, Final Fantasy hasn't been interesting to me since 9. I played 10 and 10 2 but they didnt feel like the Final Fantasy of old, and the ones since have gotten progressively further from what I loved about those games. Just watching gameplay of 15 I knew it wasn't for me. Maybe this guy was also frustrated with where the execs wanted the series to go or maybe he just had a better offer come along, I dunno. I feel bad for the people who liked these games now and wanted that DLC to come out. Square has been making some seriously suspect choices lately and I worry for the future of that company.

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#45 Posted by soimadeanaccount (592 posts) -

The story sort of feels incomplete because if you just play the game from beginning to end you get an ending, the conflict do get solve for the primary character, but there are stuff in between that feels off and without explanation especially for some of the other characters, and the DLCs alleviate that issue. It's hard to talk about it without getting into spoiler territory, and then there's the whole deal with the movie.

The order to watch/play the game + DLC matters also. It gets especially tricky with the last released DLC since it clearly expects the player to have finished the game yet the story beats within it back track to the middle of the game and then accelerates to the ending.

I might say wait for Ardyn DLC and see where should that get slotted into the watch/play timeline before jumping into the series.

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