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Final Fantasy Versus XIII was around 25% complete when it became Final Fantasy XV By Erren Van Duine on August 31, 2015 at 7:20 PM

Although Final Fantasy Versus XIII was originally announced in 2006, many years passed before any large amounts of progress were actually done on the project. We know from old interviews that after various conceptual changes and world structure changes post 2010, the game finally entered its “full production” stage around 2011 before shifting on over to Final Fantasy XV around a year later.

Speaking to IGN, director Hajime Tabata offered further explanation.

“It’s a little bit rough, but in terms of how much it had progressed in terms of development, Versus XIII was around 20 to 25 percent,” Tabata said. “In terms of character designs or visuals, nothing really had been fixed at that point. We were still working on updating it and revising those designs.”

Final Fantasy XV as we know it today started development around three years ago and Versus XIII was in development up until that point.

“With regards to that overarching universe and setting for the world of Versus XIII, it was constructed around the Fabula Nova Crystallis setting, so there was a certain amount that had been included and decided upon,” Tabata went on to explain. “But when we shifted toward XV, obviously we took that apart and evaluated what would make sense and what wouldn’t. So there’s portions that remain from the earlier Versus XIII, but then there’s portions which evolved or changed due to the change in the direction of the title.

“Originally when we were working on Versus XIII, we were working on an earlier generation of console and the technology that we were working on was utilized for this earlier generation as an extension of the PS2 era. So that was a significant difference between XV and Versus XIII.”

Final Fantasy XV will launch sometime in 2016. Further information on character changes including Luna and King Regis are expected to be told at Tokyo Game Show in just a few short weeks.

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  • Paul

    Hm, compared to the previous reports of it being further along in development way back when, the 20-25% is a lot lower than I would have hoped. Though this may have been the case with the PS3 being so darn difficult to handle efficiently when it first came out and Versus XIII was probably too ambitious for its time.

  • Wazi the pa

    With Versus XIII being more than 8 years in development, this shouldn’t come to a surprise to most. The project was halt constantly and was undergoing a unique kind of development hell.

  • flower234

    I also kinda figured that the cell processor was too difficult for SE to work on. Which also explains why FF XIII was so linear and why a FF VII Remake and HD towns were “impossible to do”

  • nororu

    well that 25% with character switching, just running around that city with some skills, i want that, i can buy for $60.

  • Crysus Bu

    Character switching was never implemented and therefore never truly realised. Ideas come and go and Tabata &Co have (thank God) finalised a functioning playable system worthy of merit.
    Charracter redesigns and alterations for the most part were joint decisions, as even the likes of Stella had changes made to her appearance 6 years later (in 2012). Luna looks almost identical to how Stella was redesigned after Nomura left development. Noctis looks the same as Nomura designed him, only realised greater with glorious next gen technology.

  • Martian Wong

    That is the spirit, I brought Ground Zeroes for about 40 dollars.

  • M. Ziab

    This reminds me of the old days when Nomura would ask the fans to ‘be patient.’ I have to say it’s kind of surprising to know that the game was about 20-25% complete. It seemed like they had a lot done at the time in terms of battle systems and other areas.

  • Martian Wong

    So the outfit that Stella wearing on the header, is it still in FFXV for Luna? I hope so, that is one beautiful outfit.

  • The game definitely looked well under way when it was Versus XIII, and they did have to change a bunch of stuff and work from there to make it into what we will soon receive as FFXV. Not mention he said that in terms of character designs & visuals, So the way I see it after all these changes including the battle systems major changes, had they just continued on with the original approach and focus on fine tuning the graphics at the end then we could have had this game by sometime of this year. The fact that they picked up the game and prioritize it three years ago isn’t what bugs me, it’s the changes that have been to it that have ultimately hinder it’s release. Graphics are fine but the entire battle system and story is the one that should have been left alone.

  • There’s always those people that seem to miss the points that the old trailers pointed out. Character switching was possible and the last trailer to confirm that was the 2013 trailer. After that we was presented with the TGS trailer that showed the ultimate shift in the way the game worked.

  • Christian Kase

    I think VersusXIII started full production between july and september of 2011, going by this spanish articles.

    http://www.3djuegos.com/noticias-ver/118919/final-fantasy-versus-xiii-todavia-no-ha-pasado-de-su-fase/
    http://www.3djuegos.com/noticias-ver/120121/final-fantasy-versus-xiii-esta-en-plena-produccion/

    The former says its yet to pass pre production and the later says its in full production.

  • Crysus Bu

    Yes it was very much in the pipeworks, but was never finalised.
    I think it had something to do with AI implementation , memory processing limitations , and the fact that Noctis was the only one who was supposed to have super powers effectively making other players redundant and feel lacklustre. I think if they implement a AI gambit system, that would certainly make it more Kingdom Hearts like. It’s an interesting irony, how some fans are angry over the lack of switching characters, yet were very excited initially about the game mechanics playing like KH

  • Christian Kase

    None of the trailers from 2013 confirmed character switching, if look at the UI, Noctis is always on top of the others, and the scenes were we see “character switching” (e3 gameplay trailer torwards the end) it looks more like camera edition for the trailer.

  • Crysus Bu

    It was never ‘well underway ‘, unless you honestly consider 20-25% being good progress after 6+ years!!!? What we were shown in 2012 and 2013 were ideas and initial mock ups put together for demonstration purposes. Nothing like what we have now

  • Felipe Medeiros

    RIP what would be the FF with the best ideas. Now we have this shit

  • one.life

    That’s really dissapointing to me. I always assumed in those ~8 years of no sign of Kingdom Hearts III coming, just constant spin-off titles, that it was because Tetsuya Nomura was too busy with Versus XIII. But now it really seems that the numbered series was really largely being neglected on purpose.

  • NotCarolKaye

    It’d be cool if they put stuff like that in as bonuses. That is assuming Luna doesn’t wear that by default at some point in the story.

  • anon

    XV looks better and more interesting than Versus.

  • Zenobia Joyner

    i agree with you. and i was also looking forward to versus since 2006 but found my self really happy about the things mr tabata said was cut and so for me their is nothing wrong about what this is now.

  • We share the same feeling. I believe that FFXV will be awesome but I will always wonder how great Versus XIII would be with all the amazing concept Nomura had for it. It’s sad to know that we will never get know it and lots of time was spent.

  • nororu

    really hate that new guy called ferrari, he is killing everything with new looks and fanservice.

  • stevenm281

    killing what? FF15 looks incredible!

  • CocaineCowboyFF7

    Roberto Ferrari? You do realize he’s been on the team since the very beginning?

  • Daniel Masterson

    man really glad they got Nomura off the project. a lot of people don’t like that idea but the game would never be done under him.

  • Zenobia Joyner

    Mr tabata and team are working so hard to finish final fantasy xv i give him all love and support moving forward with bringing final fantasy xv to life 😀

  • Daniel Masterson

    so you are not going to buy XV?

  • Ian Manning

    Still doesn’t justify killing off Stella.

  • Felipe Medeiros

    Im a FF fan, so its very unlikely that im going to pass this one for a few things, like this one being the first FF on the current generation. Even if it had no history at all it would feel fresh because of this fact.

    Zenobia says that they could canceled Versus XIII and give us nothing. Unlikely, they would not end the FF franchise just because of Versus, we would get a simply new game called FFXV, witch is exactly what we have. I mean, if you take out Notcis and his little gang, its basically another game entirely, the boy seems out of place in a world were everything changed, minus him.

    I mean i would be happy if they didnt remind us that they picked a conecpt and ideas we liked and changed everything about it. If you will be doing another game entirely why keep the characters from the one that failed?

    FFXIV producer Yoship, said in the recent event that the mistake SE made in version 1.0, was that they though they knew what was good without consulting players, that it was arrogance of their part, i think the same is happening now. Tabata is changing everything ppl waited patiently to see since 2006, without giving a fuck to what they feel about it.

  • Zenobia Joyner

    What i meant by they could have canceled versus and give us nothng i’m only saying about this game not the franchise aside from whatever reason people want to believe about the devolpment history with this game it was not working out again things was not working out for this title and so things needed to be restructured and changed like the change in director and story what i was getting at with my post is that some still want what versus was and was clearly told it could not be done like why was this cut and and why don’t we have this anymore or that still again thing needed to make sense for this game and versus did not make sense unless this person is with the devolpment team and know for sure that this is all bullshit we the fans don’t know and so once again i believe mr tabata is doing all he can in bring final fantasy xv to us.

  • Aulix Indragonz

    debatable
    i like versus 13 battle system because you can switch character
    because the biggest appeal to FF V13 and XV to me and some others is gladiolus(there’s a poll of it after duscae release and he’s the most favorite among the 4 main characters earning highest percentage)

  • Sam

    I’m happy about it too (KH3 anyone?) I’m also happy that the team currently on it are sticking close to his ideas and vision.

  • Noctis Pendragon

    Easy to say .

  • Noctis Pendragon

    The old battle system SHOULD have been changed , it was like a KH game .
    I hope they improve what we have seen at E3 + what we have seen this week (shield , gun etc ) .

  • Noctis Pendragon

    The E3 trailler didn’t confirm character switching (you can do what prompto did in Episode Duscae ) .

  • 4FFAN

    Ugh! Stella in the article picture…It’s killing me to think she’s been removed.

  • Justice V

    Except they didn’t change too much (as far as we know). They took the core of vs and expanded upon it naking it bigger and hopefully better. But still centered around it’s original concepts (minus all the strings attached to the xiii mythos), and still going off the original script by the best SE writer for decades. Also Tabata has been doing almost nothing but getting fans involved and listening to their advice and feedback. Sometimes what the fans want doesn’t work of course. But also not all fans want the same thing. In the old vs trailer where you could switch characters and they said each would play differently I was disapointed. I didn’t want that feature, and rather they spent time on other aspects of the game. Xv solved that issue for me, but of course other fans want that feature back.

  • Justice V

    Tabata did say Noctis in his suit was still in the game so maybe Luna has some of the old outfits still too.

  • Justice V

    When they first showed the character switching I groaned. I never want to play as Prompto. And if they’re going to have a character swap feature they’ll probably have mechanics where you have to in order to shoot something. So when it got removed I was excited again. I love having good teammates fight along side me, but if I have A character like Noct there’s no way I’d wanna be a shooter like Promp.

  • Felipe Medeiros

    Yeah, i understand your point of view, although it seems strange that someone prefer controlling only one person in a main FF over the rest of the party, but thats the thing about opinions. Lets wait and see if FFXV will be good.

  • I know I’m a hella late to responding, but something we all gotta face is that Noctis is a god like character with a crazy set of abilities, just like Sora is to the rest of the party he brings with him whether he be partnered up with a Disney or FF character. That’s not something we can deny. Adding gambits doesn’t make it more like KH but rather like 12 as that’s the idea but does make the party AI have better control compared to KH. The only problem I say with the old system is that when Noctis dies it’s game over. Which meant during battle, if you switch characters you’re gonna have to worry about keeping Noct alive more so than the other characters vs now you gotta worry about keeping everyone alive because Noctis doesn’t seem capable of holding his own much in a tight position because he seems so toned down.

  • 2011 and 2013 trailers both confirmed character switching, even the devs are aware of this fact. There was no special attack camera switching or nothing, it was character switching with at least Promto being shown playing in both trailers. Even in the 2011 trailer, the HUD would display the character currently in control while the 2013 version may not have shown the switch but really for that layout design it wasn’t at all necessary as long as you could look at the bottom right corner you were fine.

  • They waste time on mock ups and CGI trailers? you talk about me saying well underway when that doesn’t sound like a good idea for Square to be doing considering their financial they were in post FF14. The 2011 trailer alone would atleast not be a mock up under those circumstances.

    No, the truth is they still weren’t prioritising their time right with this game and it was too much for the PS3 to handle, that is no excuse. BUT, tabata taking over the game and changing things from 2012 to now is what has been making the game take forever. Not to say they didn’t have stuff to finish or build like the world map of course but had they left little things alone the story and the battle system they would have had to spend more time developing the game and it could have honestly came out late this year or at least march of next year.

  • There’s nothing wrong with KH and if you don’t like the system in that game then that was you and your opinion. That doesn’t stop the fact that we were supposed to get that and now that they’ve changed it it’s gonna take a major toll on how some of those cinematic battles play out and a lot of early versus fans interest in the game. I’m getting the game cause I’ve been waiting 10 years for the game come next year but if the game works offers less of an experience that I’ve been hoping to enjoy since the 2013 and prior trailers then I’m gonna really regret spending the 100+(Collectors edition) on that game.

  • FOOL! both trailers (2011 and 2013) showed promto in control shooting at a target. You can now do that in the final game with Noctis as shown in the recent ATR but not in the demo. And you’re missing the point, switching to promto to use his gun to hit enemy weak points wasn’t the thing that made people happy but the ability to switch to other characters is what others wanted. I think that’s clear as day but maybe I still have to bring that up

  • You just won the fucking internet!

  • Noctis Pendragon

    A mainline Final Fantasy shouldn’t have a KH copy/pasted gameplay , it’s a fact , FF always had a new gameplay .

    And secondly in the 2011 footage Noctis couldn’t the stuff he did in the 2006 CGI trailler while in 2013 he could , not using the KH allows more freedom .

  • Noctis Pendragon

    I stricly talking about the 2013 trailler , what Prompto did ( shooting with the camera behind his back ) can also be done in Duscae 2.0 , i doens’t prove character swicthing since 2013 at all ( even more when Noctis was still the controlled character in the UI ) .

  • Using the KH system is what allowed so much freedom and for him to be able to warp around and fight like a god in CGI FF movie, and that was in game from the 2013 trailer. He got more and more capable of doing all that stuff because the change in system reduced those limitation. BUT, the system they use now has powered Noctis down, making his abilities, attacks, and movements linked to stamina is to make things more realist. You wanna talk about what FF shouldn’t be then accept the fact that it shouldn’t be so damn realistic because even tho Nomura wanted it realistic from the beginning he was aiming in terms of the design and the story hence why the world looks the way it does, the characters look the way they do and sorta the story…but the nonetheless, Nomura was aiming for a free flow battle system that allowed for the crazy fast paced battles lie in a cross between Kingdom Hearts and FF7: Advent Children. Noctis was capable of doing everything he could do now but the old system didn’t have these types of limitations Tabata is aiming for.

  • I’m not talking about when Prompto warped in to shoot the soldier in the face for Noctis, I’m talking about when they were in the castle running away from the water stream and fighting soldiers at the same time. You can’t do that in 2.0

    –edit–
    I know I at least seen it in a picture but I can’t find it in any trailer from the 2013 that shows the switch to prompto but that doesn’t matter because that’s one trailer while the 2011 trailer does at least confirm this. Not to mention tabata took over around 2012 so the changes did begin from there. The point, what they had in 2013 was enough to show character switching, the system in 2013 was enough to show they perfected something that was based off KH series. It took the idea of the system and made it into it’s own at that point. But now it’s nothing more than a slowed down FFtype-0 system. Type-0 was fun and fast, FFXV demo is sorta dull and slow.

    At the end of the day I’m not saying the game sucks or the demo sucks. I’m saying that these changes have almost completely altered what a majority have been waiting for for 10 years

  • Noctis Pendragon

    “Using the KH system is what allowed so much freedom and for him to be able to warp around and fight like a god in CGI FF ” Where did he ever do that in the 2011 trailler ?

    The 2013 trailler is what we are getting and it isn’t KH gameplay , the 2011 FF Versus XIII gameplay was .

    Whatch this when you have time : https://youtu.be/u0oIfl4a55w?t=677 , it explains the difference between the current FF XV demo and the E3 trailler , in short the E3 trailler is a prototype ( with a really high level Noctis under Phantom Swords ) and they are aiming for better .

    Tabata isn’t aiming for any kind of limitation we didn’t see in the E3 trailler ( the E3 trailler also had mana gestion and a grounded feeling ) you can play like that but only at high level in Phantom Sword mode and not always .

  • The 2013 [E3] system isn’t what we’re getting. We’re getting the 2014 [TGS] system. It’s evident in the look of the trailer and the Duscae demos.

    …Now I’ve seen the video, so if what tabata is saying is true then there could be a bit of hope that the system will pick back up again and hopefully flow like the old systems. But I never really said it was missing features. I just said that there are limitations and the system is no longer like the KH system it was envisioned to work with.

    That also doesn’t excuse the fact that it was mentioned before, that a battle system idea they had planned for a FF Type-0 sequel was worked into XV. Regardless of any fact, there is a huge change in how the game plays now but unless they can make it feel more like a hack & Slash like it used to be it’s…idk, I mean like I said I will still get the game but the overall enjoyment during combat will be poop.

  • Fashion Mage

    The game looked a lot more interesting when it was still Versus XIII.