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Despair: Final Fantasy XV delayed to late Fall

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A special message from the director

One of the most remarkable things about Final Fantasy XV's development isn't its epic length, but how open the process has been over the last couple of years. Since the reins were handed over to director Hajime Tabata (who had previously helped revive Final Fantasy XIV from its disastrous first launch), the team at Square Enix has issued regular updates on progress and usually candid, even heartfelt, assessments of what the game will be like when players finally get their hands on it. It's unusual for Japanese-style development and PR, which tends to control the message, sometimes to the point of suffocation.

I'm pointing this out because this frankness may serve to comfort fans who now have to stomach another delay for the highly anticipated game. Final Fantasy XV has slipped two months, to a projected November 29th release date. In a special statement (see it below, and turn on English captions if you don't want to read the transcript), Tabata states that the "master version" of the game is actually ready, and would feel satisfactory to most players, but that they're delaying it in order to polish and implement changes that were initially slated for a "day one" downloadable patch in the final product. The team had been concerned that players who did not have internet access would not be able to access the patch content, and thus be unable to experience the same game as everyone else.

Considering the recent kerfuffle over day one patches as associated with the release of No Man's Sky, this move is surprisingly forward-thinking and very customer-friendly. It can't have been easy for Square Enix to delay that big a game by that long a time, with so much riding on it doing well. If you're interested in how that might all work, try this piece by Vlambeer's Rami Ismail regarding the weird bureaucracy behind a game "going gold", how day one patches get made, and why they're sometimes more palatable to developers than delays.

Hello everyone.

This is Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy XV.

I have a very important announcement to make today. I am in London today, on the 14th of August, but you will probably be watching this on the 15th, or on a date after that. Please allow me to make a small announcement first.

We completed work on the master version for Final Fantasy XV the other day. You can think of a master version, as it is known, as what you get on the disc when you buy the game. We felt that the quality of this version will satisfy most players out there. And we are currently creating a gameplay video of about 30 minutes in length, based on this master version. The video is due for release on the 16th of August, so when it comes out please take a look and you can check the finish on the master version for yourselves.

Unfortunately, we only have an English version this time round. I am thinking of ways we can show the other languages supported by the game, such as Japanese, at a later date, so please be patient and look out for that too. This master version will also be playable at the soon to be held Gamescom event, right from the start of the game. So if you are going to Gamescom then please take the time to have a go.

Okay, on to the main purpose of my message. Our objective with Final Fantasy XV was to deliver a Final Fantasy of the highest possible quality, to every single person who buys the game. We have completed the master version, but when it comes to that highest possible quality, we felt that we had not quite reached this standard yet. Accordingly, in order to make this master version an even better product, we have been creating a downloadable add-on known as a patch. This has been worked on with the intention of releasing it on the same day the game comes out, so it would be what people call a “day one patch”. However, a patch is not something that can be applied by all players who have bought the game.

It is impossible to provide this patch to everyone who plays without connecting their games machine to the internet. On top of that, the day one patch has pretty substantial content in it, but to me it feels as though it is still one step away from that truly ultimate quality we are striving for. I have been thinking about this ever since we completed work on the master version.

We have put our whole lives into developing this game, with the intent of bringing the highest quality of game experience to every single player who buys it. And I personally started developing Final Fantasy XV from a desire to let everyone play a Final Fantasy that was so outstanding and amazing, that it would send other games running in panic. I came to think that it might be a mistake just to deliver the master version we have finished to everyone/ So I realized that if we were to go ahead and release it, then myself and my team would wind up regretting it.

We held a presentation in March and announced that Final Fantasy XV would have a simultaneous worldwide release on the 30th of September. I am very sorry, but I must ask for just a little more time to polish our game up some more.

We are changing the release date of Final Fantasy XV to the 29th of November 2016.

The disc that is going on sale on the 29th of November, will contain everything that was scheduled to be on the day one patch, as well as some extra things on top of that. So we will be delivering what we consider to be the ultimate quality version of Final Fantasy XV to all the players who play without connecting online as well.

And on the other hand, for those who will be playing with an online connection, I am also thinking about bringing you even further patches and DLC in the future.

We understand well that there are so many people out there who are looking forward to the release of Final Fantasy XV every day. We are incredibly sorry for having to keep all of you waiting another two months and I apologize sincerely. However, after these two months we will deliver Final Fantasy XV in the best possible state it can be, to players who have bought the game from all around the world. So I would be grateful if you could continue to be patient and look forward to the 29th of November.

Thank you everyone.

 


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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 



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