Have you heard the news? Final Fantasy XV has chocobos! And also there might be airships. Or maybe there won’t. There’s definitely fishing! Here’s a new, revised version of the trailer you saw a month ago!
Over the past few months, perhaps to overcompensate for a decade of development hell, the people behind Final Fantasy XV have been slooooowly teasing out information about their upcoming RPG, putting on regular video presentations where they rehash trailers, dole out minutia about FFXV’s plot and gameplay, and promise to reveal more information in the future.
This marathon started at Gamescom, where director Hajime Tabata and marketing manager Akio Ofuji sat for an hour and gave us critical information about topics like the black-haired woman from one of the trailers (“She’s a very important character in the story and needs to be very mysterious right now.”) and airships (“We’re currently looking into the technology to see if that’s possible.”).
A few weeks later, during a PAX panel in Seattle, they were generous enough to give us info on the release year (“We will officially release Final Fantasy XV in 2016.”) and the character Luna (“We’re actually going to reveal some more information concerning Luna at our Tokyo Game Show event.”).
Then, at the Tokyo Game Show this weekend, Tabata finally broke the news that Final Fantasy XV will have chocobos. And fishing. Also, that they still don’t know if they’re going to put in airships.
The past few years have been one hell of a rollercoaster for Final Fantasy fans, and at this point, I wish they’d just keep quiet until the game is finished, or at least until we know when we’ll actually get to play it. Nearly ten years after it was first announced—and two and a half years after it was reannounced—there’s still no release date, so it’s beyond frustrating that Square’s marketing strategy is to put on hourlong presentations to show off fishing and talk about how powerful a character Luna is. Just let us play the damn game.
Square Enix’s bean-counters clearly have astronomical expectations for Final Fantasy XV, and they want to get people talking about it, but this sort of trickle of minor details—There’s a photo mode! Your sunroof closes when it rains! Gilgamesh might be DLC!—is not useful for anyone. Final Fantasy is at its best when it’s surprising players; inundating people with vague, minor details threatens to ruin that, especially when so many of their decisions are still up in the air.
So, Square, maybe chill with the dripfeed? I’d love another impressive trailer or two along the lines of what we saw at E3 2013, but beyond that, let’s cut it out until the game’s in our hands.