Over the weekend Gamnesia posted a story on Friday, August 12, that Final Fantasy XV was getting delayed from September 30 into November 29. This morning, Square Enix have confirmed the change in release date to be true. So what does this mean for the game and Square Enix as a whole?
Normally delaying a game for two months isn’t a big deal. Sure, it’s disheartening to have people wait, but if those two months are meant for polishing the game up then by all means, I’m all for it. Final Fantasy XV isn’t a normal case however. It’s one of the most fascinating game disasters I’ve ever seen. Let’s get a little history on the game’s background to better inform the unaware as to why this delay is a bigger deal than most.
Final Fantasy XIII was unveiled in 2006 along with several spinoffs under the name of “Fabula Nova Crystallis”. Among them was Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which was a contrast to XIII itself. The Kingdom Hearts director, Tetsuya Nomura, wanted to take the series away from turn-based battles and develop a game with mechanics similar to Kingdom Hearts. Over the years small bits of news popped up every now and again along with trailers, but over the course of six years, it wasn’t much.
In 2012 there were rumors flying around that the game was canceled and yet Square Enix, after hiding it away for so long, remained convinced otherwise and denied these rumors. Turns out it was technically true. Final Fantasy Versus XIII evolved into Final Fantasy XV, which was unveiled during Sony’s 2013 E3 press conference. Not only that, but it was also unveiled it to be for PS4 and later that day, for the Xbox One as well. As a side note, another big game was revealed alongside it: Kingdom Hearts 3. Needless to say it was a great year for Square Enix at E3 with just those two games.
Then after nine year of wait, Square Enix released a demo of Final Fantasy XV, Episode Duscae, with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD last year in March. Type-0 HD was good game, but I couldn’t help but be more excited for the demo. It was a similar effect Zone of the Enders received when the demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was included with that launch. I loved the demo and the community genuinely praised it as well.
Now let’s warp ahead to earlier this year when Square Enix announced and held their Final Fantasy XV press conference in March. During the presentation they announced several new features within the game along with revealing a few key side projects that would all lead into Final Fantasy XV’s launch. This included an anime, CG film, a tie-in phone game, another demo, and two special editions of the game. Also, during this entire thing, the release date was teased via a big red button that was said to, when hit, reveal the date. It was excruciating and cheesy and when it came to it, nothing happened. Instead the director, Hajime Tabata, unveiled a switch inside his pocket, which then actually revealed the release date for September 30 worldwide, sprinkling confetti into the audience.
It was an obscene display of power and money Square Enix hasn’t flexed in years. So much so, you’d think it would be impossible for them to miss the date after making such a big deal out of everything. And boy, do I mean everything. They spent a good long while on the logo for the game for crying out loud. The logo! If you don’t believe me, here’s the full event and consequently my reactions to everything way back in March.
So now we’ve come to the present where I can talk about why this delay is a big deal. Frankly, it’s the showmanship of Square Enix. To have to postpone a game after that is like swearing at your boss, dumping coffee on their lap, and pulling down your pants as you walk away, fingers displaying the double deuces, only to then come crawling back with your tail between your legs. It’s just plain embarrassing. Do I need to mention how long they spent on a logo again?
September 30 would have been a fantastic time to release the game giving it a nice week lead in front of October’s competition wherein all the big releases will start coming out such as Mafia 3, Gears of War 4, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, and so on. Final Fantasy XV has barely any resistance post its new November 29 launch, but this also bypasses Black Friday in the U.S., which is one of the most influential holiday shopping weekends of the year. Dedicated fans will get it after the fact, but the average gamer that may have grabbed it back in September ahead of some of these other games may not now.
And let me reiterate just to be clear. I’m beyond excited for this game and I want it to be good. Better a delay for quality over a mediocre earlier launch I say. Still, it makes me nervous for all of the above reasons and who knows, if they delayed it once, maybe Square Enix will again. The perfect way to end this piece is thus: sigh.