Final Fantasy XV is still enjoying the praise and admiration it’s received since launch, with new updates and DLC are coming, including the Royal Edition and PC version. Yet, director Hajime Tabata and his team have already started work on a new, yet unnamed project.
Not much is known about this new project, but in an interview with SBS, Tabata compares it to what they’ve learned throughout Final Fantasy XV.
“Initially, I wanted to make everything open world. However with this being our first attempt at creating an open world, we realised that would be impossible when taking into account the amount of time required in developing the technology and contents for that.
In game development, it’s always essential to clarify what we’re going to, or not going to, implement from both a technology and work-based perspective. So the moment I decided that we were going to make Final Fantasy XV an open world, I had to make the decision to remove Nifelheim from that open world.”
He later talks about the way the team approached the current DLC and how they now see the game as less of an encapsulated experience, and more of a service.
“By the time we had finalised our plans for a simultaneous global launch, we had decided that we’d be providing the game as a service, including the post-launch DLC. The reason for this choice was that we wanted to establish a long-lasting rapport with players who purchased the game so they’d enjoy the game for an extended period of time. While this move is definitely for the fans, at the same time, I also thought it was a necessary reform for our future business model.”
This approach has been quite successful, considering the flow of character DLC, multiplayer, and the two new versions of the game releasing this year. In regards to the new project, Tabata remarked on what boundaries they will be pushing going forward.
“We are focusing on a new game design that could further explore the possibilities of AI and procedural technology. We are now aware that an entirely different development process is going to be required for a large scale global development project.”
Last, but not least, he talks about the game engine and what must evolve in the future:
“We also know how our game engine must evolve in the future. All these elements that we acquired from Final Fantasy XV will form the basis of what we will apply in our next project; which I believe will be a game that only we – with this foundation to draw upon – would be able to accomplish.”