Square Enix held a special livestream last night regarding Final Fantasy XV tonight. While fans were excited about what could possibly be announced, the livestream, hosted by Final Fantasy XV Global Brand Director Akio Ofuji, started on a bit of a dour note, as some shocking news was revealed regarding the status of Final Fantasy XV DLC and notable Square Enix developer Hajime Tabata.
As DualShockers had previously reported, Square Enix originally had plans to release four new DLC episodes in Spring 2019 revolving around Noctis, Aranea, Lunafreya, and Ardyn. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case as Episodes Noctics, Aranea and Lunafreya have been canceled.
Ofuji-san claims that after a “directional change” (more on that later) at Square Enix, the company re-examined those Final Fantasy XV projects and determined that they should cancel production of the three aforementioned DLC episodes. The development team “regrets” that they won’t be able to release episodes that fans were looking forward to, but hopes they’ll understand and try Episode Ardyn, which is still being made and releasing next March.
As for that “directional change,” it was also revealed during the livestream that Hajime Tabata has left Square Enix. This is a very notable shift in direction for the company, as he was the Director of Final Fantasy XV and spearheaded its DLC. In addition to Square Enix, Tabata-san is also leaving Luminous Productions to start his own company. A letter was released by Tabata explaining the decision, and you can read it below:
“To everyone watching this program: Hello, this is Tabata.
It’s almost going to be two whole years since the release of FFXV. I honestly believe the reason we were able to get this far is because of all you loyal fans. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Today, I have a personal announcement to make to all of you. I, Hajime Tabata, will be resigning from Luminous Productions and Square Enix Group as of October 31, 2018.
I was able to gain so much experience with my time at Square Enix. Every title I was able to a part of means a lot to me. However, FFXV stood out from the group as it was a special project for me which I went all in. Therefore, I decided to take this opportunity to officially announced my departure from FFXV to all the fans who have supported the title across the globe.
In regards to my next endeavors and near future, I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after FFXV. For that reason, I have decided to leave my current position and start y own business in order to achieve my goal.
As production of Episode Ardyn continues and Luminous Productions works on new projects, I felt that it was time for me to hand over the torch to the next generation group of talented and trustworthy colleagues and believe that they will create something amazing.
From this day on, I will cheer on and support Square Enix and Luminous Productions together with all you fans. I would like to thank everyone who continues to support FFXV and those who have supported myself personally.
Speaking of Luminous Productions, these radical changes are actually good for that development studio. It is working on a “new AAA title” for Square Enix, and Ofuji-san claims that the cancellation of Final Fantasy XV DLC means that more resources can be focused on completing and releasing this mysterious title in a timely manner.
This mysterious Luminous Productions project just adds to the number of large AAA projects at Square Enix. They are also working on an unannounced shooter with Polish developer People Can Fly and Babylon’s Fall with PlatinumGames. Still Hajime Tabata’s departure from Square Enix is a huge one, and will likely have noticeable ramifications on the company.
You can check out the full livestream below. If you still haven’t picked up Final Fantasy XV, which is available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, you can still do so on Amazon.