Square Enix’s Newest Division Has Started Full-Scale Development on an Undisclosed AAA Project (Updated)
The project, led by Final Fantasy XIV's Naoki Yoshida, was first revealed in 2016 by Square Enix and seems to be a brand new IP.
Square Enix revealed today that its newly formed 3rd Development Division has now started working full-scale on a large project. This particular project is out of its initial development phase and was previously handled by Square Enix’s Business Division 5.
In fact, the 3rd Development Division is mostly made of Business Division 5’s staff, as it was disbanded. Back in March 2016, Square Enix announced that Business Division 5 was working on this new large-scale project for the latest game platforms, with the visual above. This project is now handled by the new 3rd Development Division.
The project is described as challenging and exciting, which seems to point out at a completely new IP. Square Enix’s 3rd Development Division is led by Naoki Yoshida, the director of Final Fantasy XIV and its extensions. Before joining Square Enix in 2004, Naoki Yoshida used to work at Hudson and most notably was one of the scenarists on JRPG series Tengai Makyo/Far East of Eden. Tengai Makyo is pretty unknown in the west but is a cult classic in Japan, and was created by Sakura Wars‘ Oji Hiroi.
Square Enix revealed this piece of news through the renewal of its recruitment pages as today, April 1st, marks the start of the new fiscal year. Spring and April, in particular, is a special moment in Japanese culture representing renewal, and many companies hire new recruits during that period. This is how we learned that Monolith Soft will be actively participating in the development of a future The Legend of Zelda game, and how Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s Project Lead was promoted to Co-Director. Similar news might be coming these next few days.
Update: Judging from the positions Square Enix is recruiting for on the project, Game Watch reported that it’s highly likely the project will turn out to be an action game.
Back in a 2016 Famitsu interview, Naoki Yoshida said that after seeing non-Japanese games such as the new God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn at E3 2016, he felt frustrated that Square Enix didn’t have similar games to show. Yoshida claimed that he will definitely make a similar AAA game within the next 3 to 5 years, or else people wouldn’t believe in him and Square Enix anymore. It’s highly likely this is the project he was talking about.