Square Enix held a special live stream for Final Fantasy XV during which the company had announced that 3 story DLC – Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis – are cancelled and Hajime Tabata has quit the company. The players will still receive Episode Ardyn in March across PS4, XB1 and PC.
Here’s a statement from FFXV global brand director Akio Ofuji:
The Final Fantasy XV development team had been planning to release four new DLCs, together titled “The Dawn of the Future,” in spring 2019. This refers to Episode Ardyn, Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis. That said, the company has made an important directional change, and the decision has been made to re-examine these projects, concluding that production will be cancelled for Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis, three out of the four DLCs planned. We are still developing Episode Ardyn, which continues to aim for a March 2019 release. I believe many fans have been eager to play these episodes, and the entire development team is regretful that we are unable to meet everyone’s expectations.
Allow me to provide additional insight into what we mean by a directional change for the company. A new company called Luminous Productions was formed, centered around the staff who had previously been developing the main game as part of Business Division 2, and the have continued to work on the project since. The main purpose of establishing Luminous Productions was to create a studio that can deliver a completely new AAA title to the global market. And due to this directional change, the company has decided to focus our resources on the development of this AAA title. This resulted in the decision to cancel the production of three out of the four DLCs originally planned and introduced.
Although this is extremely regretful, we hope everyone will continue to look forward to Episode Ardyn, which is still being developed in earnest. As for the new title currently in the works at Luminous Productions, we wish everyone will hold high hopes for our upcoming title as well.
The shocking news comes right after Square Enix’s financial report that outlined the loss of approximately $33 million with Luminous Productions cited in the statement.
According to Eurogamer, Tabata was presented with the two following options:
- Have Luminous Productions turn into one of the regular divisions of Square Enix
- Have Luminous Productions remain independent studio in partnership with Square Enix
In the end, however, the game development veteran has decided to leave altogether.
“In regards to my next endeavours and near future, I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after Final Fantasy 15,” Tabata divulged on the livestream. “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.”
The standalone multiplayer edition of FFXV multiplayer: Comrades will release on December 12 for PS4 and XB1 owners. Players can participate in the various hunt, guard and convoy quests in co-op gameplay with up to four other players. The new update will bring 10 additional powerful bosses for players to face off against.
Players who have already purchased a previous version of Comrades will receive the game free of charge. Brand new players will be able to purchase the game for $9.99
A collaboration with Final Fantasy XIV Online Adventurer from Another World has been announced and will be available to play in Final Fantasy XV across PS4, XB1 and PC on December 12, 2018