Kotaku is reporting that Tetsuya Nomura’s oft-delayed action RPG Final Fantasy Versus XIII has finally been cancelled, much to the surprise of nobody. The game has been shown publicly in over a year, and now I think we know why.
Square-Enix first announced Final Fantasy Versus XIII over six years ago, and like its sister title Final Fantasy XIII, the game has suffered numerous delays and an apparently troubled development cycle. The game was being directed by series veteran Tetsuya Nomura, best known for his work from Final Fantasy 7 and Kingdom Hearts, and most of its dev team was comprised of talent who had worked on the first two numbered Kingdom Hearts games. Despite it’s protracted period of development, Square-Enix never publicly showed any actual gameplay footage from the game.
The Kotaku report goes on to mention that assets and technology from the game will likely be recycled and reused in the next numbered Final Fantasy game, so elements of Versus XIII will at least survive into future projects. Of course, considering that we knew next to nothing about Versus XIII (other than it starred a bunch of guys in fancy clothes with, uh, emotions,) it’s not like we’ll know what parts of the game end up being reused elsewhere.
I assumed the game was cancelled when it failed to appear at the last few E3′s, so this news isn’t surprising at all. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised it took Square-Enix management this long to can to the project: if a game spends six years in development and the team behind it still doesn’t have any actual gameplay to show for it, then I think it’s safe to assume that something has gone wrong with project. Kotaku says their report has been verified by multiple sources within Square-Enix, but the company has yet to make a public statement regarding the status of the game, or what the Kingdom Hearts team is doing now that their next-gen baby has turned into vaporware. Hopefully they’re going to get assigned towards making a game that has better chance of coming out, like the oft-requested Kingdom Hearts 3.
Again, I don’t want to sound indifferent towards Versus XIII’s cancellation, but after six years (and the less than enthusiastic reception to other titles tied into Square-Enix’s ill fated Fabula Nova Crystalis project,) it’s hard to care.
Oh, and speaking of games nobody cares about: Square-Enix also mentioned recently that they are working on another entry in the Final Fantasy XIII “series,” which will once again star Lightning and will apparently tie up the loose-ends from XIII-2′s (nonsensical) surprise cliff-hanger ending.