Final Fantasy XV is still doing well since it launched over a year ago with new updates and DLC coming, as well as the Royal Edition and PC versions of the game. That said, Game Director Hajime Tabata and his team have already started work on a new, yet unnamed project according to an interview with SBS PopAsia.
Not much is known about this new project, but Tabata compares it to what they’ve learned throughout the development of 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 which includes the post-launch DLC schedule and community event seasons. Tabata reasoned that the choice was made to “establish a long-lasting rapport with players who purchased the game so they’d enjoy the game for an extended period of time.” Which is an interesting take give that two-thirds of the game are pretty darn depressing once you get past the boy-band dynamic.
It seems to have worked, however, since FFXV‘s post-launch service has been pretty well received by players, from the three character-focused DLCs, the multiplayer Comrades update, and additional versions. When it comes to his new project, Tabata remarked, “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.”
Toward the end of the interview, he talks about the game engine and how it “must evolve in the future,” leaving us with this final statement:
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.