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Rumor: Final Fantasy XV Delay Announcement Imminent

by Mike Futter on Aug 14, 2016 at 11:57 PM

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Evidence has emerged that Final Fantasy XV might be headed for a two-month delay. While Square Enix isn't commenting yet, reports are surfacing from multiple outlets suggesting a bit more time is needed to get things right.

The rumor first surfaced via Gamnesia, which later added photographic evidence. The image the outlet provided shows a standee with the current September 30 release date and instructions to GameStop employees to use a provided sticker with the new release date. (Disclosure: GameStop is Game Informer's parent company.) Kotaku is also reporting its own sources have confirmed the delay.

If accurate, the highly anticipated game would now be slated for a November 29 release. This puts it outside the typical holiday season, with major releases wrapping up by Black Friday in the United States.

However, Final Fantasy XV has the power to still perform extremely well after the Thanksgiving holiday. The game has been 10 years in the making. We can probably (grudgingly) wait another two months if the reports are accurate.

I spent part of my day in my local GameStop, where employees were kind enough to look through the marketing materials they've received. We flipped through the marketing guide for the week and there was nothing about Final Fantasy XV included. The store also has not received a standee for the game.

We reached out to Square Enix yesterday regarding the rumored delay and have not heard back. We'll update should we receive a response.

Update (August 15, 2016 @ 4:57 a.m. Central): This morning, Square Enix announced that the team working on Final Fantasy XV needs more time to polish and quality test the long-awaited game. The two-month delay comes after ten years of waiting for the RPG.

The delay will not affect the digital release of Kingsglaive, a prequel animated movie. The publisher has not decided if it will hold the physical release for the new, November 29 game release date. The same is true of the multi-part anime, Brotherhood.

The deluxe edition of the game comes with the animated film. Releasing the physical version early would make that edition a more difficult sell.

Game director Hajime Tabata explained the delay in a video below. In it, he speaks extensively about a "pretty substantial" day-one patch. 

Our objective with Final Fantasy XV was to deliver a Final Fantasy of the highest possible quality, to every single person who buys the game. We have completed the maste rversion, but when it comes ot that highest possible quality, we felt that we had not quit reached this standard yet. Accordingly, in order to make this master version an even better product, we have been creating a downloadable add-on known as a patch.

This has been worked on with the intention of releasing it on the same day the game comes out, so it would be what people call a "day one patch". However, a patch is not something that can be applied by all players who have bought the game. It is impossible to provide this patch to everyone who plays without connecting their games machine to the internet. On top of that, the day one patch has pretty substantial content in it, but to me it feels as though it is still one step away from that truly ultimate quality we are striving for.

You can see Tabata's entire comments in the video below, in which he indicates that the patch will be on the disc, along with other additional, unspecified items.

While another two months aren't terrible in the grand scheme of the game's ten-year development, it does reflect strangely on the huge Uncovered event held in March to announce the final release date. With so much riding on this game for the Final Fantasy series though, it's understandable why Square Enix would give Tabata and his team the time to finish the game right.

[Source: Gamnesia, Kotaku


Our Take
Evidence is starting to mount that a delay is on the way. We're still not calling it a done deal given the information doesn't seem to be ubiquitous and retailers haven't updated inventory systems, but brace for impact.