Hajime Tabata confirmed that development on the project kicked off around three years ago, at which point its original incarnation, the PS3-exclusive Final Fantasy Versus XIII, was around 20-25 percent complete.
“It’s a little bit rough, but in terms of how much it had progressed in terms of development, Versus XIII was around 20 to 25 percent,” said Tabata-san. “In terms of character designs or visuals, nothing really had been fixed at that point. We were still working on updating it and revising those designs.”
He added that Versus XIII, which was originally announced at E3 2006, “was being developed up to the point that XV started development.”
Tabata-san added that while much of the game's content has changed in the transition to FFXV, some elements of the original version are still present.
“With regards to that overarching universe and setting for the world of Versus XIII, it was constructed around the Fabula Nova Crystallis setting, so there was a certain amount that had been included and decided upon,” he said. “But when we shifted toward XV, obviously we took that apart and evaluated what would make sense and what wouldn’t. So there’s portions that remain from the earlier Versus XIII, but then there’s portions which evolved or changed due to the change in the direction of the title.”
“Originally when we were working on Versus XIII, we were working on an earlier generation of console and the technology that we were working on was utilized for this earlier generation as an extension of the PS2 era. So that was a significant difference between XV and Versus XIII,” the director added.
Final Fantasy XV is due out in 2016 on PS4 and Xbox One. Check out the latest screens and footage here.