By Rishi Alwani | Updated: 12 November 2018 18:12 IST
Final Fantasy XV producer Hajime Tabata exits Square Enix
This has resulted in all pending PC features cancelled
His departure is at odds with his past statements about the game
All further production on Final Fantasy XV PC has been cancelled. In the light of Final Fantasy XV producer Hajime Tabata leaving Square Enix, slated PC features geared towards the Nvidia RTX line-up of GPUs such as ray tracing and deep learning supersampling (DLSS) have been scuttled. While DLSS is present in a Final Fantasy XV benchmark, it's not in the full game and is unlikely to be patched in along with ray tracing. Other cancelled features include a robust level editor with enhanced mod support, three out of four promised downloadable content (DLC) episodes, and Comrades, Final Fantasy XV's multiplayer expansion.
This should come as no surprise given that Tabata was the driving force behind most of Final Fantasy XV's continued development. With him moving on to start his own indie studio, it seems that Square Enix's confidence in the game has gone too. Tabata's departure is at odds with his past statements, previously claiming that Final Fantasy XV enjoyed an "average player satisfaction rate" of 62.4 percent for the game's scenario in totality which was a reason for the original plan of Final Fantasy XV getting content until 2019. Now, only one DLC episode, Episode Ardyn is in the works and is out in March 2019.
Previously Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata explained that a PC version would take longer to hit than the console versions.
"We could say that something like this would take us more than a year. We should work to adapt the engine, which is very laborious, and from there to develop its course,” he said in conversation with Spanish website Vida Extra (translated by WCCFtech) prior to Final Fantasy XV's release on the PS4 and Xbox One.
The current trend is to see games release on consoles and PC at the same time. Final Fantasy XV - earlier known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and exclusive to the PS3 at the time, has had a prolonged development cycle of almost a decade, with a switch of directors too what with Tabata replacing Tetsuya Nomura who is working on Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III.
In March 2016, Tabata claimed the company was looking into the possibility of a PC version.
"Unfortunately we weren't able to do simultaneous development on a PC and console version for XV," he said in an interview with Engadget. "We had to focus on the console version and our goal was to maximize, optimise everything for the HD consoles. Once that's done, then we will definitely take a good, hard look at PC and what we need to do, and consider all our options. But right now we aren't decided, we're still considering a lot of things."
In April 2016, he stated that the PC version would be "far superior".
"I'm quite positive about the idea of developing a PC version, but I would like to make a very different project if possible," Tabata told French video gaming site JeuxVideo, which was translated by Nova Crystallis. "The reason I'm interested is that a PC version would propel the game to another technical level." "I have in mind a version of Final Fantasy XV that is more technically developed. This version could incorporate things that we were forced to abandon because of the limitations of home consoles. With the PC, this would be an opportunity to release a version far superior in terms of quality and tech."
However with his exit from Square Enix it seems that Final Fantasy XV on PC will not live up to fan expectations, being a cautionary tale of how fickle big budget game development can be.
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