Final Fantasy XV Gets Pitiful Gamescom Showing, 2016 Release Window

Let's be honest, 2015 has been quite a rough year for Final Fantasy fans. Sure, we did get that incredible announcement for Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3, but who know when that game will ever see the light of day. Heck, we'll be lucky if we see even a sliver of gameplay footage in 2017.

Why am I so cynical toward Square and its handling of the beloved JRPG franchise right now? Because of Final Fantasy XV… or should I say Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The game that was announced back in 2006 still has yet to see the light of day, and according to the game's director Hajime Tabata, it's apparently on track for a 2016 release. Yep, that right, a whopping 10 years after it was first announced.

"We've got something we'd like to say – you won't be waiting until 2017," Tabata told Eurogamer. "We want to get that across. We want to reassure people that we are going to get it out." Later in the conversation, he confirmed that "development's going well since I've taken over as director," saying, "It's all on schedule!" 

Tabata also noted that he's been surprised by "the backlash from the people who'd followed the game from early on, and its first version. The negative reaction was quite surprising." Perhaps when you make gamers wait this long, they conjure up unrealistic expectations? Just a thought.

Adding salt to the wound was the game's showing at gamescom. While yes, we did get a new trailer, that provides a deeper look into the game's story, it features hardly any gameplay footage and offers no release date. Couple that with an insanely anticlimactic Active Time Report livestream, and it's no wonder Final Fantasy fans are frustrated right now.

"We looked at the reactions to yesterday's ATR, and we understand that people expected a big information update at gamescom, and we do understand that we really disappointed people, and we're really regretful about that," Tabata said.

Final Fantasy XV skipped E3 this year in favor of what many hoped would be a solid showing in Germany. Unfortunately, fans didn't get that. Will we hear more at PAX Prime? I'm not getting my hopes up. That said, if Tokyo Game Show comes and goes and we still don't have a release date for this game, I'm going to be one sad panda.