Rumour: Final Fantasy Versus XIII Is Dead

It's been six years since Square Enix first showed Final Fantasy Versus XIII's debut trailer. Six long years. When that trailer premiered, George W. Bush was president, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were alive, and the global financial crisis had not yet hit. 2006 was a different world, a long, long time ago.

Now Kotaku has learned that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is no more.

Kotaku has heard from several sources that the game, as originally intended, is done for.

One source tells Kotaku that Final Fantasy Versus XIII was officially cancelled within the last few weeks. The decision impacted morale at Square Enix and staff were reportedly saddened by the move.

Square Enix, this source added, has also decided to let Final Fantasy Versus XIII die quietly on the vine and fade away, instead of officially announcing its cancellation. This would likely be due to the fact a public acknowledgement of a Versus' cancellation could impact things like Square Enix's stock prices.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been M.I.A. for the past few months, save for the occasional, brief mention. Earlier this spring, Final Fantasy Versus XIII designer Tetsuya Nomura spoke with Japanese game mag Famitsu about the title, which has only ever been seen in trailer and screenshot form.

"We're almost done with preparing the latest info for the game," Nomura told Famitsu. "Because of a totally unrelated reason, there are circumstances in which that info cannot be released."

That was March.

"Because of a totally unrelated reason, there are circumstances in which that info cannot be released."

Then in May, Nomura once again commented on the game, saying to Game Informer, "We would like to ask for your patience on an official announcement for this title. It always takes time when tackling the challenge of doing something completely new, but we are doing our best to bring information to the fans as quickly as we can. Your patience is greatly appreciated."

Then E3 came and went with no sign of Versus, which wasn't that strange if you remember the game was not at last year's Tokyo Game Show either.

Whatever happened to the game over those six years — whether it underwent radical changes or simply couldn't come together — it seems Square Enix has finally decided to cut its losses.

Another source tells Kotaku that, a few months back, Final Fantasy Versus XIII's development and resources had actually been folded into another game, which is to be the next numeric Final Fantasy title, Final Fantasy XV. Whether this meant actual game assets and code or simply the movement of staff was unclear. This information was independently corroborated by yet another source, though it's important to note both had learned of the "folding" prior to the more recent news of its outright cancellation.

The Final Fantasy XIII branded types have not been set in stone: another spinoff title Final Fantasy Agito XIII had its name changed to Final Fantasy Type-0. So what was originally planned as an entire mini-franchise by Square, with multiple titles spanning various platforms, looks now to be focused on the adventures of Lightning.

Whether it's been cancelled entirely or had resources absorbed into a newer, larger project, the game we once knew as Final Fantasy Versus XIII would seem to be no more. Even if Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been cancelled, I'm inclined to believe that whatever Versus was, or whatever had been created for the game, will turn up in some form in Final Fantasy XV. Surely, Square Enix would not cancel a game and completely dump all the work it's done? Right?

"We have no information on the status of Final Fantasy Versus XIII."

When Kotaku contacted Square Enix about whether or not Final Fantasy Versus XIII was still in development, the game maker released the following statement: "We have no information on the status of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but will be sure to update you as it becomes available." Keep in mind, I wasn't asking for an update per se, I simply asked if Square Enix was still making a game it had already announced six years ago. Square Enix did not reply to Kotaku's requests for clarification regarding whether Versus was still in development or not.

Square Enix has a Final Fantasy event coming up in Tokyo in late August and September. One of the stage events is centered around the Final Fantasy XIII Project and the Lightning saga (so a Final Fantasy XIII-3 reveal?). None of the announced stage events centre around Final Fantasy Versus XIII, something that Japanese gamers were quick to point out on game sites and blogs.

So, is Final Fantasy Versus XIII finally and officially dead? Without confirmation from Square Enix, we can't say for sure. While these reports certainly indicate the long-awaited game has been cancelled, Square's reluctance to acknowledge them means those desperately wanting to see more of the project still have a glimmer of hope to hold onto.

But if the game fails to make an appearance at either the upcoming Final Fantasy celebrations or the 2012 Tokyo Game Show? Then yeah, given what we've heard (particularly of Square's reported desire to kill the game quietly), you'd be a lot safer assuming Versus XIII is kaput and start looking forward to the next big FF game.

(Top photo: DymedAnGel [DeviantArt)


Comments

    Sad (but not unexpected) news. A bit strange though, that they put the theme song as a downloadable extra in Theatrhythm then, no...?

      That song was already released years ago. So it's hardly like that's a sign of progress or any sort of guarantee.

      I have a poster of the game in my room that was official. Sadly, it's just to make money.

    So help me Square if I see FF XIII-3 out on shelves and this never comes out. . . >:/

      XIII-2 Was already insulting enough as it was

        Yep. Although FF XII-2 on DS was surprisingly good.

          different kettle of fish. I'm not opposed to sequels. I loved X-2. Not only was XIII really really average for a final fantasy, not what the series deserved at all, but I finished it and XIII-2 I bought, played to the end only to find there was no end to it that I would have to wait for AND buy dlc for it, and now the news that it might not be coming at all and there will be a FFXIII-3! Meanwhile games like VS get put on the back burner. So totally uncool squeenix. Not only are the handing out games that don't really live up to the name they are supposed to they are ignoring fans entirely and trying to make as much money as they possibly can. It makes me sad it really does.

    Very strange that the theme song is in the new game - you wouldn't do that.

    This sounds very much like fishing - drum up negative press to force an announcement.

      FFvXII is NEVER going to get released!!

      SE are just such big trolls!!! (keep up the work guise)

    Yeah, I find it weird they'd specifically put a Versus XIII song into Theatrhythm if they were cancelling.

    However I've been thinking foreeeeeeeever that they'd just up and change Versus XIII into XV eventually, maybe release it a couple of years post XIII-3.

      If as they say, it's only a recent thing, then the game was still in development when they added the song.

    Please don't be true. Say it ain't so.

    Wow, I called this vaporware for so long but didn't think if would actually die. If DNF can come out surely anything can.

    Still it proves that SQUENIX really have nothing left of their old magic. Versus was born from the KH team wanting to prove they could still create a title with the same level of depth and gameplay as the Final Fantasy games of the PSX and before. No guys, it really looks like you can't.

    Maybe they are just migrating/convert all their assets to the new Luminous Engine, pushing it back to next gen, and labelling it FFXV with more bells and whistles.

    awwwwwwwwwwwwww

    FFXV better be the best RPG of all time.

      This ^

    If this is true I will be incredibly pissed off. And if it *has* been cancelled then it deserves an official confirmation.

    I'm very curious as to the credibility of this source.

    Another thought... Does anyone else feel like FFXV needs to come out on the current generation of consoles? Let's look at the three-per-generation history...

    8-BIT: Final Fantasy 1, 2, 3
    16-BIT: Final Fantasy 4, 5, 6
    32-BIT: Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9
    128-BIT: Final Fantasy 10, 11, 12
    CURRENT: Final Fantasy 13, 14 and...?

    Come on, can't break with tradition now!!

      Hmm... I just hope Versus is being renamed

      What about X-2? Also V and VI are available on PS1. There's not really much of a pattern there when you think about it.

        I think it's three unique CORE titles per generation.

        X-2 is a spin-off and 5/6 on PS1 are rereleases.

    http://www.facebook.com/fabulavxiii If anyone is as naive as me, please jump on board this page. Sure it may be a long long shot, but I can't sit back and say nothing.

    Goddammit Kotaku, this is so stupid. I cannot believe you would stoop to this to get hits and try to up your shitty reputation.

    You've heard from sources? WHAT Sources? You haven't listed any for us. All of us at FNC websites have heard nothing about this, and we have access to their press files. Hell, some of us have heard the opposite and are aware we'll most likely be getting Versus news at TGS this year.

    You are either making this up or are being majorly lied to.

      A++++

    Man Square have really turned into a train wreck this Gen, FFXIII was average at best, FFXIV was a turkey and then FFXIII-2 sits unplayed in my collection because I hear it doesn't have an ending and is just an excuse to sell DLC.
    No versus, No Kingdom Hearts 3 and all the other games they have released such as Infinite Undiscovery ,Star Ocean and Last Remnant Etc. were delveloped by outside studio's and very average.
    I don't know if it was Hironobu Sakaguch leaving or the merger with Enix but something is rotten in the state of Shibuya.

    Ff13-2 was not the best game that was made by them due to the fact I feel that the main ending of the story made the entire storyline pointless because everything you worked for during ff13-2 was made to be pointless so how are they going to follow that up with a 13-3. We need a new final fantasy game not a sequel to a dead story

    in a interveiw a while ago they said they would work on kingdom hears 3, so now that this is dead, get to it

    There is stigma attached to the 'XIII' brand hence 'versus XIII' becomes FFXV....

      This is what I was thinking as well. Not to mention if they really are doing a XIII-3 then having Versus XIII in there as well just confuses things.

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