In a recent interview with Famitsu Square-Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura stated that Final Fantasy Versus XIII was only in the “pre-production” stages which left many fans wondering how this could be possible still after 5 years of development.
Luckily someone over at NeoGaf who took a look over the interview had a little more clarification about the wording of the interview.
Ive looked at the actual wording for what Nomura says and the sentence in question literally means preparing to enter mass/full production. What this means is that the game is getting ready to go into beta, or the final phase of development. Speaking with some people who actually know about game development, they also agree that this is the case AND the developers for Final Fantasy XIII said the exact same thing before they also went into beta.
So it would appear that it was just a misunderstanding when it was put across that the game was still in the early stages.