In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Final Fantasy XV director Tetsuya Nomura explained the company’s reason behind making Versus 13 the next proper installment in the series.
Square Enix rebranding Final Fantasy Versus 13 as Final Fantasy XV was one of the bigger reveals to come out of E3 2013—though not altogether an unexpected one. During E3, director Tetsuya Nomura mentioned that the new name was known internally for roughly two years.
“Around one or two years after we announced FF Versus 13, it was suggested to us to shift to FF15 as part of the company’s direction,” Nomura told Famitsu. “By that time, a fair amount of time had already passed since the announcement and Versus was a well-known title, so it wasn’t a given that this would be 15; it could have still been Versus. Personally, I came to accept the idea once FF Agito 13‘s name was changed to Final Fantasy Type-O.”
The only question that remains, then, is the cause for the name change. According to Nomura, that chiefly had to do with how graphically demanding his project had become, and all the advantages next-gen hardware afforded the development team.
“It largely had to do with the display,” Nomura said. “I wanted FF15 to be as seamless as possible, and to achieve that, we needed to have all the actions you could potentially do always be available in memory. Since this is FF, after all, you have lots of potential factors, from the varied weapons to the party members’ individual actions and magic spells. Keeping this massive amount of RPG character data around, and having them fight all kinds of monsters on a large map, is a lot of stuff. To that we’re adding light sourcing, physics, filters, and other graphical elements, but there’s only so much we could display at once, so we were forced to go through a weeding process.
“The trailer we showed at E3 has battle scenes that make use of a wide swath of space, like how Noctis warps up to a higher area. Characters can go around this large yet intricately detailed space, and it feels like an FF battle. This presentation takes a lot of processing. Trying to do it on current-fen systems would mean that the display of objects may not be able to keep up within a world map-sized space. The map changes and destruction we showed in the video was also something we really wanted to do.”
Final Fantasy XV teleports onto PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime 2014.