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Final Fantasy XV Delayed to November

The Regalia airship in Final Fantasy XV. (Image by Square Enix)

The Regalia airship in Final Fantasy XV. (Image by Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XV gets a near two month delay from its fall release date.

Originally scheduled to launch worldwide on Sept. 30, Final Fantasy XV has been delayed until Nov. 29 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Square Enix announced on Monday.

In an extended video statement, Hajime Tabata, the game’s director, announced the new release date for Final Fantasy XV, offered an apology and explained the delay was necessary to improve the title’s overall quality.

The game that was to be manufactured and shipped for a Sept. 30 release was recently finished a few days ago in what Tabata called the “master version.” However this completed version wasn’t up to the quality standards set by the development teams, according to Tabata.

A patch was in the process of being created to be released as a day-one update. Even though the patch had a substantial size and scope, it also didn’t meet what Tabata wanted the final game to be.

“We have put our whole lives into developing this game, with the intent of bringing the highest quality of game experience to every single player who buys it,” Tabata said.

Tabata and the team were also concerned that not every Final Fantasy XV player would be able to connect to the Internet and download the patch, therefore experiencing a lesser version of the game instead of what the studio wanted. Rather than releasing the game the way it was, Tabata and his team decided to launch Final Fantasy XV when they were satisfied with its finished quality.

“I came to think that it might be a mistake just to deliver the master version we have finished to everyone,” Tabata said. “So I realized that if we were to go ahead and release it, then myself and my team would wind up regretting it.”

A new 30 minute gameplay demo will be released this Tuesday that’s playable at the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany. The demo starts from the beginning of the game and is based on the master version. This demo will only be available in English, with other languages like Japanese possibly supported later.

When Final Fantasy XV releases in November, it will include all the improvements from the day-one patch on the disc or digital download as well as further quality updates made until then. Tabata said he’s also considering additional patches and downloadable content after the game’s launch.

“We are incredibly sorry for having to keep all of you waiting another two months and I apologize sincerely,” Tabata said.

The rumor started on Friday, with Gamnesia posting that GameStop management had been informed of Final Fantasy XV’s delay and the chain’s retail stores would receive new promotional material to advertise its revised launch date.

Square Enix revealed the game’s worldwide September release date at the special “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV Event” in March at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The big event had gameplay reveals, a demo launch and special media announcements all finally leading up to giving Final Fantasy XV’s release date by the end of the show.

Additional media were also organized and planned to grow the Final Fantasy XV universe beyond just the game. A CG movie based on the Final Fantasy XV universe, “Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV,” will release in theaters this Friday that stars voice acting from Aaron Paul, Lena Headey and Sean Bean. There’s also a five-part anime and an upcoming mobile pinball tie-in game called Justice Monsters Five that were all scheduled to coincide and lead-up to the original console release in September.

Final Fantasy XV is being developed with the Luminous Studio engine, a unique version made in-house by Square Enix. The game has been in development in some form since 2006, first under Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3. Over the years the project faced numerous delays and restructuring into a completely different game. Now over a generation later it will release for the PS4 and Xbox One, with a possible PC version coming afterwards.

Tabata was brought onto the game’s development to fix the project, fully replacing Tetsuya Nomura as its sole director. Nomura moved to working completely on other Square Enix games like Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake. Tabata also directed Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (2007) and Final Fantasy Type 0 (2011).

Final Fantasy XV is attempting to appeal more to a wider western audience. The game is also trying to turn around the Final Fantasy brand, which Tabata admitted needed to be refocused and refreshed after the past several years. Final Fantasy XV will feature a new action-oriented battle system along with a more modern world and technological setting to previous games.

A Season Pass for Final Fantasy XV will also be released for the game. The downloadable content will bring new items and cosmetic packs with episodes also dedicated to certain characters, which Square said wasn’t removed from the main game to sell later. The add-ons will be released in six installments that are all included with the Season Pass.

With the game now releasing at the end of November, Final Fantasy XV faces other big holiday titles in the same scheduled window like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2, Pokemon Sun & Moon and Dead Rising 4.

Watch the message from Tabata about the delay:

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