On January 31st Square Enix will reveal the projects that will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their flagship series, Final Fantasy. As one of the most revered and iconic videogame franchises in history, this lifetime celebration has attracted massive online speculation on what the company has in store for a legion of fans that are willing to spend their savings on releases that appeal to their nostalgia.
The announcement in 2015 of Final Fantasy 7 Remake granted fans their most unthinkable wish, and after that, the most they can expect regarding the title is a new trailer and maybe an indication on the release date. The most daring prediction? Since the game will be published in separate installments, we might even get to hold Part 1 in our hands by the end of this year. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem likely that Square Enix would not try to promote in any way what is their biggest game in development, now that FF15 is finally in stores. It’s also worth mentioning that the event falls right on the same date as the 20th anniversary of FF7. Make of that what you will.
Talking about the fifteenth entry, it would be reasonable that the company tried to include some sort of anniversary-themed downloadable content in the already busy schedule of DLC releases. And it might be time to announce that PC port that a vocal group of fans has been begging for a long time.
The event falls right on the same date as the 20th anniversary of FF7
Ports and re-releases are something that people really want to see announced at the event, judging by online discussions. One of the rumors that has attracted most of the attention is a sort of Final Fantasy Collection that would compile the first nine entries and present them in high definition on a single platform. This is certainly not out of reach considering most of those HD versions already exist in mobile, PC or consoles, but a single bundle containing all nine games sounds either too good to be true or too expensive to appeal to other than the wealthiest hardcore fans. A single package presenting the six first 2D entries in one disc, and another containing the classic PlayStation 1 chapters from FF7 to FF9, is what some consider the most reasonable scenario.
Another port so easy to develop we are not quite sure why we don’t have it yet would be a version of FF13, FF13-2 and Lightning Returns for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Those PS3/Xbox 360 originals were ported to PC months ago with some graphic improvements, and a console re-release seems like an easy way for Square Enix to get some extra cash out of those entries.
But by far the most likely announcement that we will see at the conference is the release date for the most advanced Final Fantasy project in the works: The remastered edition of Final Fantasy 12. Subtitled The Zodiac Age, this new version not only comes with graphic improvements, but also important gameplay additions like a new skill system based on jobs, the ability to give orders to summons and new high speed modes.
Anyone hoping for a FF16 reveal should not hold their breath
A popular way to celebrate these franchise anniversaries in comic books and videogames is to put together a special project that combines elements and characters from different entries. Square Enix did it in 2007 for the 20th anniversary of the series releasing Dissidia Final Fantasy on PlayStation Portable, and now it has the opportunity to take the same step with the reboot developed for arcade machines in Japan. The title plays as an upgraded version of the original, with a notable graphic improvement and battles comprising three different characters in the same team. The development was based on a customized version of the PlayStation 4 hardware, so it should not take a lot of effort to put together a version for Sony’s console.
By now you must have seen a pattern in this article, which is that we are not discussing the possibility of seeing brand new projects announced. And that’s because with FF7 Remake taking the place of the next high-budget entry, FF14 still getting regular updates, and The Zodiac Age and other possible ports as medium projects, there is not a lot more dates in the schedule for other releases. Anyone hoping for a Final Fantasy 16 reveal should not hold their breath.
However, that is not the same situation for mobile platforms. After Brave Exvius and Mobius have proven to be profitable enterprises, it’s entirely predictable that Square Enix is preparing not only special anniversary events for those titles, but also a brand new spin off for smartphones.
The Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Opening Ceremony will be held in Japan on January 31st at 6:30 PM local time.
PlayStation Experience 2015: Final Fantasy VII Remake – PSX 2015 Trailer | PS4
What games do you hope to see announced at the event? A Final Fantasy 6 Remake perhaps? Or do you think that Square Enix disappoint with a lack of important news? Leave your comments below.