Square Enix has confirmed that the release of its long-awaited role-playing game Final Fantasy 15 has been delayed . The game will now be launched on 29 November.
The Japanese video game giant confirmed the news on Monday (15 August) in a statement accompanied with a video message from game director Hajime Tabata explaining the decision. Both he and Square also apologised to the fans for the delay.
"From the moment we joined this project, our vision was to create a level of freedom and realism previously unseen in the series. Regrettably, we need a little bit more time to deliver on this vision and are confident that this new release date will help us achieve this," game director Hajime Tabata said in a statement.
"As the director and lead of this project, I wish to personally apologise for the additional wait.
"As a team, we want Final Fantasy 15 to achieve a level of perfection that our fans deserve. We kindly ask for your understanding."
The game's initial 30 September release date was announced in March at the Final Fantasy 15 Uncovered live event in Los Angeles.
The announcement confirms the flurry of rumours circulating over the weekend regarding a possible delay that was first reported by Gamnesia, citing sources at GameStop. Kotaku also cited a separate GameStop source that Square Enix had briefed some senior corporate GameStop staff about the delay as well.
Tabata said that the team recently completed work on the game's master version. However, while he admits that the version's current quality "will satisfy most players out there," the team did not feel they quite hit the "highest possibly quality" standard they were hoping for.
"You can think of a master version, as it is known, as what you get on the disc when you buy the game," Tabata explains. "Accordingly, in order to make this master version an even better product, we have been creating a downloadable add-on known as a patch. This has been worked on with the intention of releasing it on the same day the game comes out, so it would be what people call a "day one patch."
"However, a patch is not something that can be applied by all players who have bought the game. It is impossible to provide this patch to everyone who plays without connecting their games machine to the internet. On top of that, the day one patch has pretty substantial content in it, but to me it feels as though it is still one step away from the truly ultimate quality we are striving for."
Tabata said he personally began developing FF15 to create a Final Fantasy title for players "so outstanding and amazing that it would send other games running in panic." However, he said that if the team were to release their recently wrapped up master version, they would "wind up regretting it."
"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. "I am very sorry, but I must ask for just a little more time to polish our game up some more... However, after these two months we will deliver Final Fantasy 15 in the best possible state it can be, to players who have bought the game from all around the world."
A 30-minute gameplay video based on the master version would be released on 16 August, Tabata said. Other languages supported by the game, including Japanese, will also be announced at a later date.
The master version will be playable at the upcoming gaming trade show, Gamescom 2016, in
Cologne, Germany, running from 17 to 21 August.
The developer also noted that it would verify if the release dates for the disc versions of its tie-in movie, Kingsglaive, and an anime OVA tie-in series Brotherhood Final Fantasy 15 will be changed at a later date. As of now, the release of the movie's digital version is still set to release on 30 August.
Back in 2006, Final Fantasy 15 was originally named Final Fantasy Versus 13 before it was renamed at E3 2013.
Final Fantasy 15 will be released worldwide for PS4 and Xbox One on 29 November.