Square Enix has finally revealed the release date for its latest entry into one of the gaming world's most beloved franchises, Final Fantasy 15. The Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company made the announcement at its Final Fantasy: Uncovered event on 30 March.
Scheduled to release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gamers on 30 September, Square Enix also released a new story trailer for the long-awaited RPG featuring a cover of the Ben E. King classic Stand By Me, performed by Grammy-nominated Florence + the Machine as the game's official theme song.
The trailer is narrated by King Regis, father of protagonist Noctis, and includes music from composer Yoko Shimomura. It showcases never-before-seen gameplay, stunning animated action, epic battles and familiar sightings such as chocobos and airships.
Besides featuring a variety of different environments, a much faster battle system, new mechs and a menacingly massive new monster, the trailer also shows some personal moments surrounding the main cast of four friends who are seen pushing a broken down car down the road and playing pinball together.
Since the game does focus on the story of four willful boys, their road-trip of self-discovery and the importance of relationships between family and friends, lead singer Florence Welch'srendition of Stand By Me seems to be the perfect choice to soundtrack the trailer.
"I've always seen Final Fantasy as mythical, beautiful and epic," said Welch in a statement. "Stand By Me is one of the greatest songs of all time and you can't really improve on it, you just have to make it your own. For me it was just about bringing the song into the world of Florence and the Machine and the world of Final Fantasy."
Although Final Fantasy games that chose to adopt songs typically opt for Japanese artists, like Final Fantasy 12's Kiss Me Goodbye by Angela Aki, this is not the first time the franchise has decided to go with a non-Japanese artist for a Final Fantasy title. In 2010, the game developer caused quite a stir when it announced Leona Lewis's My Hands for Final Fantasy 13's English release, rather than translate the Japanese release's Kimi Ga Iru Kara by Sayuri Sugawara.
"I didn't know much about Florence initially," Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy 15, told GameSpot."When we were looking for an artist that had their own unique world in their own right, we wanted someone who would fit the world of Final Fantasy XV. We had a bunch of people come up with suggestions for artists to look into, and among those that popped up, we really felt that Florence would really flesh out the world and make it even more beautiful and bring in new fans and interest to the game."
Final Fantasy 15 – the 15th installment in the Final Fantasy series – was originally named Final Fantasy Versus 13 back in 2006, before it was finally renamed at E3 2013.