Tonight was the night that many Final Fantasy fans have been waiting nearly a decade for: the ultimate announcement of the latest installment of the beloved franchise, Final Fantasy XV. While the release date was leaked earlier today by Gamespot and other outlets, there were still quite a few surprises in store for the fans watching online and the nearly 6,000 present in the Shrine Auditorium.
When I first arrived I was presented with an awesome little fan-art based calendar. Definitely hanging this one up:
There was some time before the event for some mingling, and I’m excited to share with you some interviews and additional content in the coming weeks after the conversations that I had, but to keep things brief let’s skip ahead to the main event.
To recap, the 15 reveals from the “Uncovered” event were:
1) Hironobu Sakaguchi opens event
The Father of Final Fantasy opened the event with some kind and hopeful words, including the wish that the series return to its “Challenger” roots; not just challenging the players, but continuing to challenge Square Enix as a whole to develop even greater games.
2) New Trailer
3) 3D render of Yoshitaka Amano’s beautiful panorama art-piece
4) Florence & The Machine cover of “Stand By Me” revealed (Song used in new Trailer)
7) Environment Showcase
8) Characters – Anime reveal “Brotherhood – Final Fantasy XV”
The 5-episode anime series, “Brotherhood”, will chronicle the relationship between the 4 main characters of Final Fantasy XV. The first episode is available now on Youtube.
9) Announcement of “Kingsglaive” – Full Length CG Movie
The movie has been in development for over 3 years, and been kept effectively under wraps until the announcement this evening. It will be arriving in the summer in digital formats for streaming and download. You can view the trailer here:
10) King Regis/Luna Reveal and accompanying Voice Actors – Leah Headey (Luna) Sean Bean (King Regis) and Aaron Paul (Nyx)
A truly spectacular voice acting cast was revealed at the Uncovered event, including Leah Headey (famous for her work on Game of Thrones as Cersei Lannister), Sean Bean and Aaron Paul.
11) Minigame “Justice Monsters Five” revealed – mobile app for iOS, Android, Microsoft phones.
12) Mat Kishimoto announces “Platinum Demo” – available immediately
The Platinum Demo features a young Noctis adventuring through a dream world. This title will help players begin to get a handle on the combat and lore of the FFXV universe. The game is available immediately via PSN.
13) Announcement of Deluxe and Ultimate Collector’s Edition
FFXV will feature a Deluxe edition, with steel case, artbook and other goodies. Additionally, an “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” was revealed as well – limited to only 30,000 globally and featuring a vast array of goodies. It went on sale at 9 PM PST and as of the writing of this article it is SOLD OUT.
14) Release Date – September 30th, 2016
15) Additional new trailer – THE CAR FLIES!
One of the biggest takeaways from the event was the fact that this isn’t just a single video game launch; it’s the launch of an entire integrated universe. From a full-length CG movie to a 5 episode anime series that will be streaming free on Youtube, Square Enix is making a serious investment into this universe and in the process is appealing to a wide swath of the fandom.
Following the event, I went to the VIP after-party where Mr. Sakaguchi (Father of Final Fantasy franchise), Shinji Hashimoto (Executive Producer at Square Enix), Yosuke Matsuda (CEO of Square Enix) and many others were in attendance. I was able to interview a few of them and get their feedback on the event, and what we can look forward to in the coming months.
Overall, the Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event was a tremendous success. With so many exciting installments in the FFXV universe coming out, there is no doubt that by the time the title lands on September 30th that fans will be ready to eagerly dive into that world and explore everything that it has to offer.