Hajime Tabata is definitely a talented man- this is evident and clear by the fact that he could take the ten year long mess that was Final Fantasy Versus 13, turn it into Final Fantasy 15, and put it out as an unexpectedly great product when it launched last year.
But Final Fantasy 15, while definitely a major success for him, was not his baby- it was still someone else’s game that he helped finish. No, Tabata’s true test as a game maker would come if he did his own original game- and that is exactly what he is known to be working on. We know that he is working on a new IP- and speaking to Eurogamer, he revealed some new information about this project.
“Our new project is very much going to use the Luminous engine. That’s the future of the engine – in the mid-term it’s being used for the PC version [of Final Fantasy 15],” he said. Which makes sense- the Luminous Engine is known to be a disaster, but at the same time, Square has already sunk money into it, so it might as well be used. Moreover, with Tabata and his team being familiar and comfortable with the engine from Final Fantasy 15, it does make sense that they would want to stick with it for the time being.
He also confirmed that we are a long way from seeing the game for now, as the game is being targeted at next gen systems- it is actually not even in pre-production yet, and any preliminary work being done on it is by a small skeleton team. Unlike with many other Square projects, he confirmed that he does not wish to show it off too early, and then have people wait for it for years.
“What I really wanted to do is use everything I learnt from working on Final Fantasy and put it into something new,” he said. “You don’t get that many opportunities in the games industry to make something new when you want, so I really wanted to put everything into that. And also discussing with my boss, Mr. Matsuda, he thinks from a strategic perspective, using the 15 team to do something completely new, it’s a very important strategy. It all works out. I’ll let you know that we won’t be announcing anything for quite a while! I remember what you told me two years ago at Gamescom – without a release date, why did you come to Gamescom! I’m not going to do that again!”
It sounds good, all of it- and I certainly think Tabata could flourish with his own project if he had the chance, which it now sounds that he will. Here’s hoping he manages to pull it off, and pull it off well.