Tabata explained through a translator that Versus XIII was actually “around 20 to 25 percent” done before it was switched over to FFXV. He also said that the character designs and visuals weren’t really fixed when that happened.
It’s a little bit rough, but in terms of how much it had progressed in terms of development, Versus XIII was around 20 to 25 percent. In terms of character designs or visuals, nothing really had been fixed at that point. We were still working on updating it and revising those designs.
Tabata then talked about how the plot changed, as well as changes to the game world and the technology the developers were working with.
With regards to that overarching universe and setting for the world of Versus XIII, it was constructed around the Fabula Nova Crystallis setting, so there was a certain amount that had been included and decided upon. But when we shifted toward XV, obviously we took that apart and evaluated what would make sense and what wouldn’t. So there’s portions that remain from the earlier Versus XIII, but then there’s portions which evolved or changed due to the change in the direction of the title.”
Originally when we were working on Versus XIII, we were working on an earlier generation of console and the technology that we were working on was utilized for this earlier generation as an extension of the PS2 era. So that was a significant difference between XV and Versus XIII.
What do you think of the changes that were made when Final Fantasy XIII became Final Fanasy XV? It was recently announced that a specific release date for FFXV will be released in March.