Announced back in June at the PS5 Future of Play reveal event, a Square Enix and Luminous Productions joint effort was announced, set as a thrilling and other-worldly experience coming from a team made up of former Final Fantasy XV team members. Thanks to an interview with Square Enix President and representative director Yosuke Matsuda we now know that the tentatively titled PS5 and PC game Project Athia is going to be an open-world experience that makes full use of next-generation lighting and ray tracing technology. The news was first discovered by the good folks over at Gematsu, and Project Athia looks to be a massive endeavor and one that could potentially be a showcase for the power of the PlayStation 5. Check out June’s reveal trailer below.
“Project Athia, which we will release for PS5, is an open-world style game in which users can freely move around the game world.” Matsuda told the Japanese publication Weekly Toyo Keizai Plus. “PS5 dramatically improves video technology, such as with the implementation of light-reflecting ‘ray-tracing’ technology. Compared to what you see on PC, it is nearly identical. By utilizing these special traits, we’re able to create incredibly precise imagery. We still plan on developing well-balanced games tailored to a platform’s traits, including smartphone and cloud-based games, but we will never stop developing for high-end platforms such as PS5. Because these things are packed with the best technology.”
The question about Project Athia bore from the publication asking Matsuda about the state of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s second episode and how the coronavirus pandemic has effected production and development. Matsuda stressed that while development slows, games that function as online communities such as Final Fantasy XIV will continue to grow in importance. “I realized once again that entertainment is indispensable for people to live like people. What was particularly highlighted this time is the phenomenon that a game with many users functions as a community.”
It’s still to be seen how the pandemic will affect the development of games that are still a few years off such as Project Athia, but for now, there’s still much to be excited about when it comes to Square Enix and its potential next-gen offerings. Project Athia has no current slated release date.