We shared a rumor last weekend that Sony has nabbed Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XVI as a timed exclusive for the PlayStation 5, which the company reportedly plans to unveil at tomorrow’s event.
While a number of trusted insiders added weight to the rumor, there was some disagreement over whether Sony initially planned to unveil it during its June PS5 event or not. We now have some more information via another verified insider, APZonerunner (also features editor over at VG247), who has suggested that Final Fantasy XVI was left out of the June event in favor of Project Athia because Sony wanted to showcase more technically impressive projects. Final Fantasy XVI will reportedly stick to its “tried-and-true existing engine” whereas Project Athia happens to be Square Enix’s more “forward-looking, visually mind-blowing project.”
APZonerunner added that Covid-19 may have resulted in change of plans.
Based on the knowledge I have: in the grand scheme of things, this game was absolutely meant to be part of Sony’s ‘June drop’ – but this was the plan at the start of the year, before Covid, when things shown at a Sony June media drop could then go on to have a presence at E3 and other major shows (presence could be simply having staff/spokespeople on stream and available for media interviews – doesn’t necessarily mean playable).
So at the start of the year, that was to my knowledge absolutely the long-term plan. What I don’t know and can’t answer is how that changed in the face of Covid and the cancellation of in-person events.
Square Enix said earlier this year that it’ll reveal its titles on an individual basis due to Covid, and that it has plans to announce several new games this year.
(Note: the image above is from Final Fantasy XV)