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Final Fantasy 15 confirmed for 2016 release, date announcement coming in March

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Final Fantasy 15 will be released sometime in 2016, game director Hajime Tabata confirmed during a panel at PAX Prime in Seattle today. Tabata said he wanted to clarify that release window to fans after making slightly vague comments about Final Fantasy 15's release date at Gamescom earlier this month.

Tabata didn't have any more specifics about the game's release date, but announced that Square Enix plans to hold a "special event" in March 2016 where the game's release date will be officially revealed.

The director also offered a progress report on gameplay systems and features coming to Final Fantasy 15, which ranged from the game's various cameras to AI behavior, monsters, combat and user interface. Those features were reportedly somewhere between 30 percent and 80 percent complete.

Tabata also provided an update on the game's driving mode, in which players will explore the vastness of Lucis in the car known as the Regalia. Players will have the option to drive the Regalia or simply kick back and enjoy the ride as a passenger. A scenic view will give players the opportunity to enjoy the roadside scenery, and players can get out of the car at any point in their ride to explore their surroundings on foot. Tabata warned that the Regalia can run out of gas, at which point players will have to get out and push it to the nearest filling station (or call in some help).

Final Fantasy 15 is bound for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Square Enix is working on a simultaneous global release for the role-playing game.