The Final Fantasy 15 universe continues to grow, but a full sequel isn’t in the cards. Director Hajime Tabata told Polygon during an interview at Gamescom that, unlike other continuations in the franchise, Square Enix wants to keep exploring Final Fantasy 15 in smaller ways.
“If you do that full sequel model of expanding on an IP or a series, it’s good in certain ways,” said Tabata. “The negative of that is there’s a very large open period where you’re not releasing anything. In that period, you get people to move away, and their attachment to the franchise dissipates a little bit.”
Instead of working on a big-budget follow-up, the Final Fantasy 15 team decided to work on shorter, story-based installments instead. Following the game’s launch in November, Square Enix released episodes based on other characters in the game who didn’t get to play a lead role. The third of these, “Episode Ignis,” is due in December.
There’s also the upcoming “Comrades” expansion, which adds an online multiplayer mode to the role-playing game. Tabata says that this premium online component is a key example of why it makes more sense to keep iterating on the base Final Fantasy 15 experience.
[Beware of some light Final Fantasy 15 spoilers below, by the way.]
“What we’re trying to do with that is to depict that missing 10 years of history right at the end of the story,” Tabata said, referring to a late chapter in the main game. Players create their own member of the Kingsglaive, the army that protected and fought for the kingdom of Eos, during the Comrades campaign.
“If we had tried to do that as a traditional, full-scale sequel, that would have been very difficult,” the director said, “but it works really well in [keeping] that continued relationship with fans.”
While there’s precedent for the numbered Final Fantasy games to receive separate, direct follow-ups or spinoffs — Final Fantasy 10-2, Final Fantasy 13-2 and Final Fantasy 4: The After Years — Final Fantasy 15 will keep charting its own course within the base game. Look forward to the additional downloadable content pieces this fall, as well as Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition on mobile and Monsters of the Deep: Final Fantasy 15 for PlayStation VR.
And in the future, we could see even more episodic installments, Tabata said — plus another VR game, perhaps more like the one we saw at E3 2016. Just because it took 10 years to launch doesn’t mean Square Enix is done with Final Fantasy 15.