Final Fantasy XV[a] is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix as part of the long-running Final Fantasy series. It was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016, and for Microsoft Windows in 2018. The game features an open world environment and action-based battle system, incorporating quick-switching weapons, elemental magic, and other features such as vehicle travel and camping. The base campaign was later expanded with downloadable content (DLC), adding further gameplay options such as additional playable characters and multiplayer.
Final Fantasy XV takes place on the fictional world of Eos; aside from the capital of Lucis, all the world is dominated by the empire of Niflheim, who seek control of the magical Crystal protected by Lucis's royal family. On the eve of peace negotiations, Niflheim attacks the capital and steals the Crystal. Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the Lucian throne, goes on a quest to rescue the Crystal and defeat Niflheim. He later learns his full role as the "True King", destined to use the Crystal's powers to save Eos from eternal darkness. The game shares a thematic connection with Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a subseries of games linked by a common mythos which includes Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0.
The game's development began in 2006 as a PlayStation 3 spin-off titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII.[b] Tetsuya Nomura served as the original director and character designer. After a development period of six years, it was changed to the next mainline title in the series in 2012; Nomura was replaced as director by Hajime Tabata, and the game shifted to eighth generation platforms. Due to the changes, the story needed to be rewritten and some scenes and characters were repurposed or removed. The setting of Final Fantasy XV was "a fantasy based on reality", with locations and creatures based on elements from the real world.
To supplement the game, Square Enix created a multimedia project called the "Final Fantasy XV Universe", which includes a few spin-off games, as well as an anime series and feature film. Gameplay and story-based DLC is also set for release up until early 2019. Upon release, Final Fantasy XV was well received by journalists. Praise was given for its gameplay, visuals, and emotional weight, while reception towards its story and presentation was mixed. By November 2018, the game had sold over 8.4 million copies worldwide.
|Final Fantasy XV|
|Developer(s)||Square Enix Business Division 2|
Final Fantasy XV is an open world action role-playing game where players take control of main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum during his journey across the world of Eos. While accompanied by his three companions Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto, Noctis is the only character directly controlled by the player: he can navigate through simple movement, jump over small obstacles, sprint for a limited time, and perform context-based actions such as taking cover behind objects. The kingdom of Lucis is a large connected landmass that can be explored on foot, by using the party's car "Regalia", or chocobos, recurring galliform birds in the Final Fantasy series. Both the Regalia and chosen Chocobos can be customised by the player, and Chocobos can join in battles if their connection to the characters is strong enough. While Chocobos are controlled manually, the Regalia can be either manually or automatically controlled. The party can also fast-travel to areas unlocked on the world map. The Regalia must be refueled periodically at petrol stations. In towns the party can visit, there are inns and hotels where they can stay, shops where items and equipment can be purchased with the in-game currency gil, and local tipsters, non-playable characters (NPCs) who provide information on quests, from main story missions to side quests. Side quests are also available from individual NPCs found in towns. During some story sequences, dialogue choices appear for Noctis, with the selected option altering the response from NPCs. The game also contains two difficulty modes, with players being able to switch between the two.
The game uses an action-based real-time battle system, called the Active Cross Battle system. Instead of using a menu interface, the player selects commands directly mapped to buttons on the controller, such as "Attack", "Defend", and "Item". Battles take place within the current environment rather than transitioning to a separate arena, and can range from open plains to enclosed building interiors. When approaching enemies, a threat meter appears on the top of the screen, growing in intensity the closer the party gets to the enemy. When the party gets close and attacks or is detected, the battle begins. Running away from enemies and out of the combat zone in normal battles ends combat. During battle, each character has health points (HP), and Noctis also has magic points (MP). HP is depleted whenever a character is attacked, while Noctis's MP recovers over time when not in combat or when not using associated abilities such as warping or special weapon skills. If a character's current HP reaches zero, they enter Danger Mode, during which the maximum HP cap steadily decreases; the character is defeated when all of their maximum HP is lost. Some enemies, such as Daemons, are able to lower the HP cap with their attacks. If Noctis is defeated, there is a brief period where a revival item must be used. Should the player fail to do so, the game ends.
Noctis can perform four actions in battle: the standard attack; defending, which blocks and parries attacks; warping, which takes Noctis to a targeted area such as another enemy or an out-of-the-way warp point, and using items. There is a "Wait Mode" option available, where if all player input stops the battle pauses, and players are able to select new enemies to attack or actions to take within a time limit. An option available for both Noctis and Ignis in Wait Mode is Libra, an ability which displays an enemy's health, strengths and weaknesses. Noctis can find and equip a wide range of weapons, including single and double-handed swords, polearms, axes, shields, firearms, daggers and Royal Arms. The weapons manifest from thin air as Noctis fights, and can be manually shifted by the player. The type of weapon equipped determines the attack speed and the amount of damage on normal attacks. In addition to normal attacks, there are attacks that deal more damage based on Noctis' position such as "Side Strike" or "Blindside", in addition to the Warp Strike attack. Attacks from enemies can be parried, and depending on the quality of the parry Noctis can counterattack. If wielding a shield-type weapon, a successful block staggers an enemy, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Noctis can launch a special attack with the Royal Arms dubbed "Armiger", when the meter fills during combat: while more powerful than standard weapons, Royal Arms consume HP with each use. Noctis can also use two classes of firearms—Guns, which range from handguns like pistols to rifles; and Machinery, powerful weapons that have varying effects depending on the type used, from generating a powerful shockwave to dealing high melee damage.
Noctis's companions, controlled by the game's artificial intelligence (AI), can perform contextual commands. When Noctis successfully parries an enemy attack, or performs a Side Strike or Blindside, cooperative attacks between him and his companions called Link-strikes can be triggered. During battle, a meter called the Tech Bar fills. When full, Noctis can command his companions to perform special moves called Techniques: Gladiolus performs a sweeping attack with his sword, Ignis uses his daggers to mark enemies so Noctis can perform a warp strike attack, and Prompto uses his firearm to fire a powerful shot that pierces through tough opponents. After each of these, Noctis can initiate a follow-up attack. Noctis can also trigger an Armiger Chain, where he splits his Royal Arms between his companions before launching a single attack.
Magic is separated into two types: Elemancy and Arcana. Elemancy is separated into three types: Fire, Ice and Lightning. Elemental energy is drawn from points across the world map, being absorbed into special flasks and used to craft magical bombs that can be used on enemies. Elemancy can also be combined with specific items to add new effects, such as healing party members while damaging enemies. Both Noctis and his companions are able to use Elemancy. Arcana, accessed when Noctis has acquired and equipped a story-related item called the Ring of the Lucii, has access to more powerful magical abilities such as "Death", which drains an enemy's health. After a certain point in the game, Noctis can call upon summoned monsters called Astrals, which aid the party by launching a devastating attack. The summons featured are series regulars including Titan, Ramuh, Leviathan and Shiva. Their types of attack, and even whether they assist at all, is dependent on the environment: for instance, Leviathan can only be summoned in the open when there is a body of water nearby. At certain points in the story, Noctis is joined by guest characters who have their own Link-strikes and Techniques.
After each battle, characters earn experience points (EXP), but they do not automatically level up when a certain amount of EXP has been gathered. Instead, the party must go to safe zones called "Havens", namely rest sites like inns or campsites. When the party rests at night, each character gains levels depending on the amount of EXP earned. If defeated in battle, all EXP gained up to that point since the last level up is permanently lost. Activities in the overworld earn the party Ability Points (AP). AP is spent on the Ascension Grid, the game's leveling system, which is divided into skill trees called "Astralspheres". Each Astralsphere is sorted by type, being associated with magic, combat or passive abilities. Spending AP opens up nodes within the Astralsphere, which in turn grants access to further nodes which require higher amounts of AP to unlock.
Noctis' companions each have their own skills which themselves level up based on usage, and affect equipment. Noctis' fishing ability improves the more times he fishes and the better items he uses, which in turn spreads to his equipment. Gladiolus' Survival skills increase based on the distance the party has travelled in a day, which improves the quality of their equipment and items. Ignis' cooking can be improved based on ingredients either purchased at shops or found in the wild, and his meals grant stat boosts to the party. Prompto takes photos during the party's journey, and the quality of his own skills increase over time. A post-release update enables control of all four characters during battle after unlocking a dedicated node in the Ascension Grid; each character uses specific weapon types and abilities tied to them.
A multiplayer mode called Comrades was released as an expansion, with gameplay and combat lifted from the main game and tailored for multiplayer; rather than a pre-set character, players take the role of a customizable avatar who takes part in a portion of the story skipped over by the main narrative. The game begins with players choosing their gender, hairstyle, clothing and other aspects. Using the in-game city of Lestallum as their base, the player is assigned missions with three other characters—either other players or AI-controlled. During missions, the player fights monsters either on sorties or to defend transports; at the end of each mission, the player is awarded Gil, materials used for crafting and enhancing weapons, and "Meteorshards" which can power up settlements around Lestallum and open up new quests. Some areas unlock Royal Tombs which grant the player a Royal Sigil; these Sigils both increase specific statistics and grant new themed abilities such as healing or increasing combat moves. The player has access to a variety of weapon types from normal swords to maces and shurikens, which are enhanced using materials to increase passive abilities such as their damage capacity.
Final Fantasy XV takes place on the Earth-like world of Eos, which is divided between four nations: Lucis, Accordo, Tenebrae and Niflheim. Lucis, occupying a whole landmass, possesses a magical artifact known as the Crystal, gifted to the reigning Caelum dynasty by the world's deities in antiquity and accessed through the hereditary Ring of the Lucii. Accordo, located in the southern part of Eos, is an island nation formed through a union of free trading cities. The western continent is home to the technologically-advanced empire of Niflheim and the nation of Tenebrae, which is ruled by the Oracle—a priestess who can commune with the gods. The Oracle's main task is curing the Starscourge, a plague that absorbs all natural light and turns those infected into nocturnal monsters known as Daemons.:318–319
Central to the lore of Eos are the Astrals, six divine beings who serve as the guardians of the natural world and are based on summoned monsters from the Final Fantasy series; and the True King, a legendary figure prophesied to appear when the Starscourge threatens to plunge Eos into eternal night. A key part of Eos's backstory is the Great War of Old, a conflict born when the ancient human civilization of Solheim turned on the Astrals and their patron Ifrit; Ifrit's attempt to destroy humanity defied the Astrals' duty to protect Eos, forcing them to kill Ifrit. The Great War of Old is implied to have caused the spread of the Starscourge across the planet, hastening the fall of Solheim.:318–319
For centuries, Lucis has been at war with the militaristic Niflheim, who seek to emulate Solheim's glory. To that end Niflheim has subjugated most of Eos, including Accordo and Tenebrae; Tenebrae retains limited political autonomy due to the Oracle's influence. Only Lucis's capital city of Insomnia remains unconquered due to the use of the Crystal's power, which is slowly draining the current king's life force. At the game's beginning an armistice is declared between the two nations due to the king's failing health; as part of the peace agreements, Niflheim will gain control of all Lucian territories outside Insomnia, and a marriage is arranged between the heirs apparent of the royal families of Lucis and Tenebrae.
The two main characters are Noctis Lucis Caelum, the crown prince of Lucis and the sole playable character who loses his father in the Niflheim invasion; and his fiancée Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, the current Oracle and former princess of Tenebrae. Noctis is accompanied on his journey by three others: Gladiolus Amicitia, the scion of a family sworn to protect Noctis's family; Ignis Scientia, a prodigy military tactician and Noctis's advisor; and Prompto Argentum, a friend of Noctis from a lower social class. Guest characters include Cor Leonis, a legendary warrior of Lucis who acts as an early guide to Noctis's party; and Iris Amicitia, Gladiolus's sister. Other key characters are Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, king of Lucis and Noctis's father; Gentiana, Lunafreya's attendant; and Cid Sophiar and his granddaughter Cindy Aurum, mechanics who maintain the party's car. The empire of Niflheim is ruled by Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt. Aldercapt's allies include Ardyn Izunia, the imperial chancellor and the game's main antagonist; Ravus Nox Fleuret, Lunafreya's brother and the high commander of Niflheim's army; Verstael Besithia, the empire's head researcher; and Aranea Highwind, a mercenary dragoon in service to Niflheim.
Noctis and his three friends begin their journey to Altissia, the capital of Accordo, where Noctis's wedding to Lunafreya will take place. Finding the local boat services stopped, they receive news of Niflheim's attack on the city of Insomnia and theft of the Crystal; the Lucian King Regis has been assassinated, and both Noctis and Lunafreya are declared dead. Meeting up with Cor, Noctis is tasked with retrieving the Royal Arms—the magical weapons of past Lucian kings—to rescue the Crystal and reclaim his throne. While staying in the city of Lestallum with Iris, Noctis is contacted by the Astral Titan; encouraged by Ardyn, Noctis endures Titan's trial and earns his power, learning that Lunafreya is traveling ahead of Noctis to awaken the Astrals from their slumber. The group continues to travel across Lucis, retrieving the Royal Arms and meeting the Astral Ramuh with assistance from Gentiana. He is also confronted by a hostile Ravus, spars with the mercenary Aranea, and receives further aid from Ardyn. The group eventually recover parts to repair Regis's old yacht, using it to travel to Altissia.
The party arrives in Altissia, where Lunafreya has taken sanctuary. Lunafreya awakens the Astral Leviathan so Noctis can obtain her power, only for Leviathan to go on a rampage when Niflheim attacks. Ardyn appears and mortally wounds Lunafreya, disrupting the ritual; however, she succeeds in awakening Noctis's powers, allowing him to defeat Leviathan. While unconscious, he is visited in a dream by Lunafreya's spirit, who gives him the Ring of the Lucii. Noctis wakes to find Altissia in chaos, and that Ignis was blinded during the battle. The party continues towards Niflheim's capital of Gralea by train. Ignis' blindness and Noctis's mourning of Lunafreya cause friction with Gladiolus until Ignis forces a reconciliation. It is also revealed that the nights are growing longer, causing more Daemons to appear. Ardyn then tricks Noctis into throwing Prompto from the train, and holds Prompto and the Crystal captive in Gralea's military fortress Zegnautus Keep, revealing the Crystal's power can destroy the Daemons. Noctis continues to Tenebrae, where Aranea is aiding refugees from across Eos. While in Tenebrae, Noctis learns that Lunafreya was dying from waking the Astrals, and that Ravus now supports him. On the final journey to Gralea, the train is ambushed by Daemons; after defeating them, Noctis receives the Astral Shiva's blessing from Gentiana, revealed as Shiva's human form.
Arriving to find Gralea overrun by Daemons, Noctis is separated from his friends and forced to use the Ring of the Lucii to survive Zegnautus Keep. After reuniting and rescuing Prompto, the party continues through Zegnautus Keep, defeating Ravus and Emperor Aldercapt, who have been transformed into Daemons. Forced to leave his friends behind, Noctis reaches the Crystal, only to be pulled into it. Ardyn appears and reveals himself to be Ardyn Lucis Caelum, the original True King whose infection by the Starscourge led to the Astrals and Crystal rejecting him; rendered immortal by the Starscourge, Ardyn sought revenge on the Caelum bloodline and the Crystal, hastening the onset of the Starscourge while waiting for the True King to appear so he could destroy them both. Within the Crystal, Noctis encounters the Astral Bahamut; he learns that he is the True King of prophecy, who will cleanse the Starscourge and restore light to Eos at the cost of his life. Noctis returns to Eos after ten years, finding the world engulfed in darkness. Reuniting with his friends, Noctis heads for Insomnia, fighting Ifrit—revived and corrupted by the Starscourge—before facing Ardyn. After killing Ardyn in single combat, Noctis ascends the throne and sacrifices himself, using the Crystal and Ring of the Lucii to purge the Starscourge from Eos. In the afterlife, with help from Lunafreya, Noctis destroys Ardyn's spirit. In mid-credits and post-credits scenes, Noctis opens up to his companions before the final battle, and finds rest with Lunafreya in the afterlife.
The journeys of Noctis' friends during their absence in the main story are expanded through downloadable content (DLC). In Episode Gladiolus, Gladiolus tests his strength against recurring Final Fantasy character Gilgamesh following their first confrontation with Ravus. Episode Prompto follows the titular character after Ardyn tricks Noctis into throwing him from the train to Tenebrae, and focuses on his origins as Verstael's cloned son, designed as one of Niflheim's Magitek soldiers. With help from Aranea, Prompto defeats Verstael—who transfers his soul to the Magitek creation Immortalis to conquer Eos—before heading for Gralea. In Episode Ignis, Ignis allies with a disillusioned Ravus in the wake of Leviathan's rampage. After finding Lunafreya dead and Noctis unconscious, they are ambushed by Ardyn; Ignis uses the Ring of the Lucii to save Noctis, which costs him his sight. In the story mode for the multiplayer expansion Comrades, the player controls a survivor of the Kingsglaive, Regis's bodyguard who abandoned him during Niflheim's attack on Lucis. Despite the peoples' mistrust, the Kingsglaive help defend humanity's last stronghold of Lestallum while experiencing visions of Noctis's resting place on the island of Angelgard. Drawn to Angelgard, the Kingsglaive face Bahamut in combat and are absolved of their treachery, dedicating themselves to protecting Angelgard from Daemons during Noctis's slumber.
Final Fantasy XV was primarily developed by Business Division 2 of Square Enix, creators and developers of the Final Fantasy franchise. Additional studios that helped with development included HexaDrive, XPEC Entertainment, Plusmile, and Streamline Studios. Staff included director Hajime Tabata; producer Shinji Hashimoto; main writer Saori Itamuro, who wrote the scenario based on the original draft by Kazushige Nojima; and art directors Tomohiro Hasegawa, Yusuke Naora and Isamu Kamikokuryo. Character designs were by Tetsuya Nomura and Roberto Ferrari, with later revisions by Naora. The main characters' clothing was designed by Hiromu Takahara, lead designer for Japanese fashion house Roen. The soundtrack for Final Fantasy XV was composed primarily by Yoko Shimomura, while both real-time and CGI cutscenes were directed by Takeshi Nozue of Visual Works, Square Enix's in-house CGI production studio. Logo illustration was by regular series artist Yoshitaka Amano.
Development began in 2006 as a spin-off title for the PlayStation 3 called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It was announced as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a subseries of games linked by a common mythos, and ran in Square Enix's proprietary Crystal Tools engine. Developed by the team behind the Kingdom Hearts series, it was intended to be a darker entry in the Final Fantasy series than allowed in the main series. Nomura was the original director, designer, and created the initial concept and scenario. The project suffered from a prolonged and troubled development, only making fragmentary appearances over the following six years. As early as 2007, the project's scale prompted talks of rebranding it as the next mainline entry. With the internal unveiling of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it was decided to change it into a mainline entry, with a proposed PS3 version being scrapped due to technical troubles. The game's engine also changed, shifting to the company's new proprietary game engine Luminous Studio. At the time of its rebranding and shift to next-generation consoles in 2012, Versus XIII was described as being on 20-25% complete, with Tabata saying it never took shape.
When Tabata took over from Nomura, the entire development team was reshuffled and development started over again, although he worked as a co-director with Nomura until late 2013 to ensure the project remained as true as possible to its original vision. Among the changes were the removal of the original story's opening, and the replacement of the original heroine Stella Nox Fleuret with the similarly named Lunafreya. The connection to Fabula Nova Crystallis was also reduced, with branding and mythos-specific terminology removed to aid in the game's marketing. Thematic, aesthetic and design elements were retained due to their core place in the world and backstory.:592–597 The main concept behind Final Fantasy XV was "a fantasy based on reality", with the world being very similar to Earth and having fantasy elements gradually intruding into an otherwise normal setting. In pursuit of this, locations in Eos were based on real-world locations such as Tokyo, Venice and the Bahamas.
Due to the scale of the game's narrative and Tabata's wish to release a single game rather than a series of games similar to Final Fantasy XIII, aspects of the planned narrative were refashioned into supplementary media projects. Known as the "Final Fantasy XV Universe", the projects were split into two parts; media designed to reach a wider audience than the game might manage alone, and additional game-related content such as ports to other hardware and DLC. The project was first revealed at a March 2016 press event called "Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV". Tabata later stated that those who just played the game would miss context for story events shown in other related media.
The two central parts of the "Final Fantasy XV Universe" are the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and the original net animation Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV. Brotherhood was produced by anime studio A-1 Pictures under supervision from Square Enix; the narrative focused on the backstories of Noctis and his companions. The series was released online between March and September 2016. Kingsglaive, which received a limited theatrical release in 2016, was a collaboration between Visual Works and Western studios including Digic Pictures and Image Engine; the story, which mainly focused on original characters, recycled story elements cut from the opening narrative of Final Fantasy XV.
Also forming part of the project were Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV, a game demo detailing an incident in Noctis's childhood which tied into the events of Brotherhood; Justice Monsters Five, a mobile game based on a minigame from Final Fantasy XV which was active from August 2016 to March 2017; A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV, a promotional beat 'em up featuring Regis as the playable character; Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV, a virtual reality simulation game released in 2017 for PlayStation VR; and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, a massively multiplayer online strategy game published by Machine Zone in 2017 and developed by their Epic Action subsidiary.
Initially announced in 2006 alongside XIII and Type-0, the game was publicly rebranded at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, with regular updates on the title beginning the following year. A demo titled Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae was released in March 2015 as a limited addition to Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. The game's localization was handled by Dan Inoue, who used different accents for characters to denote their origins on different parts of Eos. In addition to English, Japanese and European languages, the game was localized for Latin America with Latin American Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese text: this was the first time a Final Fantasy title was localized into these languages.
Its initial worldwide release, September 30, was announced at the "Uncovered" event. Despite this intended date, further polishing work resulted in the date being pushed back to November 29. Further fixes were applied to the game through a Day One patch released concurrent with the game. The game was published in multiple editions, called "Day One", "Deluxe", and "Ultimate Collector's Edition". The "Deluxe" edition included a Blu-ray edition of Kingsglaive, while the "Ultimate Collector's Edition" included both Kingsglaive and a version of Brotherhood with additional footage related to Luna. In 2018, a version of the game called Royal Edition was released, which contained both all DLC published to that point in addition to further story and gameplay additions alongside technical improvements.
A version for Microsoft Windows was released on March 6, 2018. Square Enix developed the port with Nvidia using an upgraded version of the Luminous Studio engine, featuring graphical enhancements and all DLC. These improvements and additions were also released as part of the console-exclusive Royal Edition. Another version, titled Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, was released in February 2018 for iOS and Android. The game was co-developed by Square Enix, SummerTimeStudio, and XPEC Entertainment. Development began in 2015 following the release of Episode Duscae; the game was produced by Kosei Ito, who was producer on Tabata's first major Square Enix title Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII.
Multiple pieces of downloadable content (DLC) were created for the game by a smaller development team from the core Final Fantasy XV staff. The team was supervised by Tabata and headed by new producer Haruyoshi Sawatari. Both free and paid DLC were announced, with paid DLC being a necessity due to overall production costs. Among the DLC were additional story elements intended to address player criticisms of the game's narrative structure and missing details. The main DLC episodes focusing on filling in narrative gaps related to Noctis's friends—Episode Gladiolus, Episode Prompto and Episode Ignis—were released respectively in March, June and December 2017.
A multiplayer mode called Comrades was released in November 2017, with Final Fantasy XV becoming the first mainline single-player Final Fantasy to include multiplayer content. A standalone version of Comrades was released for PS4 and Xbox One in December 2018. Other DLC included temporary events such as the "Moogle Chocobo Carnival" event and a collaboration with Assassin's Creed Origins.
Episode Ignis was intended to be the last story-based DLC, but positive player feedback resulted in Square Enix wanting to develop further content focusing on other main characters, such as Ardyn. Episode Ardyn will be released in March 2019. Originally part of a tetralogy of story-based DLC episodes dubbed The Dawn of the Future, the other episodes were cancelled due to structural changes within Square Enix. Announced features related to the PC port such as mod support were also cancelled. Episode Ardyn is set to be the final post-release update for Final Fantasy XV. Story material for the cancelled DLC has been turned into a novel, set for a Japanese release in April 2019 and a Western release at a later date.
Final Fantasy XV has received "generally favorable" reviews from critics for all versions, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave both versions of the game a score of 38 points out of 40. Various game designers stated Final Fantasy XV was their favorite game of 2016, including Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Atlus' Shigeo Komori, Koei Tecmo's Takashi Morinaka, and Sony Interactive Entertainment's Teruyuki Toriyama and Shuhei Yoshida.
Opinions on the story of Final Fantasy XV were mixed, although the main cast was praised for its chemistry. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner praised the change to a simple straightforward plot after the complex lore of Final Fantasy XIII. Peter Brown of GameSpot and Philip Kollar of Polygon praised the mundane activities and character interactions, with Kollar calling Noctis's companions the game's "beating heart", In contrast, Jonathan Leack of Game Revolution found the characters lacked interest during the early parts of the campaign, and Hardcore Gamer's Adam Beck called the main story and characters a "monumental disappointment". The minimal representation of supporting characters was also frequently faulted. David Roberts of GamesRadar, Electronic Gaming Monthly's Mollie L. Patterson and Destructoid's Chris Carter also noted the crucial part played by the game's expanded media in grounding or fleshing out the main story.
The visuals and realistic style were positively received, with IGN's Vince Ingenito enjoying the unusual use of realistic aesthetic details for the towns and environment. Roberts, Brown, Leack, Beck and Kollar praised the open world design and depth of detail, in addition to its scale and similarity to open worlds from recent Western games. Beck also noted the setpiece moments as beautiful in appearance despite weak narrative elements and confusing or convoluted gameplay. Leack positively noted the main cast's eye-catching design, which he felt helped maintain a connection during the early sections of the game. Shimomura's score was also positively received by critics.
The gameplay was praised for its fast pace and engaging mechanics despite a lack of depth compared with other action games, with several reviewers comparing it to Kingdom Hearts; Patterson positively compared normal battles to the CGI cutscene-exclusive battles of earlier Square Enix titles, while Leack called the combat system "Kingdom Hearts meets Dissidia" and praised its depth and accessibility. Digital Spy's Kirk McKeand praised the behaviour of Noctis's companions in battle, saying they were effective supporting units. The linear second half drew criticism, with Roberts predicting that it would be one of the game's most divisive elements. The summons were seen as spectacular, but either lacking meaning in gameplay or being too difficult to activate. Several reviewers noted the in-game camera's occasionally erratic behaviour.
In Japan, the PS4 version topped Japanese gaming charts, selling 690,471 units. The Xbox One version sold nearly 3,800 units. Total sales of both versions came to 694,262 units, with the game's release boosting console sales for the PS4 over the previous week by over 42,000 units. Second week sales in the region were 79,792 units, down 88% from launch week and causing the game to drop to fifth place. Different rankings in January the following year placed the Japanese sales of Final Fantasy XV as between 900,000 and one million copies. In the United Kingdom's all-format gaming charts ending December 3, Final Fantasy XV was the second biggest launch for the series after Final Fantasy XIII. According to the December data released by the NPD Group, Final Fantasy XV was the second best-selling title of the month behind Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The game also became the month's best-selling PS4 title, and saw the best console launch month in the franchise's history.
Within the first twenty-four hours, Square Enix reported that Final Fantasy XV had shipped five million units worldwide in both physical shipments and digital sales—a figure which allowed the game to "break even" on development costs. This gave Final Fantasy XV the biggest launch in the franchise to date, the most first day digital sales in Japan for a game up to that point, and set records for physical shipments and downloads in mainland Asia. Commenting on the large numbers, Tabata revealed that the strong sales saved the Final Fantasy franchise as a whole, which had seen declining commercial success in recent years. According to Square Enix, shipments had reached over six million worldwide by January 2017. In May of the same year, Square announced the game and Rise of the Tomb Raider helped to increase sales and profits for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. In a later interview, Enterbrain president Hirokazu Hamamura stated that the game had sold seven million copies worldwide by January 2018, ranking it as a "huge success". By November 2018, that number had risen to over 8.4 million.
Final Fantasy XV won numerous awards from various gaming publications, including "Game of the Year" from RPG Site and RPGFan, and "Best RPG (People's Choice)" from IGN, PlayStation Blog awarded Final Fantasy XV awards in the categories of "Best PS4 Game", "Best Use of Pro", "Best Soundtrack", and "Best Visuals"; and in Game Informer's 2017 RPG of the Year Awards awarded the game for "Best Post-Launch Support". At the 2017 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards the game won Game, Franchise Role Playing and Song, Original or Adapted. It was also nominated for "Best Original Soundtrack Album" and for "Best Original Instrumental" ("Valse di Fantastica") at the 15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards. In 2017, the game was nominated for "Best Visual Design" at the Golden Joystick Awards, and for "Best Role-Playing Game" at The Game Awards 2017, but lost to Cuphead and Persona 5, respectively. The Comrades DLC was nominated for "Best Add-on" at the Gamescom 2017 Awards. The game was also nominated for "Evolving Game" at the 14th British Academy Games Awards.
Final Fantasy XV, an action role-playing video game released in November 2016, is the fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, and is thematically connected to Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a subseries of games linked by a common mythos which includes Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0. The world and main characters were created by Tetsuya Nomura, the game's original director. Nomura also designed the main characters, with later revisions and additional characters being designed by Yusuke Naora: other character designers involved with the game included Roberto Ferrari and Yusaku Nakaaki.
The story revolves around a conflict between Lucis, the last free kingdom in the world, and the expansionist empire of Niflheim. The main protagonist is Noctis Lucis Caelum, sole heir to the throne of Lucis. On his journey, he is accompanied by three companions: Gladiolus Amicitia, a brother-figure from a noble family sworn to Noctis's protection; Ignis Scientia, Noctis's strategist; and Prompto Argentum, a friend of Noctis from a lower-class family. A key character is Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, Noctis's fiancée through an arranged marriage. Other characters include Noctis's father Regis, the king of Lucis; Cor Leonis, a famous warrior of Lucis; Gentiana, Lunafreya's companion and attendant; Cindy, who with her grandfather Cid acts as mechanic for Noctis' car; and Iris, Gladiolus's sister. The game's main antagonist Ardyn Izuna is supported by the forces of Niflheim under emperor Iedolas Aldercapt and his chief scientist Verstael Besithia, Lunafreya's brother Ravus Nox Fleuret, and the mercenary dragoon Aranea Highwind.
Originally a spin-off game titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the game changed multiple times during its ten-year development cycle, including the redesign or removal of characters and story elements. Additional media and merchandise based upon the world and characters of XV have been produced, with its expanded media being dubbed the "Final Fantasy XV Universe": these include the original net animation Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV and the CGI feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.Chris Parson
Christopher L. "Chris" Parson is an American voice actor and a 2001 graduate of the USC School of Cinema Television (now USC School of Cinematic Arts). Parson began his career working primarily as an assistant in talent management while still a student, and worked briefly in digital artist management for Sony Pictures Imageworks.
It was after being laid-off from Sony that Parson decided to pursue a career in voiceover, one he entered after responding to a classified ad on the popular website Craigslist.
He subsequently appeared as the narrator in several documentaries, appearing on The Fifth Element special edition DVD and The Pursuit of Happyness DVD, as well as VH1's mini-series Fabulous Life: Really Rich Real Estate. Parson also served as the narrator for the Fox series Nashville.
Parson had voiced the title role (as well as many others) on Comedy Central's animated series Lil' Bush, and has lent his voice to episodes of Fox's popular shows Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, and Disney's Handy Manny.
Currently, he is the on-air promotions voice for the popular cable network, Syfy. He became the voice of Syfy after its rebranding in July, 2009.
Parson's voice is also featured in Gore Verbinski's animated feature, Rango, starring Johnny Depp.
Parson has also provided voice overs for several video games; he voiced the character Yusuf Tazim in Assassin's Creed: Revelations and has provided additional voiceover work for Red Faction: Guerrilla, Infamous 2, Mafia III, Grand Theft Auto V, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, Prototype 2, and Overwatch. Recently, he voiced the character Gladiolus Amicitia in Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy XV: Comrades, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus, Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep and Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis.
Parson resides in Los Angeles, California and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.Development of Final Fantasy XV
The development of Final Fantasy XV, a Japanese action role-playing video game, began in 2006 shortly before its announcement at that year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. Square Enix handled primary development on Final Fantasy XV, and the game was released worldwide in November 2016; the total development time covered approximately ten years. The game was originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a PlayStation 3-exclusive spin-off title. It was part of Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a subseries of games linked by a common mythos: while retaining thematic links, specific references were removed to aid with marketing. Additional media was created to portray the world of XV without using sequels; dubbed the "Final Fantasy XV Universe", it included a feature film, an original net animation, a virtual reality simulation game and multiple mobile projects including a version of the game.
The game was originally directed by Tetsuya Nomura, who also created the story concept and main character designs. Nomura wanted to create a darker Final Fantasy title unsuitable for the main series. The initial development went slowly, and by 2007 the scale of the project generated discussions about rebranding the game as the next main entry in the series. Production on Versus XIII ended in 2012, when it was rebranded as Final Fantasy XV and transferred over to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PlayStation 3 version, which was originally built using the company's proprietary Crystal Tools game engine, was abandoned due to concerns about the platform's shortening life cycle. Its engine was changed to Luminous Studio, Square Enix's custom-built engine for eighth-generation gaming hardware.
After its change of platforms, the production team headed by Hajime Tabata, whose previous work included Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Type-0, was brought on board to aid production. Tabata became co-director, and was eventually promoted to sole director after Nomura was transferred to work on other projects within the company. After the transition to eighth-generation hardware, multiple changes were made so that it better suited the new consoles and its new status as a mainline game: these included radical staff reshuffles, and the reevaluation of the game's content. The latter part resulted in some scenes and characters from Versus XIII being cut. Later in production, multiple other studios were brought in to help with various aspects of the game.
Since its original announcement, release of information became sporadic, leading to video game journalists labeling it as vaporware and eventually to rumors of its cancellation. After its public rebranding in 2013, the silence continued until its appearance at the 2014 Tokyo Game Show, at which point development and progress information was released on a regular basis. A demo for the game, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, was released in March 2015 with first print copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. Promotion for the title was effectively restarted at the 2015 Gamescom. Its release was delayed due to polishing work and the wish for a simultaneous worldwide release, something no other mainline Final Fantasy title had managed to accomplish. Cosmetic, gameplay and story-based downloadable content were developed between 2016 and 2019 to fix issues raised by players and expand upon the base game.Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy
Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy is a series of games within the Final Fantasy video game franchise. It was primarily developed by series creator and developer Square Enix, which also acted as publisher for all titles. While featuring various worlds and different characters, each Fabula Nova Crystallis game is ultimately based on and expands upon a common mythos focusing on important crystals tied to deities. The level of connection to the mythos varies between each title. The series title translates from Latin as 'The New Tale of the Crystal'. Each development team was given the freedom to adapt the mythos to fit the context of a game's story.
The series, originally announced in 2006 as Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII, currently consists of seven games across multiple platforms. Final Fantasy XIII, designed as the series' flagship title, was released in 2009. The creative forces behind the series include many developers from previous Final Fantasy titles, including Shinji Hashimoto and Motomu Toriyama. The mythos was conceived and written by Kazushige Nojima. The first games announced for the series were Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XV (as Versus XIII), and Final Fantasy Type-0 (as Agito XIII). All three games went through delays. After Final Fantasy XIII and Type-0's releases, their respective teams used ideas and concepts from development to create additional games. For later games, other studios have been brought in to help with aspects of development. Final Fantasy XV was distanced from the series brand for marketing purposes despite retaining thematic connections.
Seven titles have been released as of 2016. The series is complemented by works in related media, including companion books, novelizations, and manga. Final Fantasy XV notably expanded into a multimedia project, spawning a feature film and an original animated webseries. Individual games have generally received a positive reception, although opinions have been more mixed over various aspects of the three Final Fantasy XIII games. Reception of the mythos' use in the released games has also been mixed: while some critics called it confusing or too similar to the lore of the main series, others were impressed by its scope and use. Retrospective opinions on the series have also been mixed.Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Square). The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.
Final Fantasy installments are generally stand-alone stories, each with different settings, plots and main characters, however, as a corpus they feature some identical elements that help to define the franchise. These recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Each plot centers on a particular group of heroes who are battling a great evil, but also explores the characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are frequently derived from the history, languages, pop culture, and mythologies of cultures worldwide. The mechanics of each game involve similar battle systems and maps.
The Final Fantasy video game series has been both critically and commercially successful, selling more than 142 million games worldwide, making it one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full-motion videos (FMVs), photorealistic character models, and music by Nobuo Uematsu. It has been a driving force in the video game industry, and the series has affected Square Enix's business practices and its relationships with other video game developers. It has popularized many features now common in role-playing games, also popularizing the genre as a whole in markets outside Japan.Florence and the Machine discography
English indie rock band Florence and the Machine have released four studio albums, two live albums, six extended plays, 22 singles, three promotional singles and 26 music videos.
Florence and the Machine released their first extended play, A Lot of Love. A Lot of Blood, in March 2009. Their debut studio album, Lungs, was released in July 2009 through Island Records, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in January 2010. The album was subsequently certified quintuple platinum in the United Kingdom, quadruple platinum in Ireland and triple platinum in Australia. The album's lead single "Kiss with a Fist" peaked at number 51 on the UK Singles Chart. This was succeeded by the single "Dog Days Are Over", which reached number 23 in the UK and number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Third single "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" reached number 12 in the UK and number 41 in Ireland. "Drumming Song" was released as the fourth single, charting at number 54 in the UK. "You've Got the Love", a cover of The Source's song of the same name, peaked at number five in the UK and number nine in Australia. A performance at the 2010 BRIT Awards on 17 February 2010 saw the Dizzee Rascal-assisted mash-up "You Got the Dirtee Love" debut at number two in the UK. The album's sixth and final single, "Cosmic Love", peaked at number 51 in the UK and number three in Ireland.The band's second studio album, Ceremonials, was released in October 2011, debuting atop the charts in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The album's release was preceded by the promotional single "What the Water Gave Me", which peaked at number 24 in the UK, number 13 in Ireland and number 15 in New Zealand. Lead single "Shake It Out" became the band's fifth top-40 hit in the UK, peaking at number 12 upon release in September 2011. The track also attained international chart success, reaching number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the band's highest-peaking single in Ireland, where it reached number two. The album also saw the release of singles "No Light, No Light" and "Never Let Me Go", which peaked at numbers 50 and 82 on the UK chart, respectively. Their next release "Spectrum (Say My Name)" peaked at number one in the UK, becoming their first UK number-one single.In June 2015, Florence and the Machine released their third studio album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, which debuted at number one in eight countries including the UK and the US and reached the top 10 of 20 countries. The album had sold over a million copies worldwide by the end of 2015 and has been certified platinum in the UK, Australia and Poland, and gold in New Zealand. It was promoted by the singles "What Kind of Man" and "Ship to Wreck", which both reached the top 40 in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, as well as "Queen of Peace" and "Delilah".Hajime Tabata
Hajime Tabata (田畑 端, Tabata Hajime, born May 5, 1971) is a Japanese game director and the previous Luminous Productions COO and Head of Studio who formerly worked for Square Enix. He was the Head of Square Enix's Business Division 2 and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.Tabata resigned from Luminous Productions and Square Enix Group on October 31, 2018.Luminous Studio
Luminous Studio (ルミナス・スタジオ, Ruminasu Sutajio) is a multi-platform game engine developed and used internally by Square Enix. The engine was developed for and targeted at eighth-generation hardware and DirectX 11-compatible platforms, such as Xbox One, the PlayStation 4, and versions of Microsoft Windows. It was conceived during the development of Final Fantasy XIII-2 to be compatible with next generation consoles that their existing platform, Crystal Tools, could not handle.
The engine powered the Agni's Philosophy and Witch Chapter 0 tech demos. It currently centers on Final Fantasy XV, a title in the Final Fantasy series for eighth-generation consoles, and an untitled AAA video game. Critics praised the engine's two tech demos, citing their graphics and real time rendering and declaring the engine as representative of the future of gaming.Music of Final Fantasy XV
The music for the video game Final Fantasy XV, developed and published by Square Enix as the fifteenth mainline entry in the Final Fantasy series, was composed primarily by Yoko Shimomura. Having previously worked on the Kingdom Hearts series, among various other titles, Final Fantasy XV was her first project for the series. Shimomura was brought on board the project in 2006, when it was a spin-off title called Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and stayed in her role during the game's ten-year development cycle. Her music, based around themes of "friendship" and "filial bonds", incorporates multiple musical genres, such as orchestral, bossa nova, and American blues. Several tracks, including the main theme "Somnus", feature Latin lyrics written by the game's original director Tetsuya Nomura.
Final Fantasy XV was expanded into a multimedia project dubbed the "Final Fantasy XV Universe", for which other composers were hired; John R. Graham composed the music for the film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, with additional tunes from Shimomura. Yasuhisa Inoue and Susumi Akizuki of Righttrack wrote the music for the original net animation Brotherhood, while a team from the music studio Unique Note, who also worked on the base game, handled the mobile spin-off title Justice Monsters V. English indie rock band Florence and the Machine collaborated on three songs for the game, including a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me", which acted as the official theme song. Later contributors to the soundtrack, via downloadable content packs, were Keiichi Okabe, Naoshi Mizuta, Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu and Tadayoshi Makino.
Multiple albums have been released containing music from Final Fantasy XV and its spin-off media. Final Fantasy XV Original Soundtrack released in December 2016 in multiple versions, including a four-disc CD release, a Blu-ray release with additional tracks, and a special edition. The standard four-disc release was published internationally in 2017 by Sony Classical Records. The score for Kingsglaive released in September 2016 as a two-disc CD. Other releases include a digital album for Justice Monsters V in September 2016, and limited digital albums for both Kingsglaive and Platinum Demo, a commercial demo acting as a prequel to Final Fantasy XV. The songs from Florence and the Machine were released in August 2016 as digital singles under the banner title "Songs from Final Fantasy XV". Reception of the albums was generally positive, with the main soundtrack album and Welch's tracks reaching high positions on music charts.Noctis Lucis Caelum
Noctis Lucis Caelum (ノクティス・ルシス・チェラム, Nokutisu Rushisu Cheramu), "Noct" (ノクト, Nokuto) for short, is a fictional character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. He is a playable character and main protagonist of Final Fantasy XV, originally a spin-off titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The crown prince and protector of Lucis, Noctis and his allies must defend their country when the empire of Niflheim attacks Lucis in an attempt to take control of its magical Crystal. Alongside Final Fantasy XV, Noctis has appeared in the game's expanded media, including Final Fantasy crossover titles, and other game titles including Puzzle & Dragons and the fighting game Tekken 7.
Noctis was created and co-designed by Tetsuya Nomura, with later design revisions being handled by Yusuke Naora. Nomura created Noctis as a type of protagonist not featured in a leading role in the Final Fantasy series before. He also wanted his personality to be unique in the series, being unlike protagonists like Squall Leonhart or Cloud Strife, instead focusing more on realism. Noctis' clothes were designed by Hiromu Takahara, lead designer for Japanese fashion house Roen. His clothing was created to be both asymmetric, mirroring the fashion house's trademark style, and indicative of the game's themes and atmosphere. Before his design was finalized, Noctis was given a story-inspired temporary outfit used in early trailers.
Since his original reveal, Noctis has been compared with other asocial characters seen in the series' other games based on his appearance. Following the release of the game, Noctis has been positively received by journalists, with many noting his growth over the course of the story, and contrasting him against other Final Fantasy protagonists. His appearances in both the expanded media of Final Fantasy XV and other games have gathered multiple types of responses.Ray Chase (voice actor)
Ray Chase is an American actor who has voiced in anime, animations, video games and audiobooks. His best known role is the main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum in Final Fantasy XV. He is also known for his voice performances as Eve in Nier: Automata, Artorius Collbrande from Tales of Berseria and Yu Otosaka from Charlotte.Streamline Studios
Streamline Studios is a video game development and art outsourcing company. The studio has been employed by major game publishers, film studios, and brands, including Square Enix's Final Fantasy XV, Capcom's Street Fighter V, Take 2's Bioshock Infinite, James Cameron's Avatar, and Coca-Cola.
Streamline Studios has been utilizing their own project management software, Streamframe in most of their productions.Trevor Devall
Trevor Devall (born November 10, 1972) is a Canadian voice actor, actor and podcaster. He worked for Ocean Studios and various other studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for years, before he relocated to Los Angeles, California in 2013. He is best known for voicing Hot Dog in Krypto the Superdog, Rocket Raccoon in the animated TV series Guardians of the Galaxy, Emperor Palpatine in Lego Star Wars, Pyro in X-Men Evolution, Dukey in seasons 5 and 6 of Johnny Test, and various characters in the Netflix original series F Is for Family, as well as providing voices in English-language versions of various anime series, most notably as Mu La Flaga from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mukotsu from InuYasha, Scourge from Transformers: Cybertron, Mr. Chang from Black Lagoon, and Aizawa from Death Note. He also voiced Hermiod on Stargate Atlantis and Ravus Nox Fleuret in the Final Fantasy XV video game and Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV feature film. On camera, he played Sir Atticus Moon in Big Time Movie.
Between 2007 and 2013, Trevor hosted his own podcast Voiceprint with Trevor Devall and guests where he interviewed fellow Canadian voice actors.Visual Works
Visual Works (Japanese: 株式会社ヴィジュアルワークス, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Vijuaru Wākusu) is a Japan-based CGI animation studio dedicated towards creating video game cut scenes and full-length feature films for Square Enix. Visual Works was founded as the CGI department for Square and was responsible for creating the pre-rendered CG openings for the company, starting with Final Fantasy VII in 1997.
Beginning with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005) the company began to work on stand-alone CGI films, continuing with Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016). After the acquisition of Taito and Eidos Interactive by Square Enix, Visual Works branched out their functionality to create cinematic scenes for Square Enix's acquired publishing brands, whilst continuing to primarily work on Square Enix's in-house properties. Visual Works are assisting Square Enix with the lighting and cinematic direction of the Kingdom Hearts franchise for the high definition entries.