Square Talks Final Fantasy
Square of Japan, yesterday, confirmed that Final Fantasy XI will be released simultaneously for both the PlayStation 2 and the PC, at Square's business strategy conference. The development team for Final Fantasy XI will be led by Hiromichi Tanaka (Chrono Cross) and Kouichi Ishi (Secret of Mana). In addition, the company also announced Final Fantasy XII for the PlayStation 2, a project which is being led by Yasumi Matsuno (Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story) and Hiroyuki Itou (Final Fantasy IX). Although Final Fantasy XI will be an online network title, Final Fantasy XII will be a standard RPG. Square of Japan also plans to re-release Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX, on the PlayStation 2.
Remakes of Final Fantasy IV, V and VI, originally rumored to be on the WonderSwan Color, look like they are going to appear on Nintendo's upcoming Game Boy Advance. Vice President Hironobu Sakaguchi commented saying that it is, "technically impossible to develop on the WonderSwan Color," and he expressed interest in developing them for Nintendo's next-generation handheld console. Hisashi Suzuki stated that, "we will do our best to have our games on the Nintendo system," though, the somewhat bitter relationship between Nintendo and Square of Japan may be a tough hurdle for the company to overcome. However, Suzuki stated: "As president, I'm working hard to bring out the game on a Nintendo system, and I would like to continue to do so in the future." Sakaguchi also added that Square is developing a new original Final Fantasy for a handheld, but avoided queries as to whether the game will be released on the WonderSwan Color, rather, Square of Japan hinted that it would appear on a next-generation handheld console. With the previous announcements, it seems that the Game Boy Advance is a likely candidate.
Other than developing Final Fantasy titles for several consoles, Square of Japan also plans to promote the series with an animated TV series and new character-related goods as well. Square has 23 titles in development this fiscal year, 12 new titles and 11 remake titles. Ten of the 23 games are scheduled to be handheld titles.