Although it has been a trend for the series in the past, Final Fantasy 15 will not be getting a full-fledged sequel. This was confirmed by the game’s director, Hajime Tabata, in an interview with Polygon at Gamescom this week.
“If you do that full sequel model of expanding on an IP or a series, it’s good in certain ways,” explained 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.”
Forgoing a large-scale sequel, the Final Fantasy 15 team is focusing on expanding on what was already available, and telling more of the story through downloadable content. Aside from additional weapons and outfits, the game has been releasing episodes that focus on characters outside of protagonist Noctis, who is the only playable character in the main story. Gladiolus was the first to tell his tale, which was followed by Prompto’s journey of self-discovery. A third episode, which focuses on Ignis’ exploits, is releasing this December.
Another upcoming expansion, called Comrades, will add an online multiplayer mode to the game. Its story will take place during the missing gap of time at the end of the game, which could use some fleshing out. In the interview, director Tabata used Comrades as an example of why the team is choosing to keep expanding on Final Fantasy 15, rather than create a completely separate experience.
“What we’re trying to do with that is to depict that missing 10 years of history right at the end of the story,” explained Tabata. “If we had tried to do that as a traditional, full-scale sequel, that would have been very difficult,” the director continued, “but it works really well in [keeping] that continued relationship with fans.”
The Comrades expansion is the first add-on content that required beta testing, and Square Enix held a short closed beta run earlier this month. It allowed players to access limited content, with only three quests available to experience. The full version has been confirmed to contain much more, including single-player quests for those who want to go solo.
In addition to downloadable content, there’s also a VR spin-off that will be making its debut on November 21. The experience is called Monster of the Deep, which is a more fleshed out version of the fishing mini-game found in the main story. It isn’t just fish players will be catching, but also various exotic, aquatic beasts. There’s even a story mode that has players hunting for the monster alluded to in the title.
Final Fantasy 15 is out now on PS4 and Xbox One. The Windows Edition will release on PC in early 2018.