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Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata Resigns from Square Enix, Several FFXV DLC Episodes Canceled

Tonight's livestream was a bloodbath.

News by Matt Kim, .

Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata and CEO of Luminous Productions is resigning from Luminous and Square Enix to start his own company effective October 31, 2018. Square Enix also announced a spate of cancellations for three of the four planned FFXV DLC Episodes.

In a special Square Enix livestream, the company first announced that Tabata has resigned from Luminous and Square Enix. "In regards to my next endeavors and near future, I have a project that I truly wish to solidify as my next challenge after FFXV. For that reason, I have decided to leave my current position and start my own business in order to achieve my goal."

Tabata worked as a member of Square Enix's Final Fantasy committee overseeing the RPG franchise and has worked as a director or producer on several Final Fantasy spinoffs, as well as Parasite Eve The Third Birthday. FFXV was Tabata's first mainline Final Fantasy game as director.

Luminous was a separate company founded under the Square Enix banner earlier this year, but at a recent Square Enix quarterly report the company announced that it will refocus Luminous into a developer of "large-scale, high-quality AAA game titles, which best leverage [Luminous'] strengths." Square Enix also took a massive $33 million loss as a result of this decision.

Square Enix also announced that three of the four FFXV DLC are cancelled including Episodes for Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis. FFXV Episode Ardyn will release on March 2019.

Furthermore, Square Enix announced that FFXV's multiplayer expansion "Comrades" will become a standalone game playable without FFXV and starting December 13 will be sold separately. Players who purchased Comrades as an expansion will get the new version for free. Sadly the PC version of Comrades has also been cancelled.

Hard to say this was a livestream filled with good news. Either way it sounds like the next installment of Final Fantasy will once again undergo a massive shift. You can read our review of FFXV here.

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Comments 27

  • Avatar for Roto13 #1 Roto13 7 days ago
    Final Fantasy XV never needed years worth of DLC to begin with. This is a loss for Squenix, though. Anyone who can actually finish a damn game instead of Nomuraing it up for a decade is someone they should fight to keep.
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  • Avatar for Number1Laing #2 Number1Laing 7 days ago
    The only people watching this are the people who like FFXV enough to care about it two years on, and Square used that opportunity to tell them the guy who made the game they like is gone and future content is too. WHY BROADCAST THIS? did Wyatt Cheng host it?
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  • Avatar for UnskippableCutscene #3 UnskippableCutscene 7 days ago
    Died as it was born: in vaporware side-stories.
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  • Avatar for Maxbeedo #4 Maxbeedo 7 days ago
    Sounds like they finally got the message that you can't bank on DLC to save you. Less than 7% of all people who bought the game played any of the DLC (the highest trophy % is 6.2%, most are less than 1%). While I would hope this was a group decision, part of me worries that this came from higher-ups forcing Tabata to keep pumping out content he didn't want to do. While I was pretty disappointed with the game, I can also appreciate the work Tabata had to put in to get it into shape enough to release at all, so I wish him the best. If this means SE finishes the FF7 remake and starts working on FFXVI that much faster, so be it, although I imagine many fans will be disappointed we don't see more of Aranea and Lunafreya (even I'm curious what they had planned for them). RIP fully realized Tenebrae.Edited 1 weeks ago by Maxbeedo
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #5 NiceGuyNeon 7 days ago
    This was the one dude who was able to finish projects there cuz lol FF7 Remake, but also, and this comes with the caveat that I haven't played FF15 and don't know if I will or not, but no Final Fantasy, whether it's 7, 10, 13, or 15 needs direct follow-ups, DLC, or any of that nonsense.
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  • Avatar for KeroseneBlast #6 KeroseneBlast 7 days ago
    For a company that has a history and reputation for sitting on their projects for way too long, losing one of the people who could bring a product to market on a deadline is a problem.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #7 Roto13 7 days ago
    @Number1Laing Yeah, this is the most Square Enix thing I've ever heard.
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #8 TheWildCard 7 days ago
    This is peak Square Enix
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  • Avatar for Fourfoldroot #9 Fourfoldroot 7 days ago
    To be honest, the less FFXV the better. The game is a travesty in every possible respect, from combat to traversal to story to quests. Nothing about it is good. This is not bad news as far as I'm concerned, they need to focus on something else.
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  • Avatar for Nazo #10 Nazo 7 days ago
    Seems like good news to me if it means they refocus the next one on being a decent game instead of a cash grab.
    The way they sought to fleece players, particularly early purchasers (fuck you Royal Edition) was disgusting and means I will never buy a FF game at full price again.
    Best of luck to Tabata though, he made the best of the bad situation he was put in.
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  • Avatar for docexe #11 docexe 7 days ago
    If I understood it right, it seems like Tabata wanted to go with a more experimental approach for Luminous Productions, but corporate said no, hence his resignation.

    Seems like a very tone deaf way of making the announcement however. But considering the current climate, what else is new...
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #12 Gamer-Law 7 days ago
    @Fourfoldroot - Well said—could not agree more. The best thing Square could do is move on from FF XV and never make another game like it.
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  • Avatar for Frosty840 #13 Frosty840 7 days ago
    @Gamer-Law The sad thing is, I enjoyed a lot of FFXV, and for the life of me I still can't defend it.
    As a small, unambitious, B-grade adventure game in its own continuity, doing its own thing, it was enjoyable enough —it would have been an admirable mid-budget indie game, complete with daft indie-game flaws—, but as a mainline Final Fantasy game, with all those outside-the-game side-projects that not one single person gave a crap about, and the millions of dollars wasted on its development are upsetting.
    It was an audacious experiment that simply never looked like it would succeed, and it didn't.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #14 pdubb 7 days ago
    So lets go down this checklist.

    Dude involved with a Final Fantasy game - check
    Ambigous and potentially ominous name for group - check
    Unhappy former employee - check
    Mega company - check
    Broken promises - check


    Did we just watch the creation of a Final Fantasy Final Boss in real time?
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #15 Iliya-Moroumetz 7 days ago
    Well, so much for seeing more of Aranea and Lunawhatshername.

    But then again, if their screentime was of any indication, they weren't all that important. /s
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #16 Funny_Colour_Blue 7 days ago
  • Avatar for The-Challenger #17 The-Challenger 7 days ago
    I cringed so hard when I saw him doing those focus group videos. I knew the end was near when he agreed to do those shitfests.
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  • Avatar for AceOfCakez #18 AceOfCakez 7 days ago
    This is fantastic news to us old school/original fans of Square Enix. Almost all the games he directed were spin offs that just complicated the story of their originals. I played FF XV from beginning to end and found it horrible in terms of pacing, characters, plot, and even gameplay. Having those DLC cancelled means that they can have their teams work on something different a better hopefully. So I'm definitely a bit more hopeful here.
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  • Avatar for Number1Laing #19 Number1Laing 7 days ago
    @AceOfCakez I guess you can consider me an old school Square Enix fan, considering I started playing their games on SNES. And let me tell you, we are never getting that company back.

    Losing a guy who turned a complete vaporware disaster into a successful title with exemplary support is not good news. Why do people seriously think that Tabata was holding them back from working on the reincarnation of Chrono Trigger? This is silly. It's far more likely he kept them from going into the dev hell that was FF13, FF14, FF Versus 13, FF7 Remake, and Kingdom Hearts 3. Square going to the drawing board to make a big new AAA game? OK Maybe I'll play it in 2029.Edited 6 days ago by Number1Laing
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #20 MetManMas 7 days ago
    @Number1Laing Oh yes, Square has never really been the same since the Enix merger happened and Sakaguchi left. Losing a guy who could actually get shit done was a huge loss for the company back then, and losing Tabata is gonna be a huge loss for Square Enix right now.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #21 NiceGuyNeon 7 days ago
    @MetManMas@Number1Laing I'm not even going to say that Sakaguchi has been even relevant to the greater games culture, and is pretty quiet right now, But in the past decade Square have released two mainline FF games while in a span of 5 years (2007-2012 I think) Sakaguchi's company released three very enjoyable RPGs that could have easily passed off as Final Fantasy games were it not for the different names on each box.

    Losing Tabata sucks for them and people acting like that dude wasn't literally a freaking mage after saving Versus 13 and making it 15 is silly.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #22 MetManMas 7 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon Yeah, I'm not about to claim that he's as relevant now as he was back when he worked with Square, but he was a big influence within the company back when he worked there. His guidance helped shit get done.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #23 NiceGuyNeon 7 days ago
    @MetManMas oh definitely. I don't know what mobile titles or whatever his studio was working on now but my point was that he definitely got things done. His studio put out three major RPGs in the time it took Square to just put out FF13. They could really use people like him to oversee these projects.
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  • Avatar for Drachmalius #24 Drachmalius 7 days ago
    Wishing Tabata and the FFXV team all the best. They were able to make a pretty okay game out of a steaming pile of crap left by Nomura from the sound of things. Bummer it won't ever be finished but I'll do my second playthrough when that Ardyn DLC comes out.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #25 Vonlenska 7 days ago
    I was actually shocked by this and still don't know what to think. It was...unexpected and rather abrupt. It absolutely does not bode well for Square Enix, but hopefully now Tabata is freed to work on original projects he can put his full passion into instead of being relegated to cleaning up other people's messes?
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #26 Ohoni 6 days ago
    I just hope this spells the end of the "pop-star" era of Final Fantasy. No more of these idol/ikemen characters in their modern chic outfits and Harajuku haircuts. Let's get back to FANTASY in the franchise, steampunk worlds filled with exotic characters depicted in an expressively stylized way.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #27 Funny_Colour_Blue 6 days ago
    @Ohoni Dude, We all know that's not gonna happen not as long as Nomura is involved. :(

    He's the dude trying to push his own squareenix fashion line and abruptly leaves game journo interviews to take smoke breaks (He actually does this! ask thierry nyugen! Thierry mentioned it on the "games dammit" podcast years ago. NOMURA IS ONE RUDE DUDE!)
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #28 Funny_Colour_Blue 6 days ago
    Deleted 6 days ago by Funny_Colour_Blue
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