So far, Final Fantasy XV has had a rocky relationship with VR. Square Enix announced a VR add-on for the game in 2016, and even allowed show attendees to play a VR demo that put the player in the happy-go-lucky shoes of Prompto, the lackadaisical comic relief of FFXV’s boy-band quartet in which players shot at the iconic Final Fantasy enemy, the Behemoth. Square Enix fell silent on PSVR support until E3 this year, where they unveiled the Final Fantasy XV VR fishing experience, Monsters of the Deep. Then, only last month, they announced that the Prompto-Behemoth themed experience was just a tech demo which fans will never play.
It turns out the path from shooting to fishing was even rockier than we knew. Talking to Fandom, director Hajime Tabata said that the team considered several other options for FFXV’s virtual reality content, but that they all would have taken too long.
“The Prompto VR shooter that we created last year at E3, that was done about the span of three weeks,” Tabata told Fandom, “It’s like a showcase for the VR technology and platform. But we knew that if we wanted to make a full-fledged VR game based on battle mechanics of Final Fantasy XV, it will probably take at least two years just to do that…We thought, ‘Okay. Let’s leverage the world of Final Fantasy XV that we created and create an immersive experience around that.’ Therefore, we arrived at fishing as the main gameplay began. ”
When discussing other possibilities, Tabata mentioned racing, “One such idea was like a massive car rally across the world of Eos, but when we started looking into that, that would probably take as long, if not longer, than creating a VR game based on the battle mechanics.”
Production time has been a major issue for Square Enix over the last decade. Final Fantasy XV itself was announced in 2006 under the name Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and only came out last year. If the company felt it would take too long to make these experiences, they’re probably right.
But we still like the idea of cruising and racing around Eos in VR with our bros.