Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns Extended Trailer

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  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: You'd think by now someone at Square Enix would look at the failing fortunes of Final Fantasy and decide to just switch to Unreal Engine as well as hit the reboot button on the franchise by getting Massive Black to do all the artwork from now on.

Oddly enough I thought that's what they were trying with The Last Remnant but did pan out well as I thought it would. I know for sure that it is very unlikely that they would turn to a third party engine for their flagship game as they are more than capable of developing their own especially after showing off the Luminous Engine last year. Still I can see that SE remains open to third party engines as they have already UE4 and Unity 4.
On the art direction side, while I'm still a fan of Tetsuya Nomura's work but I do feel that they are starting wear thin. They seriously need to mix it up. I'm sure they have lots of talented up and coming characters artist with fresh ideas but they aren't given the time of day because the high ups are scared. The same way they gave Nomura a chance on FF7 they start giving the young bloods a chance too. FF12 was a great example IMHO of what mixing the usually team players can do.
  01 January 2013
Lightning Returns is using Square's old and battered "White" engine. The same engine that was used to make FFXIII and XIII-2. The reason they are using it is highly likely due to the fact that the team is likely small, and highly familiar with it. It's probably the only way they can get a game out in time for this coming Christmas.

The likely reason they can't just devote more resources to this game is probably because pretty much the rest of Square is devoted to resurrecting the failed FFXIV MMO. While the new version 2.0 is admittedly looking good (it's a brand new game), it also means that all the other square games in the pipe have likely been pushed to the backburner. That means Lightning Returns is probably the only other title from the Square side of the business that actually has any hope of coming out this year.

Looking farther forward, the Luminous Engine looks fantastic, and it's slated to be Square's internal engine of choice moving forward. FFXIV 2.0 is based on a subset of it, and I don't think any other titles after Lightning Returns will be using White.

I don't know what FF Versus XIII is using, but that title has been in development limbo for so long, who knows what it will look like when/if it finally emerges....

Oh, and yeah, Square used the Unreal Engine for Last Remnant because at the time, the White engine wasn't ready yet. It proved to be a tough road for them however, as everyone who worked with UE3 in the early days of this gen can attest, there were big issues. And they had to deal with the language barrier on top of that.

When White finally matured, it turned out to be a pretty poor engine all around... it's been suggested that Square has learned the hard way how to run a current-gen game studio and has been applying their knowledge towards getting next gen right out of the gate.

It helps that they have Eidos giving them pointers. Luminous is being developed by a global team.

Notice I've used the word "probably" a lot. I don't KNOW if any of this is actually true or not, I'm just speculating based on what meager information is out there about Square's development pipeline.
Chad Gleason
Creative Director
Outpost 12 Studios
  01 January 2013
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