Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been in development for years and there was a time when it was considered scrapped for good. However, the title emerged from the ashes in 2013 and was rebranded as Final Fantasy XV. That assured fans that the game is alive and well.
In 2014, what came as shock to many, the iconic Tetsuya Nomura was no longer a part of Final Fantasy XV’s development. Instead, the team was under new leadership as another veteran, Hajime Tabata, took over.
Square Enix stated that the decision was made after “reviewing their development structure.” According to the company, this allowed Nomura to focus all his attention to Kingdom Hearts III. However, this decision was surrounded by many speculations.
To clear things up, a fan asked lead designer Wan Hazmer on his blog regarding the actual reason behind Nomura’s removal.
Wan had this to say:
Whoa there, we are still following his direction on the universe, characters etc. so his vision plays a very big role in FFXV. He was never kicked out, in fact far from it.
He has to pay full attention to Kingdom Hearts III, another game that is in dire need for release, so the company has left the rest of the production of FFXV to my director Tabata-san.
He further added that Nomura is in charge of KH III, “another game that is in dire need for release.” That’s why the company left development of Final Fantasy XV to Hajime Tabata.
It’s the same reason Square Enix gave before but somehow fans are finding it hard to believe. It seems that we won’t know for sure if it was Kingdom Hearts III or disagreement on the vision for FFXV that led to his removal.