According to a recent rumor begun by the website Dark Pixel, there might have been a Final Fantasy game in space that played a lot like Mass Effect, but it was cancelled before it could really get off the ground. The Final Fantasy project’s name was apparently Project W.
According to the report, the work on the Final Fantasy game in space began after Square Enix purchased Eidos Interactive, while at the same time cancelling the Final Fantasy 12 spin-off game known as “Project Fortress,” which was being developed by Swedish studio Grin. The game would have been the first Final Fantasy game worked on by a Western studio and intended for Western audiences, but it seems like it didn’t materialize.
Various companies were brought on board to help design the Final Fantasy game in space, including well-known visual effects artists WETA Workshop (who helped with the visual effects in the Lord of the Rings movies).
If the game really had taken place in space, it likely would have been a very pretty sort of game for its time. According to the Dark Pixel report, the game’s space would have had a wide variety of energy waves, nebula clouds, and different shapes, while players would travel the galaxy on airships that were capable of going through space.
The project of a Final Fantasy game in space chugged on for a couple of years, apparently, before Square Enix finally pulled the plug on it, though considering we would get the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy several years later many people likely wish they would have allowed the Western-developed game to finish development.
Either way, we’ll likely never know what a Final Fantasy game in space might have looked like, unless Square Enix eventually decides to pick it up again and allow a Western studio to finish the game, if they even entrust its development to the West to begin with.