Square goes crazy at strategy conference

[01.22.00] » 23 games in development, 11 remakes, Final Fantasy XII to be offline, GameBoy Advance titles possible, Sakaguchi gives up directing duty for the first time in Final Fantasy history - and more.

    After months of silence and sports games, Square has finally revealed further details on its RPG plans for the years to come. At a management press conference, the company confirmed that it has 23 games in active development, 11 of which are remakes, including the entire Final Fantasy series to date.

    All three PlayStation installments of the series - Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX - are currently being remade for the PlayStation 2. All three Super Nintendo installments - IV, V, and VI - are coming to handhelds, but long-time series mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi said they would be impossible to do on the Wonderswan and that he wanted to see them on the Game Boy Advance. Rumors and innuendo aside, this is the first official mention of any definitive interest in Nintendo development to come out of Square since the launch of the PlayStation.

    For those worried about Final Fantasy XI's online focus, Final Fantasy XII will return the series to traditional, "packaged" games. More shocking, however, is the fact the game will be co-directed by Yasumi Matsuno, the acclaimed director of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, and Hiroyuki Itou, director of Final Fantasy IX.

    Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XI is being headed up by Hiromichi Tanaka, who last served as the producer of Chrono Cross, and Koichi Ishii from the Saga Frontier and Seiken Densetsu series. Square reaffirmed that the PC and PS2 versions of Final Fantasy XI will ship simultaneously and also stated plans to strengthen the series' brand name through new merchandise and an animated series.

    Thanks to Nick Rox for help with this story.

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