There could be a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII. That's the word from Producer Yoshinori Kitase and Director Motomu Toriyama. And, if we want to get really speculatory, there's a slim chance they could already be working on it.
Speaking during an interview for FFXIII companion book Final Fantasy Ultimania Omega, Kitase states that he wants to make something that further explains the mythology of the Fabula Novala Crystalis project (Squenix's group of FFXIII-related games), showing things that didn't make it into the action-driven Final Fantasy Versus XIII or the PSP title Agito XIII. He adds that exactly what the project will turn out to be (if it happens) would depend on fan reaction. Toriyama then pipes up, mentioning that he'd "like to at some point make a story where Lightning ends up happy".
Certainly sounds like FFXIII-2 could be a possibility. And with the pair admitting that the FFXIII team's next project is already underway to some degree, that possibility may be getting hammered out right now. To be fair, a direct sequel would make sense. The other two FFXIII games are related by theme only, and Squenix has already complained of the cost and effort needed to produce RPGs of this sort of scale with current-gen technology. With the technical and art assets in place, a XIII-2 would be a hell of a lot easier to make than a Final Fantasy XV.
What makes a little sense though, at least to me, is the decision to go straight onto the next game instead of adding DLC for a while. Additional post-release content was conspicuous by its absence, and Toriyama has now revealed that although DLC was developed for a while, it just wasn't up to scratch. A new area called The Seventh Ark was planned, but due to a variety of development hurdles it was canned. Toriyama also cited the big differences between Xbox Live and PSN networking technology as reasons for the cancellation, but that's hardly stopped any developer of a multi-format game before.
Without knowing the exact technical problems it's hard to understand exactly why the decision was made not to wring more cash out of/enrich the player experience of Final Fantasy XIII after so much time and work. But to be fair, with Final Fantasy Versus XIII not even confirmed for release next year, Squenix has a lot on its plate at moment.
Has FFXIII left you wanting more? Would you buy a direct sequel? Or would you rather Square-Enix had gone the route of DLC expansions instead of talking up another full-price release?
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