June is always a month of big announcements, WWDC for Apple, and E3 for Sony, news comes thick and fast. However, today’s announcement from Square Enix caught me off guard.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Square Enix have announced a remaster of Final Fantasy XII, including the Zodiac Jobs expansion that never reached Western shores.
Set for release in 2017 - which doesn’t really mean a lot considering the huge delays that the FFX remaster came with - FFXII should fall nicely between the new iteration, XV and the VII remake, keeping your Final Fantasy needs acutely attended too. Coming to PS4 - and please PlayStation Gods, Vita - FFXII: The Zodiac Age will feature updated visuals, original and re-recorded soundtracks, as well as remastered voice acting.
Now, this release surprised me, and there are a couple of reasons to why I should have been surprised, but also, why I should have seen it coming.
First off, the FFX HD Remaster did exceptionally well, moving over 300,000 units in it’s first week alone. It did so well in fact, that Square Enix ported it to the PS4 just months after it’s release on PS3/Vita. Combine this with the reception of both the PS4 ported "steam edition" FFVII and the ground-up remaster, and the love for past Final Fantasy titles is clear to see.
However, excluding iOS ports, this is the third remake in as many years for Square Enix. This could mean one of two things, they are running out of ideas - which I don’t think is true - or they need to make money. I’d lean towards the latter here.
FFXIII was criticised for being too linear, even though personally I loved it. FXIII-2 was awful (just let Moogle’s die already) and Lightning Returns wasn’t an awful lot better. With two consecutive flops, straight after a mid hitter, it’s safe to say that the Final Fantasy division of Square Enix could be in need of a financial injection. Therefore, a remaster of something that was a proven seller during the swan song of the PS2 makes complete sense.
It will fund fresh innovation within the studio, and with a 2017 release date, it won’t be eating into the resources of FFXV. It’s win-win. All I ask, is that they make it a triple win, and do a Vita version…
Check out the trailer below, and if you need a more immediate Final Fantasy fix, don’t forget that versions one through nine are available on iOS and Vita.