Eidos Montreal’s “really cool” Final Fantasy game that never was

Square Enix originally gave Eidos-Montreal — the developer of two games Deus Ex and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — the task of making Final Fantasy XV, former executive art director Jonathan Jacque-Belletête confirmed to TA.

This week, TrueAchievements spoke with Rogue Factor Creative Director Jonathan Jacque-Belletête at Nacon’s Bigben Week about his work on the upcoming philosophical, supernatural, and non-violent third-party action game. Hell is Us person. Speaking about his time as artistic director at Eidos-Montreal, he confirmed that Square Enix – before selling its western branch to the Embracer group for $300 million – had taken the Canadian team out of a “really cool” Final Fantasy XV project.

Deus Ex and Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy developer have been working on a Final Fantasy 15 project

Final Fantasy XV was released in 2016 and developed by Business Division 2 under the direction of Hajime Tabata. However, there was a lot of turmoil during its ten years of development, including a near-complete reset and engine swap. Jacque-Belletête has now confirmed that as part of this process, Square Enix almost gave Eidos-Montréal the Final Fantasy project:

“[Eidos-Montréal] brought back Deus Ex. I was the art director on that – Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Then [I was] the executive artistic director of Mankind Divided. Then we tried to do Final Fantasy XV. Then they decided to bring it back to Japan – which I think was a big mistake, but it’s still the truth. Ours was really, really cool.

Unfortunately, Jacque-Belletête did not develop further. Development restarted on Final Fantasy XV in 2012, which would roughly coincide with the period between the release of Human Revolution in 2011 and the sequel Mankind Divided in 2016. It’s possible this was when Square Enix decided to try a Western development team for the game and Eidos-Montreal got the license to pitch a concept. If the game had released, it would have made Eidos-Montreal the first Western developer of a mainline Final Fantasy game.

Deus Ex

RPGSite confirmed that Square Enix would not immediately reject a Western developer in 2013. However, with this statement, Jacque-Belletete partially confirms a 2018 report from YouTuber SuperBunnyHop. He said that, according to multiple unnamed sources, Eidos-Montreal had “some basic art, basic game design, in a super secret office.”

Apparently, and it seems more likely given Jacque-Belletête’s confirmation, it was a “space opera RPG” with an art style that used fractals and a love triangle. For more on that, check out the video – but this statement would confirm that Square Enix didn’t want to risk it with Final Fantasy and brought it back to Japan.

You can read more of our interview with Jonathan Jacque-Belletete on the tantalizing Hell is Us next week. What do you think of this news? Are you sad that Square Enix didn’t want to take the risk? Start your own project by typing a comment below!

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