Last fall, we poked around trying to figure out what happened to the Final Fantasy XI Remake, the mobile game that was originally announced in 2015 as a Square and Nexon project. As Eliot noted at the time, there wasn’t a whole lot to report, as the companies had been pretty quiet about it, apart from mentions in Nexon’s investor reports that suggested it was still on deck, plus some accidental art uploads.
Now it appears it’s over before it got anywhere, as Japanese games site Social Game Info (via Kotaku) noticed that Nexon canceled the project entirely. It was rumored back at the end of the year, and you might have noticed that the game had vanished from Nexon’s “pipeline” slides in the February reports. During the actual investor call itself (the transcripts of which are now online), the company admitted the game was canceled because it hadn’t met quality standards for the franchise. Here’s Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney:
“NEXON and Square Enix have made the mutual decision that our work on Final Fantasy was not showing the level of creative differentiation that we think our players expect from the Final Fantasy franchise. So, rather than releasing a game that did not break new creative ground, we have agreed to halt the project and redeploy our creative teams on the other projects. We think this reflects us taking a very hard look at every project we do and focusing on the things that we believe in, which includes in large part NEXON’s own intellectual property, which we think is very powerful. When you go through the creative process, sometimes you can get the core of the fun, and sometimes you are not able to get there. I would classify our relationship with Square Enix as enormously respectful. I have huge respect for their creative teams. We worked very closely together, but we made the decision to protect the value of their IP and to focus our resources on what we think were higher and better uses.”