Blockbuster development ain’t easy
Final Fantasy XV is a huge and expensive game, probably. Since its rebranding from Versus XIII to XV with a cool trailer — holy crap, two years ago — we’ve mostly been shown the area that would go on to be the demo included with Type-0 HD. There’s even more synergy there than we’ve thought.
Independent developer HexaDrive, which worked on 3rd Birthday with Square before focusing on HD remakes (Okami, Wind Waker, Zone of the Enders, Type-0), has been working on Final Fantasy XV since just before that 2013 trailer, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata revealed in Famitsu (via Gematsu).
Taiwanese studio XPEC is another external studio providing development support. Square realized it couldn’t make an HD game with its old development model so it took members from its tech department, CG movie department Visual Works, as well as additional outside engineers.
Though this isn’t new for Square Enix. Now defunct tri-Ace helped on Final Fantasy XIII. As graphical fidelity and detail go up, so too does the manpower needed to build games of this scope. I mean, Assassin’s Creed IV used seven developers.