Amidst rumors of cancellation, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada tweeted last night that Final Fantasy Versus XIII was very much in development, confirming as much upon exiting a "regularly scheduled meeting for Versus." Wada's reaffirmation of the project's existence notwithstanding, does not change the fact that the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy entry vanished from the public eye over a year ago, and that since its initial reveal in May 2006, has seen very little in terms of updates. Simply put, Wada's remarks do well to lift the label of 'vaporware' off of Versus, but little else.
One would be hard-pressed to agree that Final Fantasy is just as important to the gaming sphere today as it was 20 years ago; in fact, quite the opposite seems to be true. Along with its charm, Final Fantasy has indeed lost its relevance as a major RPG player. With every sequel, spin-off, and iteration, Final Fantasy loses more and more of its core audience. The foundation is crumbling from beneath it, and if Final Fantasy Versus XIII is intended as a would-be savior of the franchise, Square Enix is going out of its way to make the gaming community care as little about its release as possible. The heydays of Final Fantasy are well behind it – this is no longer a series defined by the success of Final Fantasy VII, but by the letdown of Final Fantasy XIII.
Yoichi Wada added that, "if you were to see the city etc. presented today, you wouldn't be able to stand from surprise." Then by all means, show us. For a title that was in hindsight announced a tad too prematurely, it is a little late in the game to be teasing a very frustrated audience. Square Enix may very well be waiting for Tokyo Game Show to show off what exactly it has been working on for the last undisclosed amount of years, but enough. Final Fantasy no longer has the world on a string. Fans are not idly waiting by their computer screens simply busting with anticipation. Just get on with it, already.