We’ve learned (via Famitsu) that Final Fantasy Type-0 HD developer Hexadrive (also known for the work on Okami HD, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD) are helping Square Enix to develop Final Fantasy XV.
The news was confirmed via game director Hajime Tabata, who revealed that HexaDrive has been helping collaborate on the game since before the game was moved to the publisher’s new Luminous Engine. Prior to this development had been in their former Ebony Engine, with their joint-development starting just before the game’s E3 2013 re-introduction.
When they were developing the game as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the developers at Square Enix had put high expectations into their progress in the same way they did with prior games in the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series. However, this never truly worked out (as we’ve known with the game’s prolonged development), and it was stuck in limbo. This helped dev team to realize their existing development cycle and current state of the game was in dire need of an overhaul.
They went back to the drawing board and decided to bring on people from Square Enix’s Technology Promotion team and Visual Works division, as well as set up some new work flow and structure, with the aforementioned HexaDrive giving their support as well. All of this led to the re-surfacing of the game in their E3 2013 trailer.
Finally, Tabata revealed a fun bit of information when mentioning the Square Enix and HexaDrive staff going on site to caves in the Chiba prefecture, to get inspiration for the dungeon you see in the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo.