Final Fantasy XIII-2 officially announced

A couple of weeks ago Kotaku reported the first details about a rumor involving Final Fantasy XIII. Apparently, the Japanese developer Square Enix was secretly working on a direct sequel to the successful game. In fact, the rumor started after the company registered a site domain for a new product called finalfantasy13-2game. At the time, everybody, including myself, thought this was a prank, especially taking into account what the first real sequel to a Final Fantasy game (read: Final Fantasy X-2) meant to the franchise.

Now that we know that the domain registration was legitimate and that the rumors were true, a sequel is officially being developed as you read this. There aren’t many details about the story just yet, but apparently Final Fantasy XIII-2 (try saying that more than 3 times in a row) follows Lightning and her friends on a new quest. The same graphics engine will be used, so fans will get this new iteration fairly soon as Square doesn’t have to work on it from the ground up.

The company said that the game will be released in Japan this year for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, but Americans and Europeans will have to wait until winter 2011/2012 to play it. Considering how things have been managed (or mismanaged) by Square for the past few years it’s surprising that they are planning on releasing a game in such short development cycle.

In addition to the announcement an official trailer was released at a press conference.

Besides what’s shown in the trailer, there aren’t many more details about this new Final Fantasy and nobody explained yet how it integrates into the story of its prequel, or if it includes a new gameplay, though it wouldn’t be prudent to make many assumptions just yet. After the announcement, and taking into consideration the response from both fans of the franchise and dedicated press maybe Square Enix should take a rest from Final Fantasy games after all… But what I really wish, deep in my heart, is that it doesn’t include a trio of j-pop artists that are trying to find an old friend while they save the world.