Deus Ex: Human Revolution developer Eidos Montréal worked on a cancelled version of Final Fantasy 15 before Square Enix returned development to its Japanese studios.
Jonathan Jacque-Belletête, an ex-art director for Eidos Montréal, told TrueAchievements that his studio once worked on a “really, really cool” version of the game.
“[Eidos Montréal] brought back Deus Ex. I was the art director on that, Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” Jacque-Belletête said. “Then the executive art director on Mankind Divided, then we tried to do Final Fantasy 15.
“Then they decided to bring it back to Japan, which I think was a big mistake,” he continued. “But it’s still the truth. Ours was really, really cool.”
It’s unclear from Jacque-Belletête’s comments when or how long Eidos Montréal worked on the game or if it reached any significant stages of development. However, in 2018, YouTuber Super Bunnyhop reported on the existence of the project, saying that it was a “space opera RPG” with “western appeal”, but wasn’t much more fully-fledged as a project than a plan for game design and early art.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released in 2011 while Mankind Divided didn’t launch until 2016, the same year that Final Fantasy 15 was released. As Jacque-Belletête said he worked on Final Fantasy after these two projects, it was likely just a very early conceptual stage that followed Mankind Divided’s.
Final Fantasy 15 had an infamously turbulent development period, originally being designed as a spin-off game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 before being rebranded and redesigned for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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Development is thought to have restarted completely on what became Final Fantasy 15 in 2012, but it’s unclear if Eidos Montréal worked on the game before or after this point. Regardless, it was later returned to Square Enix’s Japanese studios.
Square Enix recently sold Eidos Montréal alongside Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montréal to Embracer Group for $300 million, which included the Deus Ex and Tomb Raider IPs.
In our 8/10 review, IGN said: “Final Fantasy XV takes some risks that don’t always pay off, but the strong quartet of heroes give it tons of heart.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.