Eyebrows were raised this week when Tri-Ace producer, Yichiro Kitao, revealed on Twitter that Final Fantasy XIII-2 has in fact been a Square Enix/Tri-Ace co-production. Moreover, a cursory glance at the game’s credits reveals that Tri-Ace’s involvement goes beyond mere contractual work, with Tri-Ace personnel occupying key positions in the areas of game design, art and programming.
While Square Enix’s contracting of outside talent has been evident going as far back as Monolith Soft’s involvement with Dirge of Cerberus, this newest development is significant for the fact that external talent has been brought in to occupy key design positions on a pseudo numbered Final Fantasy title, a first for the company. This move actually makes a lot of sense given the fact that it has been roughly a decade since Team Kitase have designed a functional town environment for any of their projects. It also makes a whole lot of sense for Tri-Ace to be chosen as Team Kitase’s partner on this endeavour given their experience with designing towns and delivering their games on schedule to current generation hardware, thus serving as a balancing influence to Team Kitase’s more self-defeating inclinations. Finally, this development is significant for the simple fact that it presumably means that Team Nomura was not gutted in the same way that it was during the lead into Final Fantasy XIII‘s crunch period, thus it can be assumed that Final Fantasy Versus XIII‘s production was not halted this time around.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released during the past week in Japan, it will be available for North American consumers to purchase when the game receives its Western release on the 31st of January, 2012.