I'm behind in posting this news, of course, but it worked out for the best because just today the consequences of the original news came to light. Last month, long-time Square Enix bigshot (and, most recently, head of the Luminous Productions studio) Hajime Tabata announced that he was leaving the company
, after nearly fifteen years working on Square Enix projects. Today, Square Enix announced that Takesi Aramaki will be the new head of Luminous
. Aramaki was the programming lead for Final Fantasy XV.
Simultaneous to Tabata's announcement, Square Enix confirmed that all planned Final Fantasy XV DLC after Episode Ardyn was cancelled; the three episodes that took the axe were likely the most eagerly-awaited, being for Lunafreya, Aranea, and Noctis. Episode Ardyn will continue development and be released in early 2019.
Meanwhile, Luminous Productions appears to have shifted gears before the cancellations were announced, with a LinkedIn post by the graphics director of Final Fantasy XV
implying that he is currently working on a "New AAA Title for PS5." That post has been edited to remove that reference now, but we might look back on this as the first inkling that the Final Fantasy series will continue.
As for Tabata, he was apparently waiting for the announcement of Aramaki as new Luminous head to announce his own new initiative: today he posted to Facebook
that he is starting his own company called JP Games, with the company's official launch planned for January of 2019. Naturally, no further information is available.
One hopes that this does not indicate a real mess over at the Squenix mothership, but this level of transition does seem at least a little ominous.