The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2017 is in full swing, and with the big press conferences out of the way, we’re left with a few questions. Namely, where’s the Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience that was demoed at E3 2016? Have Square Enix abandoned the virtual reality (VR) spin-off?
We played the Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience at last year’s E3, and we came away somewhat unimpressed, saying; “Hope remains that Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience will be fleshed out into something greater before launch, but at present there’s nothing to suggest that it’s anything more than an afterthought created for the sole intention of jumping on the PlayStation VR bandwagon.”
Shortly after that, the Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience was delayed – since which, we’ve had nothing but vague promises that the Season Pass would include VR content. After Final Fantasy XV released, and the first DLC details were shared, VR seemed to be forgotten, with Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience entirely missing.
If VR content is still planned for the Season Pass, Monster of the Deep isn’t it – Square Enix have confirmed that the title will be a standalone release for PlayStation VR, though are yet to share any details on price. The videogame will be released on PSN this September.
Fast forward to this year’s event, and Final Fantasy XV makes a return to VR, but the Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience is still missing in action. Instead, we have Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep, a VR videogame taking place in the Final Fantasy XV universe where players will be able to camp with the party and play a deeper version of the main videogame’s surprisingly enjoyable fishing mini-game.
The game actually looks surprisingly promising – unlike the trailer for Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience from last year. The fishing mechanics have been deepened, with new fish to catch and new methods of finding them.
Is it possible that Square Enix abandoned the Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience after the negative reception? Perhaps they decided to cut their losses with the title, and shift focus over to Monster of the Deep after how well received fishing was in the flagship videogame.
As it stands, the outcome might be for the best. Some gamers might lament being unable to try the Final Fantasy XV: VR Experience for themselves, but if the cancellation of that title led to a better VR experience with Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep, it’s hard to argue the decision.
We’re covering all of the VR titles from E3 2017, for more on Final Fantasy in VR, and all the big news from E3 2017, stay on VRFocus.