It's been eight years since Final Fantasy XV was first announced. In that time, the game has somehow managed to remain true to the original idea for the project: a group of young men going on a journey. While little is known about the game's plot other than a war erupting between two rival states, the core identity of Final Fantasy XV has remained the same.

However, the idea of four playable main male characters hasn't sat well with everyone on the team, as director Hajime Tabata has said that "bias against genders is not healthy." He also explained why the all-male cast is in the game: 

"The party members being all men was something that Tetsuya Nomura had kept as a very important element of this journey. He wanted to depict a story in which a group of men, a group of friends, journey throughout the world. So that's something that I kept in Final Fantasy XV."

Tetsuya Nomura, long-time Final Fantasy artist and former director of the project, recently left the team to focus on finishing Kingdom Hearts III. With Tabata handling the project through launch, it seems that Final Fantasy XV will keep Nomura's vision intact, but not without some criticism from the team itself.

Throughout its history, the Final Fantasy series has been one of the pioneers for strong female characters in gaming. Final Fantasy X-2 was the first game in the franchise to feature an all-female team of playable characters, and was the last time in the Final Fantasy series that a game featured a singularly-gendered cast.

Final Fantasy XV was originally Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a project that was designed alongside the original Final Fantasy XIII as part of the Fabula Nova Crystalis compilation. During development, it was decided that Versus XIII would shift to next-generation consoles, and after numerous delays, the project was rebranded as Final Fantasy XV

The game was extremely well-received upon its re-reveal at E3 2013, but quickly dropped from the spotlight for nearly a year and a half. At the Tokyo Game Show 2014, the game would re-emerge again with a new trailer and in-game demonstrations. A playable demo would also be announced, as part of the Final Fantasy Type 0 HD release.

The latest Final Fantasy game has certainly had its share of hurdles, and internal struggles over character gender could definitely hinder things. As of now, it seems that the team is fine with an all-male cast, though a return to series tradition (playable female characters) is looking more and more plausible all the time.

Final Fantasy XV has no specific release date, though Tabata claimed the game was "55% done" at the Tokyo Game Show.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.