It wouldn’t be E3 season without a few good rumors, and one of the biggest E3 2021 rumors we’ve heard so far involves a Final Fantasy spin-off currently known as Final Fantasy Origin.
Seemingly inspired by the critical and commercial success of the Final Fantasy 7 remake, Square Enix is reportedly interested in pursuing a variety of Final Fantasy related projects at the moment. While we already knew about Final Fantasy 16 and the upcoming PS5 port of the Final Fantasy 7 remake (which will include new content), recent rumors and a report from Fanbyte that cites Square Enix sources suggest that Final Fantasy Origin will be one of the franchise’s most ambitious new projects in year.
With all of that out of the way, here’s everything we currently know about Final Fantasy Origin:
Final Fantasy Origin Is Being Developed by Team Ninja
While many fans were hoping that Team Ninja was working on a new Ninja Gaiden game, recent rumors suggest that the secret project the team has reportedly been hard at work on is actually Final Fantasy Origin.
On the surface, that feels like the perfect pairing. We’ve seen Team Ninja craft some fascinating dark fantasy environments in the past, and we know that they’re one of the best studios in the world when it comes to compelling sword-and-sorcery style combat. Granted, Metroid: Other M was a shockingly bad Team Ninja spin-off of a popular franchise, but years later, it’s easy to look back on that experiment as one of the studio’s rare misses.
Final Fantasy Origin Will Be a Dark Souls-Like RPG
The most fascinating Final Fantasy Origin rumor so far (aside from Team Ninja’s reported involvement) is that this surprising spin-off will actually be a Dark Souls-like ARPG.
While that makes sense given that Team Ninja’s work on Nioh and Nioh 2 quickly established them as one of the best developers in the Soulslike genre, it should be noted that it’s not entirely clear how much of the Nioh team is currently working on this game. Besides, Soulslike games have evolved a lot in recent years, and we’re reaching a point where the qualities that earn a game a place in that genre are becoming harder to cleanly identify.
Actually, one of the elements that typically separate Soulslike games may not even be one of Final Fantasy Origin’s defining qualities…
Final Fantasy Origin Will Probably Not Be Very Difficult
This is definitely one of the looser rumors floating around at the moment, but very early reports regarding Final Fantasy Origin’s development suggests that it’s not going to be as difficult as Nioh or Dark Souls.
The closest comparison I’ve heard so far is that Team Ninja intends to make Final Fantasy Origin about as challenging as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. While those who played that game know it wasn’t a walk in the park, it also wasn’t nearly as difficult as the hardest Soulslike titles out there. Actually, Fallen Order’s Soulslike credentials are debatable to say the least, so if Origin is already being compared to that title, then it’s possible those Soulslike rumors are more of a loose idea than a blueprint.
Final Fantasy Origin Will Be Based On the Original Final Fantasy
This is a bit of a strange one, but current rumors suggest that Final Fantasy Origin will make good on its name by telling a kind of “origin story” for Final Fantasy. It’s also been said that means the project will be based on the original Final Fantasy game.
What’s strange about this rumor is that the Final Fantasy games are very, very loosely connected to each other. Each entry largely serves as its own adventure. It seems like these reports are suggesting that this game will be a kind of origin story for the original Final Fantasy rather than an origin story for the entire franchise, but we’re going to have to wait and see how that plays out.
Final Fantasy Origin Will Likely Be Revealed at E3 2021
The E3 2021 rumors are already piling up, but somewhere near the top of the heap is the report that Final Fantasy Origin will formally be revealed during the upcoming show.
Of course, as many of you probably know, E3 reveals come in all shapes and sizes. Some tease games that won’t be released for years (if they’re released at all), and others focus on games that will be available by the end of the show. Based on some of the other Final Fantasy Origin rumors we’ve heard, though, it sounds like this spin-off’s upcoming reveal is going to offer a lot more than a glimpse.
A Final Fantasy Origin Demo Could Be Released as Early as This Summer
Don’t treat this rumor as the gospel truth just yet, but if everything goes according to plan, it sounds like we’ll be able to play Final Fantasy Origin as early as this summer.
If that report is true (or is at least based on Team Ninja’s current intentions), then you could easily assume that means Final Fantasy Origin should be released sometime before the end of the year. However, it’s important to remember that many in the industry are still battling COVID-19 related production delays. While Team Ninja has reportedly been working on this game for quite some time, those potential delays could mean the full game may be pushed back to 2022.
Final Fantasy Origin Will Be a Timed PS5 Exclusive
Here’s where we have to share some potentially bad news. If recently rumored plans prove to be true, then Final Fantasy Origin will be released as a timed PS5 exclusive either this year or next year.
It’s not known how long the game will remain a timed PS5 exclusive, but current reports suggest that it will only be ported to PC whenever that timed exclusivity period is finished. That means that Xbox and Nintendo gamers will seemingly miss out on the fun, but again, you should probably wait for the game’s formal reveal before you get your hopes up quite yet.