Yasumi Matsuno, director of the beloved strategy game Final Fantasy Tactics, has revealed that there was once a direct sequel to the game in development.
The reveal came during a recent live stream in which Matsuno played through some of Final Fantasy Tactics and shared some information on the game’s development. During that stream, he confirmed that the Final Fantasy Tactics team once began development on a direct sequel (unsurprisingly titled Final Fantasy Tactics 2). According to Matsuno, the plan was to convert Final Fantasy Tactics‘ 3D graphics to a more 2D style that utilized a hexagonal map. Some of the art that Matsuno showed of the sequel during its development phase reveals exactly what this new visual style would have looked like.
Matsuno suggested that new art style contributed to the decision to cancel the sequel. While he didn’t go into details, it seems that Square Enix – which was then known as Squaresoft – disagreed with the direction of the sequel and squabbled with Matsuno over whether they should outsource the development of the game. Matsuno left the end of that story hanging a bit, which has led some to believe that there was more behind the decision to cancel the sequel than he is willing to disclose.
Regardless, this news does shed a little light on why we never got a proper Final Fantasy Tactics sequel despite the fact that the game sold reasonably well and has been re-released many times over. There’s always a chance that Square Enix will revisit the series, but we can’t imagine the circumstances that would prompt them to do so after years of refusing to release a direct sequel.
That wasn’t all that Matsuno’s live stream featured. During that same stream, he and some of the other people who worked on Tactics also played a little Final Fantasy XIV and took a stab at the Return to Ivalice raid. The world of Ivalice is quite significant to the Final Fantasy Tactics team as they created it. Since then, it has been featured in titles like Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, and Crystal Defenders.
What a treat it would be to see the Tactics team return to that world once more.