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Final Fantasy XIII Sequel Announced

Lightning returns with some newcomers in this 2011 multiplatform release.

The sole image released of Final Fantasy XIII-2.

A Final Fantasy XIII direct sequel was announced today at Square Enix's 1st Production Department Premier event in Roppongi. Square Enix even showed a trailer, which we can confirm was completely free of dance numbers.

Taking a naming hint from Final Fantasy X-2, this latest direct sequel is titled Final Fantasy XIII-2 (pronounced "Thirteen Two"). Square Enix is developing the game simultaneously on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for domestic release some time in 2011. For players outside of Japan, the game is due for winter release, suggesting another fast localization.

The short trailer shown at the event began with main character Lightning narrating over what looked like scenes from FFXIII. The trailer then took on a slightly darker tone as we saw Lightning, fully decked out in armor, in a standoff with a new male knight character.

You can view an unofficially captured version of the trailer here. Skip to the 40 second mark to avoid the FFX scenes. If you'd rather wait for an official release, Square Enix says the game's newly opened teaser site will host an HD version of the trailer on the 20th.

As with its predecessor, XIII-2 is being directed by Motomu Toriyama. Following an introduction to the Fabula Nova Crystallis franchise as a whole by producer Yoshinori Kitase, Toriyama took the stage to share a few comments about XIII-2.

"The previous title topped the six million mark worldwide last December," revealed Toriyama. The sequel came about due to demand both from fans and from the staff.

Toriyama admitted that the first Final Fantasy XIII received a variety of opinions from players. With XIII-2, the development staff hopes to respond to many of those opionions.

One of the reasons the game was unveiled in front of Japanese audiences, said Toriyama, was because unlike the rest of the world, which saw a Final Fantasy XIII tour last year, Japan did not get any events related to the game (FFXIII was released to Japan in December 200i).

Japanese audiences may also get some pre-release hands-on time with the game. Toriyama said that if there is a chance, they'd like to have members of the Square Enix Members rewards program play the game and deliver feedback which can be reflected into the final product.

Neither Toriyama nor Kitase would share solid details on the game. Asked by the MCs, Toriyama would admit that Lighthing and the newcomer male character were fighting, but said we'd have to wait to find out why. He also described the male character as being comparative to Lightning.

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