Square Enix once had huge plans for Final Fantasy XIII, hoping that the game would propel them back to the forefront of the gaming world the same way Final Fantasy VII did in the mid-1990s. The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII proved that a popular JRPG universe could exist beyond the borders of its game, so Square Enix took the opportunity to announce that Final Fantasy XIII would also become its own series without even testing the waters.
One game in the planned series has become Square Enix's most infamous vaporware. Final Fantasy Versus XIII, an action RPG along the vein of Kingdom Hearts was first announced six years ago, but very little is still known about the game. Although taking place in the same universe as Final Fantasy XIII, the stories would be totally separate from one another.
But, it seems Square Enix's hubris caught up in the end. Final Fantasy XIII fluttered into relative obscurity despite having a sequel and left a weak foundation to build a world on. Kotaku reports that despite frequent image releases and promises of more to come, Square Enix is quietly killing Final Fantasy Versus XIII without even giving it an official announcement.
Their sources claim that the team working on the missing title are being reshuffled into a new team to work on a new futuristic Final Fantasy XV. They also speculate that what is completed of the game will also turn up partially in Final Fantasy XV as well.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII is not the only spin-off to be effected by Final Fantasy XIII's mixed reception. Final Fantasy Agito XIII had been retitled into Final Fantasy Type-O to put a little distance between the games and give the PSP game its own image. Type-0 has yet to be given any American release date.
Square Enix is currently undergoing a transformation focusing on its recently acquired western studios instead of traditional big in-house productions. Despite a savy tech demo from E3 of what the next generation of consoles could do, Square Enix has given little plans about the future of their flagship series. Cancellations, a string of poor reception, and a dying attention span could Final Fantasy in trouble. Hope it pulls through.
A Final Fantasy XIII event is scheduled for September 1st to announce future plans for the Lightning Saga.