Even after Final Fantasy XIII’s release interesting things are revealed about the extraordinary development cycle of this game. Japanese magazine CG World has dived deeper in FFXIII’s development. Besides 3d models and artwork, there’s a surprising development timeline from 2005 – 2009:
A: Jan 2005 ~ Jun 2005: Developed PS2 version.
B: Jul 2005 ~ Sep 2009: Changed the platform to PS3 after the reception of E3 FF7 demo.
C: Oct 2005 ~ Jun 2006: Developed the E3 FFXIII demo but interrupted the development to make an engine.
D: Jul 2006 ~ Sep 2007: Working on story and storyboard in a smaller team.
E: Oct 2007 ~ Jun 2008: Officially started development.
F: Jul 2008 ~ Sep 2008: Alpha version completed. A 360 port announced.
G: Oct 2008 ~ Dec 2008: Working on the playable demo.
H: ~ Jun 2009: Fixing the game based on the reception of the demo.
I: Jan 2009 ~ :Working on the 360 port.
A lot of fans will probably remember the 2006 – late 2007 period with almost no news or screens/trailers (except for some extended E306 footage). This lack of news seems to be explained with the above timeframe. Square Enix began showing more screenshots in 2008 beginning with the reveal of Vanille and the keywords “Fal’cie” and ‘”L’cie” in January V-Jump scans.
Although it seems unbelievable, they’ve managed to create the alpha version in just under one year. Masashi Hamauzu (composer) earlier admitted that the entire soundtrack was composed in one year.
Also Square Enix confirmed that the Final Fantasy Versus XIII team was helping the XIII team for a long period. It wouldn’t be surprising if Versus followed a similar development timeline.
Source and scans: FF Ring (French)