In 2003 two of Japan’s most prolific video game publishers, Square and Enix, joined forces, bringing classic RPG series Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest under the same roof. Nearly two decades later, those franchises remain two pillars of Square Enix — pillars on which it has built a diverse, ever-expanding portfolio of games.
Between new releases and unexpected announcements, 2022 has already been a memorable year for Square: Triangle Strategy and Stranger of Paradise are two of the year’s best-reviewed games at IGN, while Kingdom Hearts 4 is arguably the year’s most surprising game announcement (so far).
With even more promising projects on the horizon, we’re exploring Square’s development pipeline to give you a complete picture of what’s to come in the months and years ahead. This list only includes officially announced games (no reported or rumored projects) in development for consoles and/or PC (no mobile games included for now, nor are we including expansions or updates to existing games). Click through the gallery below or continue scrolling for our full list of the 14 known games in development at Square Enix.
More on games in development:
- Every Nintendo Game in Development
- Every Ubisoft Game in Development
- Every EA Game in Development
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story
The next release from Square Enix is The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story, a live-action mystery game directed by Koichiro Ito, who previously worked as a scenario manager on Metal Gear Solid 5. The Centennial case tasks players with solving four murders tied to a single “ill-fated” family, with each case set during a different era in Japan.
Live a Live
Live a Live, the previously Japan-exclusive SNES RPG from 1994, is coming west for the first time in July. The western release has been overhauled graphically in Square’s signature HD-2D style, which adds 3D effects to pixelated backgrounds and character sprites.
Live a Live tells seven separate stories featuring seven different protagonists and time periods, spanning prehistoric times to the distant future, that can be played in any order.
Front Mission Remakes
Nintendo and Square are also collaborating on remakes of Front Mission 1st and Front Mission 2, the first two entries in Square’s tactical JRPG series. The first remake is due out this summer; the second has yet to receive a release window.
Front Mission 1st is set in 2090, in a world where armies employ giant robots called Wanzers to do their fighting. The remake features a “modern mode with improved controls,” as well as a “fully reorchestrated” version of the original soundtrack.
Front Mission 2 takes place 12 years after the first. The remake will mark the first time the sequel has been released outside of Japan. (Front Mission 1st was exclusive to Japan from its initial release in 1995 until 2007 when it was ported to Nintendo DS.)
A promising new IP coming from Square later this year, Forspoken is an open-world action-RPG with an isekai narrative concept: main character Frey is unexpectedly transported from modern-day New York City into Athia, a fantastical world of magic and mythical creatures.
Throughout Frey’s adventure to return home, she’ll learn magical abilities that aid in both combat and traversal.
Forspoken’s all-star writing team includes Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Amy Hennig (Uncharted), Todd Stashwick (Uncharted), and Allison Rymer (Shadowhunters). On the technical side, the team is aiming to create the “highest quality visuals ever” for an open-world game.
Forspoken was originally due out in May, though it has since been delayed to October 11. It will be a PS5 console exclusive for at least two years.
The DioField Chronicle
Revealed during the latest PlayStation State of Play, The DioField Chronicle is an all-new tactical RPG. The new IP combines classic real-time strategy gameplay with modern 3D art and animations. The “epic tale of war and honor” features “fantasy, medieval, and modern-day influences,” according to Square.
The game is composed by Ramin Djawadi and Brandon Campbell, best known for their work on Game of Thrones. The duo’s previous video game credits include Gears 5 and Amazon’s New World.
Star Ocean: The Divine Source
Star Ocean: The Divine Source is the latest entry in Square’s 25-year-old action-RPG franchise — the first since 2016’s Integrity and Faithlessness. The Divine Source features two protagonists — space captain Raymond and crown princess Laeticia — with individual yet connected narratives.
Square has yet to reveal much about the action-RPG, though based on its debut trailer, players can expect aerial traversal, fast-paced combat, and interplanetary exploration.
Another upcoming action-RPG from Square is Valkyrie Elysium, a new entry in the publisher’s long-running Valkyrie series. Despite thematic and gameplay ties to the series’ previous games, Elysium will be “a brand-new standalone adventure,” according to Square.
The story is set “in the distant past, in a world where Ragnarok – the End Times – looms large upon the realms.” The playable character is described as an “emissary of redemption” tasked with “the salvation of a doomed world.”
Dragon Quest 3 HD-2D Remake
The first of three console/PC Dragon Quest games announced as part of the series’ 35th anniversary celebration is an HD-2D remake of Dragon Quest 3. It’s the second HD-2D game Square has in development following the Live a Live re-release. The style was previously popularized by Square with Octopath Traveler and more recently Triangle Strategy.
While only Dragon Quest 3 HD-2D is official, series creator Yuji Horii has also expressed interest in remaking the series’ first two games in the same vein, according to Nintendo Life.
Dragon Quest 12: The Flames of Fate
Dragon Quest 12: The Flames of Fate was officially announced alongside DQ 3 HD-2D Remake in May 2021. While neither platforms nor a release window were revealed, Square announced it’s targeting a simultaneous worldwide release for The Flames of Fate.
Series creator Yuji Horii, who’s worked on every Dragon Quest game throughout the franchise’s 35-year history, is once again involved with Dragon Quest 12. Horii says The Flames of Fate will be darker in tone than previous Dragon Quest games and feature notable changes to its traditional battle system.
Dragon Quest 12 is being developed in the recently released Unreal Engine 5.
Dragon Quest Treasures
In addition to the HD-2D remake and the next core Dragon Quest game, Square Enix is developing a spinoff called Dragon Quest Treasures. Little is known about Treasures beyond its premise: It’s a treasure-hunting RPG starring childhood versions of Dragon Quest 11’s Mia and Erik.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2
Development on Part 2 of Square’s multipart Final Fantasy 7 Remake is underway. Just three months after the release of Part 1 in April 2020, Square confirmed it had entered full development on the sequel. Development was affected by COVID-19, though producer Yoshinori Kitase said he doesn’t expect it to have “a big impact in the long term.”
While Remake, in some ways, veered from the story of the original, Kitase said the story won’t be “drastically” different moving forward. Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima added, “For me, I create scenarios that follow the general flow of the original story but with the assumption that the way things are presented or how events occur might be slightly different.”
While we can look to the original FF7 for where the story will likely go following the party’s departure from Midgar, one of the only concrete narrative details we have for Part 2 is that the villain Sephiroth will play a major role: “In the original game, Sephiroth did not make an appearance in the section of the story told [in Final Fantasy 7 Remake], but we changed it to have him appear from the start, in order to position him playing an important role over the whole of the Remake project,” said Kitase. “Sephiroth plays a major part in the ongoing story of the next game.”
FF7 Remake came to PS5 as Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade in mid-2021. The upgraded version was accompanied by new, Yuffie-focused DLC. However, creative director Tetsuya Nomura said the team has no further plans for DLC until the sequel is finished.
As for how many parts the remake will ultimately consist of, Kitase said, “We have a rough idea on that, but it’s not been completely decided yet.”
Final Fantasy 16
Also in development at Square is the next mainline Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy 16. Announced as a PS5 exclusive, the next Final Fantasy is moving away from the sci-fi aesthetic of Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake and toward something rooted deeper in fantasy.
Only a month after the game’s announcement, Square announced “basic development and scenario production” had already been completed. Less than a year later, in July 2021, Square said the story and English voiceover work was nearly complete as well. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, Final Fantasy 16 development was delayed by “almost half a year,” and Square has yet to announce a release window.
Set in Valisthea, a land of six realms “studded with colossal mountains of glittering crystal called Mothercrystals,” Final Fantasy 16 stars a trio of protagonists: Clive, Joshua (Clive’s younger brother), and Jill (a close childhood friend of the brothers, raised alongside them as a ward).
Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida, who serves as a producer on Final Fantasy 16, previously announced Square’s intention to reveal more information this spring.
Kingdom Hearts 4
Kingdom Hearts 4 was unexpectedly announced during a 20th anniversary event for the franchise in April. The reveal trailer shows off a more realistic Sora — along with appearances from Donald, Goofy, and Strelitzia — in the world of Quadratum, “a large, expansive city is set in a gorgeous, realistic world that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before in the Kingdom Hearts.”
Kingdom Hearts 4 marks the beginning of a new storyline within the series called The Lost Master Arc. As theorized by IGN’s resident Kingdom Hearts expert Jonathon Dornbush, the title of the new narrative arc is most likely a reference to a character named the Master of Masters, who seemingly appears in the trailer alongside another hooded figure, though it may have other meanings as well.
The latest Square Enix-Disney collaboration may also, for the first time, take players to a galaxy far, far away; Kingdom Hearts 4’s debut trailer may include a quick shot of an AT-ST foot, potentially hinting at the series’ first-ever Star Wars section.
There’s currently no release window for KH4, though Square noted the Unreal Engine 5 project is still in “early development.” The series’ last entry, Kingdom Hearts 3, was released in 2019. Its sole DLC, Re Mind, was subsequently released in early 2020.
New Tomb Raider
An all-new Tomb Raider is in development at Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind the series’ rebooted trilogy. Officially, all we know is that Lara Croft’s next chapter is a “high-quality cinematic action-adventure” being developed in Unreal Engine 5.
Franchise game director Will Kerslake previously said the next Tomb Raider will unify the timelines of Crystal’s modern games and Core Design’s originals by telling “stories that build upon the breadth of both [developers’] games.”
The rebooted trilogy concluded in 2018 with Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
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Author: Jordan Sirani