Square Enix will take PlayStation 5 gamers on another fantasy journey, only this time it won't involve Cloud Strife or Midgar. During Sony's June 11 PS5 reveal event, the developer revealed it's working on a brand-new IP tentatively titled Project Athia.
Developed by company subsidiary Luminous Productions, Project Athia is Square Enix's love letter to the PS5. Studio head Takeshi Aramaki revealed that the game is being developed with Sony's next-gen console in mind, while staying true to Square Enix's legacy of hard-hitting fantasy titles.
"Project Athia is the culmination of our philosophy here at Luminous Productions to create completely new and fresh gaming experiences that fuse together the latest technologies with art," he stated in a PlayStation blog post. "With PS5, our vision truly comes to life, and with Project Athia players can look forward to being transported to a vast and detailed world filled with beauty and dismay.
The upcoming title was only just revealed in June, but as the PS5's holiday 2020 release date inches closer there has been a steady trickle of information about Project Athia since its debut. Here's everything we know about Square Enix's mysterious adventure game.
When is the Project Athia release date?
Square Enix and Luminous Productions only just revealed this game and have not announced a release date for Project Athia yet. But Luminous Productions Lead Concept Artist Yuuki Matsuzawa teased that him and his team were cooking up a new IP back in December 2019.
“There’s not much we can tell you for now (laughs)," Matsuzawa told Famitsu (h/t DualShockers). "We decided on certain elements of the game, but others elements are still under consideration. People like me who are at the top of the development process are very busy. It’s a brand new IP, so some things about it are different compared to what we’ve done until now. Meaning it’s a project difficult to work on and takes a lot of time.”
In hindsight, it's clear that Project Athia was the title Matsuzawa was hinting at. Seeing as the title is still in early development don't expect it to launch until 2021 or even later.
What platforms will Project Athia be released on?
Project Athia will only be released on the PS5 and PC, however, the head of Luminous Productions Takeshi Aramaki stated the title will be "designed for PS5" in a PlayStation Blog post following its announcement. Sorry, Xbox and Nintendo Switch fans.
That release made it seem like the game would be optimized for the PS5 and not PC, but it's still unclear how both versions will differ exactly.
Is there a Project Athia trailer?
Yes, Square Enix aired a Project Athia teaser trailer during Sony's June 11 PlayStation 5 reveal. The minute-long video showed snippets of story cutscenes and even some glimpses at early versions of gameplay, which could be subject to change as Luminous Productions continues its development.
Take a look at the trailer below:
The trailer had little in the way of concrete details other than the game will seemingly revolve around a young woman with superhuman agility and druid-like powers. She's seen effortlessly jumping from cliffs and battling hordes of fantastical beasts.
We also learn that Project Athia isn't the game's final title either. Square Enix ends the trailer by revealing Project Athia is a working title so expect many more announcements and changes from this title after the PS5 is released.
What kind of game will Project Athia be?
Square Enix president Yosuka Matsuda revealed that Project Athia will be an open-world game in an interview with Weekly Toyo Keizai (h/t ScreenRant). This isn't a complete shocker, as the game's teaser trailer appeared to tease its sprawling, fantasy-inspired environments.
"The game Project Athia (title tentative), which we will release for PS5, is an open-world style game in which users can freely move around the game world," he said.
That means Project Athia will be a bit of a departure from the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix's most recent release, which had more linear maps and didn't give gamers the same type of freedom to explore that defined more traditional open-world games like Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto 5.
What could Project Athia be about?
Little is known about what Project Athia's plot could be about, but its teaser trailer did offer a few hints to being building a skeleton of what the game could be about. The brief video suggested that the woman we see traveling Project Athia's world isn't from there, but gains immense strength from this magical reality.
"In a world not her own," the trailer says via subtitles, "where resolve will be tested, truths will be questions, and devotions will be doubted, she will rise."
The story could revolve around her trying to find her way back home and gaining powers as she explores the game's fantastical world. But we'll need to wait for more details about the game's realm, supporting cast, and antagonists before we'll know for sure.
What has Luminous Productions developed before?
Luminous Productions' is a young developer that was formed as a subsidiary of Square Enix in March 2018. Its 100+ employees were all involved with the development of Final Fantasy XV, which was released on consoles in 2016 and ported to PC and Google Stadia a couple of years later.
Square Enix formed the development team to create a new, AAA title using its Luminous Engine, which powered Final Fantasy XV. We now know that unnamed IP to be Project Athia.
Project Athia does not yet have a release date.