Eidos Montreal was at one point in time apparently going to make Final Fantasy 15, which has now been confirmed by a former art director.
Jonathan Jacque-Belletête, who used to work at Eidos Montreal, recently spoke with TrueAchievements confirming a longstanding rumour that the Canadian developer was working on Final Fantasy 15.
"Eidos Montreal brought back Deus Ex. I was the art director on that - Deus Ex: Human Revolution," Jacque-Belletête explained to TrueAchievements about his time at the studio. "Then [I was] the executive art director on Mankind Divided. Then we tried to do Final Fantasy XV. Then they decided to bring it back to Japan - which I think was a big mistake, but it's still the truth. Ours was really, really cool."
This isn't actually the first time we've heard about a western-developed Final Fantasy 15. YouTuber Super Bunnyhop actually covered this as a rumour back in 2018, providing supposed details that Jacque-Belletête didn't in his recent interview with TrueAchievements.
According to Super BunnyHop's original video, Eidos Montreal had "some basic art, some basic game design, in a super secret office." As well as this, Eidos Montreal's take on Final Fantasy 15 would have made it a "space opera RPG," with some kind of love triangle.
Because Jacque-Belletête hasn't mentioned any of these details himself, it's impossible to say if any of them are true or not. But him simply confirming the existence of the project does give some credence to Super BunnyHop's claims.
Final Fantasy 15 had a notoriously troubled development period, so it isn't much of a surprise to hear that Square Enix tried outsourcing its development. And in the end, had much of its DLC cancelled, leaving the project as flawed but much-loved.
While 15 might not have seen as much love as it deserved, Final Fantasy 9 is at least getting some, as the animated series might be getting shown off for the first time later this week.
And it seems like Square Enix doesn't have much love for Eidos Montreal either, having recently sold it off, along with Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, to Embracer Group.