Final Fantasy XV Director, Hajime Tabata, has confirmed to GameSpot that fans can expect to play the game before 2017, indicating the game will be released in 2016.
Asked about when Square Enix plans to reveal the release date, Tabata replied: "At the very least, I can tell you that it isn't going to be released this year. I think we'll be able to tell you when we're making the announcement around PAX Prime, at the end of this month."
Pressed on how Tabata and his team plan to reassure fans struggling to remain excited after such a long development process, especially given the lackluster announcements coming from Gamescom, Tabata admitted the showing may have left fans wanting and offered his sympathy.
"I understand why people are feeling that way after coming to Cologne and speaking to a lot of the media," he said. "We really do get the feeling that people are a bit worried. Certainly, one thing I would like to say to them to reassure them is that we've set down the release date, we know when it is, and we've got a complete road map lined up, right up to launch, and we're proceeding along that as planned."
Then, Tabata dropped the best indication of the Final Fantasy XV release date yet: "We can certainly say to people: it's not going to be 2017. It's going to be before that."
Before Gamescom 2015, Square Enix teased an upcoming reveal which, given that Final Fantasy XV was not at E3, led many to speculate a release date would be officially revealed.
Square Enix also said it was going to show off "new, never-before-seen" gameplay footage during the event, but this did not materialize. Instead, it released a story trailer depicting events set prior to the main game.
The trailer contains a number of important narrative details. Read about everything we learned from the new Final Fantasy 15 trailer here.