Final Fantasy XV's September 30, 2016 release date was set way back in 2013, according to new comments made by director Hajime Tabata.
Speaking in the latest issue of Famitsu (as reported by Siliconera) Tabata revealed that the date was "the first thing" to be locked down after he was appointed director in 2013, and that it was settled upon after considering the resources available to the team.
"I wasn't the director at first, but when I was formally entrusted with the duty (in December 2013), 'September 30, 2016 is when we'll release it,' was the first thing that was decided," he said.
He continued: "[The date] was not something that was randomly decided, but it was something we saw when considering the time and cost for the amount of resources we had."
He also revealed that the game would have released in Japan sooner had Square not decided to release it simultaneously worldwide.
Square announced Final Fantasy XV's release date last week, with the September 30 date set to mark the end of a 10-year long run in development. The game was initially announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII all the way back in May 2006.