Stella was originally designed as a main character in the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. The blonde-haired character was first seen in one of the game’s early trailers, depicting her as not only the love interest of Noctis but a main character pivotal to Noctis’ story and as a heroine with her own story to tell.
However, the developers removed her while making alterations to Final Fantasy XV last year. The game’s director Hajime Tabata explained in a new interview with 4gamer this week that they had to cut out the character because they felt that the way she was implemented in the game didn’t do her justice.
Tabata says that the team still receives complaints from fans about her omission. “What we hear the most is, ‘You willfully changed Versus!’” he explained (via Jirokichi). “From our perspective as developers we have to change what we have to, though.”
“Our emotions are with her, and there’s really no good way to present a perfect explanation,” he said. “Developers feel uncomfortable working on a well-known character if they have to completely change their role. This is why we decided to change the character completely.”
Tabata had previously stated last year that the studio tried to find ways to keep her in FFXV’s story but they found it increasingly difficult to make sense of her character and role within the game.
Regardless of Tabata’s clarifications, some fans will no doubt take issue with Stella’s removal. With any luck, she’ll show up in a future game.
The game will be out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 30.