Square Enix's North American division on Tuesday officially confirmed the development of Final Fantasy XIII-2 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, due next winter.
The role-playing game is the follow-up to 2010's Final Fantasy XIII, which has shipped 6 million units worldwide, Square Enix said. The Final Fantasy franchise, launched in Japan in 1987, has shipped over 97 million units worldwide, the publisher added.
Square Enix said Final Fantasy XIII-2 is currently under development and it "builds upon the best aspects of Final Fantasy XIII, adding a new story and "evolved battle system."
The publisher previously practiced the sequel-to-a-sequel strategy with 2003's Final Fantasy X-2, a PS2 spinoff from the 2001 hit RPG Final Fantasy X. Rumors of Final Fantasy XIII-2 began swirling following the recent emergence of related domain names.
Final Fantasy XIII received strong reviews from many critics, earning an 83 on Metacritic. But the game garnered criticism from outspoken long-time franchise fans, and the game's developers were open about the difficulties in finalizing Final Fantasy XIII's Crystal Tools engine while simultaneously developing the game.