While the games are often hailed for their trademark lush orchestral arrangements by Nobuo Uematsu, who wrote the music to virtually all other fourteen installments, the video game company opted to go for a more contemporary marketing angle this time around. Much to everyone’s surprise, the song appearing in all trailers for Final Fantasy XV’s English release is a cover of “Stand By Me,” a famous Ben E. King song, performed by indie-rock band Florence + The Machine. And while Final Fantasy XV will still retain its symphonic soundtrack, what’s more surprising is that Eumatsu did not be return for the latest installment due to his composing the music for mobile game Terra Battle.
We have seen non-Japanese artists crossover in the past, however, when Square Enix used Leona Lewis’ “My Hands” as the main theme for Final Fantasy XIII’s English release.
When asked to comment on her experience recording the song, frontwoman and lead singer Lorence Welch stated that: “I’ve always seen Final Fantasy as mythical, beautiful and epic. ‘Stand by Me’ is one of the greatest songs probably of all time and you can’t really improve on it, you just have to make it your own. For me it was just about bringing the song into the world of Florence and the Machine and the world of Final Fantasy.”
Final Fantasy XV will be released on September 30th, 2016. It was directed by writer and game and character designer Tetsuya Nomura and composed by Yoko Shimomura, whom Nomura has worked with previously on Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series. For a look at the new world of Final Fantasy and hear Florence’s cover of “Stand By Me,” check out the trailer below.