Square Enix’s openness to allowing a non-Japanese studio to develop a Final Fantasy title seems to have been an allusion to a mysterious “Final Fantasy” title provisionally dubbed “Fortress,” cancelled but visible in incomplete form in the technical demo visible below.
Square Enix apparently selected a third-rate developer from Sweden, the now defunct Grin, and canceled their involvement after being unimpressed with what was delivered; however, it is said to still be in development elsewhere:
FORTRESS is the codename of an official, but currently unannounced sequel to FINAL FANTASY XII.
It is an action game set some time after the events of FINAL FANTASY XII: REVENANT WINGS, and is intended for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows platforms.
The project was originally developed by GRIN and supervised by Square Enix, but issues between the two companies led to GRIN going bankrupt and Square Enix reclaiming the project from them.
The project has not been officially announced yet, but its existence is known due to information leaked by former members of the development team and sources in the video game industry.
The Fortress project is still supported by Square Enix and in development at a currently undisclosed studio — possibly Eidos Montreal, Square Enix’s main Western branch.
The tech demo video is reminiscent of a certain popular western RPG:
Supposedly the title was/is based directly on Final Fantasy XII, as this concept art featuring Princess Ashe demonstrates:
Free roaming and non-linear gameplay? No wonder Square Enix was unhappy with the title…