Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida is a busy man. He is also the producer and director of the online hit in the series, Final Fantasy 14a game widely believed to have saved him and which, after a recent explosion in popularity, is now the most profitable game in the long history of the series.
No wonder he’s also going to be managing a main title, and in a recent spate of interviews, Yoshida has shed some more light on Final Fantasy 16 and the departures it will make from other recent Final Fantasy games.
The main thing is that it will not follow Final Fantasy 15 when using an open world design. Yoshida told IGN that while he was inspired by the open-world games that currently dominate big-budget single-player gaming, he wanted to use smaller portions of more varied locations to convey the game’s epic scope.
“Yes in [Final Fantasy 16] you’ll take inspiration from recent triple-A open-world RPGs,” he said. “However, to deliver a story that feels like it spans an entire world and beyond, we decided to avoid an open-world design that confines us to a single open-world space, and instead focus on an independent area-based game design that can give players a better sense of a truly ‘global’ scale.”
He also explained so long Final Fantasy 16 would feature the series’ traditional party of fighters, companions would be AI controlled, and the player would stay focused on the main character, Clive. “We didn’t want to overwhelm users in our latest trailer, so we focused solely on Clive’s battles,” Yoshida said. That said, Clive will be accompanied by one or more companions for most of his journey. These companions will join the battle and trade with Clive. That said, the party members will be AI-driven so players can focus solely on controlling Clive. †
Another interesting fight delicacy passed on to Game Informer is that, when the game’s massive Eikon Summons go head to head, their fights will vary widely in genre. “I saw a lot of comments on social media after the [latest, Eikon-focused] trailer released on how the UI is a bit reminiscent of a fighting game,” Yoshida noted. Each battle is completely unique in its style of play which is why we do something crazy For example…if you have Eikon A vs Eikon B that battle will be reminiscent of a 3D shooter While another Eikon vs another Eikon, its more of a pro wrestling match, and maybe even a third with one Eikon versus another Eikon will turn an entire area into a battlefield.
Speaking of the game’s story, Yoshida revealed to Gamespot that it will likely be the first mainline Final Fantasy game to receive an adult rating, due to the “difficult adult themes” its team aims to tackle. “To make sure that this time around we could tell the story we wanted in the way we wanted, we’ve decided to pursue a mature rating in most regions that the game will release,” he said. . “But… this isn’t because we just wanted to make the game more violent or explicit, it’s because we felt it necessary to allow us to explore those more mature themes that the game tackles.”
You can also find interviews on: PlayStation blog and GamesRadar that address how co-development with Final Fantasy 14 works, how Yoshida built the development team, and how he’s looking for a “classic fantasy feel” reminiscent of the earliest games in the series to differentiate the new game from the more modern settings of Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake†
Final Fantasy 16 is slated for a summer 2023 release on PlayStation 5 and PC.