Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida is a busy man. He is also the producer and director of the hit Internet series, Final Fantasy 14a game whose salvation is widely credited to him, and which, after its recent explosion in popularity, is now the highest-grossing game in the series’ long history.
It’s no surprise that he should also be entrusted with managing the main title, and in a recent series of interviews, Yoshida shed a bit more light on Final Fantasy 16 and a departure from other recent Final Fantasy games.
The bottom line is that it will not happen Final Fantasy 15 in enjoying the open world. Yoshida told IGN that while inspired by the open-world games that currently dominate high-budget single-player games, he wanted to use smaller sections of more diverse locations to convey the epic scope of the game.
“Yes in [Final Fantasy 16] you’ll find inspiration from recent triple-A open world RPGs, ”he said. “However, in order to create a story that seems to span the globe and beyond, we chose to avoid open-world design that limits us to one open space, and instead focus on independent area-based game design, can give players a better sense of a truly “global” scale. “
He also explained that while Final Fantasy 16 will represent the traditional fighting squad of the series, the companions will be controlled by artificial intelligence, and the player will remain focused on the main character, Clive. “We didn’t want to overwhelm users in our latest trailer, so we only focused on Clive’s Battles,” said Yoshida. That said, Clive will be accompanied by one or more companions for most of his journeys. These companions will take part in the battle as well as banter with Clive. That said, teammates will be controlled by artificial intelligence so players can focus solely on controlling Clive.
Another interesting tidbit about the combat that Game Informer throws in is that when the game’s gigantic summons of Eikons face each other, their battles will vary greatly in genre. “I’ve seen a lot of comments on social media after that [latest, Eikon-focused] published trailer about how the user interface looks like a brawl, “remarked Yoshida. “The overall game design for these Eikon-versus-Eikon battles is supposed to be unique though, and we don’t really use the same exact system twice. Each battle is completely unique in terms of playstyle, so we do something that is a little crazy. For example… if you have Eikon A vs Eikon B, this fight will be like a 3D shooter. While another Eikon versus another Eikon, this is more like a pro wrestling match and maybe even a third against one Eikon versus another Eikon will turn the whole area into a battlefield. “
Speaking about the game’s story, Yoshida revealed to Gamespot that this will likely be the first major Final Fantasy game to receive a mature rating due to the “difficult adult themes” his team wants to tackle. “This time, to make sure we could tell the story we wanted the way we wanted, we opted for a mature evaluation in most of the regions where the game will be released,” he said. “But … it’s not because we just wanted the game to be more brutal or more explicit, because we felt it necessary to allow us to explore the more mature themes that this game touches on.”
You can also find interviews on the PlayStation Blog and GamesRadar about how concurrent development with Final Fantasy 14 works, how Yoshida has built a development team and how he searches for a “classic fantasy atmosphere”, reminiscent of the earliest games in the series, to distinguish the new game from more modern settings Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 7 remake.
Final Fantasy 16 is expected to be released in the summer of 2023 on PlayStation 5 and PC.