Engaged on the challenge is Naoki Yoshida, a producer first introduced on to salvage developer Sq. Enix’s critically panned enterprise into the MMORPG style, “Remaining Fantasy XIV,” and who is commonly cited as saving not simply “FFXIV,” however probably the whole franchise. With this newest collection entry, he mentioned he’s needed to stability fan expectations with innovation.
“If you’re occupied with the way forward for the Remaining Fantasy franchise, you must purpose at that era of gamers which have by no means touched a Remaining Fantasy earlier than,” Yoshida mentioned in an interview with The Washington Submit. “Perhaps they assume the collection is just too previous, too basic. [So you] create one thing that exhibits them that this might be an thrilling sport.
“However I don’t need you to assume that I’m abandoning these veterans gamers and followers of the collection, as a result of we’re undoubtedly not. We need to create one thing that everybody feels is epic.”
Sq. Enix has been battling an identification disaster with the collection for greater than a decade. A tumultuous manufacturing cycle plagued 2006′s “Remaining Fantasy XII,” “Remaining Fantasy XIII’s” pivot to a extra action-based fight system polarized followers, and “Remaining Fantasy XV,” which strayed even farther from turn-based fight, featured a convoluted narrative that unfolded throughout a number of DLCs, a spinoff beat-em-up model sport, an anime miniseries and a film.
When “FFXIV” initially launched in 2010, it was closely criticized for its lack of content material, quite a few bugs and server failures. Yoshida, an avid MMORPG fan himself, was introduced on to guide a crew that might basically rebuild the sport solely. The consequence was “FFXIV: A Realm Reborn” in 2013, a way more streamlined expertise that fastened bugs and supplied wealthy content material that not solely spoke to newcomers however longtime followers desperately searching for indicators of the franchise they as soon as knew.
Yoshida, now the producer of “FFXVI,” which is ready to launch in 2023, is incorporating the teachings he’s taken away from “FFXIV” into “FFXVI’s” design philosophy. The fight system of “FFXVI” is a chief instance of this: It’s action-oriented, emphasizing flashy combos and read-and-react fight that the Remaining Fantasy collection has been trending towards since “FFXII,” however makes an attempt to include components longtime followers will acknowledge.
Preventing received’t be a solo expertise, opposite to the way it seems within the trailer. The principle character, Clive, will likely be accompanied by a number of AI-controlled occasion members who will banter and join all through the sport, much like previous Remaining Fantasy video games. Yoshida additionally teases that there will likely be a “trustworthy buddy” that Clive may give particular instructions to through the fight, regardless of the vast majority of participant management specializing in Clive.
Whereas particular particulars of the fight will likely be revealed at a later date, Yoshida is assured within the course the system is taking. He believes that Sq. Enix, now with titles like “Remaining Fantasy XV,” “Remaining Fantasy VII Remake” and the Kingdom Hearts collection beneath its belt, lastly has the experience to create a compelling motion fight system that gamers, no matter their familiarity with the collection, will get pleasure from.
“The Kingdom Hearts crew at Sq. Enix has been particularly useful in contributing to these real-time fight and boss battles,” Yoshida mentioned. “It may be mentioned that the battles in ‘FFXVI’ are in some methods a fruits of the corporate’s previous experiences.”
The crew, led by Battle Director Ryota Suzuki, previously of Capcom, who helped design “Marvel vs. Capcom 2,” “Satan Could Cry 5” and “Dragon’s Dogma,” feels equally assured, in line with Yoshida. Points that plagued earlier video games within the franchise — round battle animations, fight fluidity and messy UIs — have all been streamlined because of Suzuki’s steering.
Yoshida additionally believes that the sport’s story — which he says isn’t going to be a contented story, and features a setting, Valisthea, that’s a lot darker than earlier entries — may have overarching themes harking back to what followers of the collection have come to anticipate.
“One of many primary themes that’s explored in ‘Remaining Fantasy XVI’s’ narrative offers with a conflict of beliefs. What is correct and improper? Ought to the folks dwell the life that was chosen for them, or ought to they’ve the suitable to decide on the trail that they stroll?” Yoshida mentioned.
Sq. Enix made certain that one of many first screens that masses up when taking part in “Remaining Fantasy XV” was a message that mentioned the sport was “A Remaining Fantasy for Followers and First-Timers.” Yoshida believes that “Remaining Fantasy XVI” may also capitalize on that message.
“Personally, I believe all video games must be like that,” he mentioned. “You possibly can see the identical factor in ‘Remaining Fantasy XIV.’ So our basis [for ‘Final Fantasy XVI’] is to construct one thing that’s going to be satisfying for veteran followers in addition to new gamers.”
Gene Park contributed to this report.