Final Fantasy XVI won’t be an open-world game, but its levels are inspired by recent “triple-A open world RPGs” according to producer Naoki Yoshida. In an interview, Yoshida explained that the development team felt restricted by the idea of a single open-world space and instead focused on creating unique areas that are independent of each other.
“We’ve found in our extensive user research that many of the younger generation of gamers have never played a Final Fantasy or don’t have any interest in the series,” Yoshida said to IGN. “To create a game that might excite and resonate not only with our core fans, but also with that new generation, we played a lot of games ourselves, and so yes, in [Final Fantasy XVI] you’ll find inspiration from recent triple-A open world RPGs.
According to Yoshida, this approach allows the story to span across the entire world of Final Fantasy XVI and will allow players to experience the adventure on a “global scale” thanks to the independent area-based game design.
These environments will also be the stage in which Eikon versus Eikon battles play out, something that Yoshida says will feel unique and won’t use the same exact system twice. “For example, maybe one Eikon versus Eikon battle, if you have Eikon A versus Eikon B, that battle will be reminiscent of a 3D shooter,” Yoshida said to Game Informer.
This lines up with comments from the producer in GameSpot’s Final Fantasy XVI interview, in which Yoshida described one of these Eikon versus Eikon fights as being similar to a “pro wrestling match” and using the entire area as a battlefield. “The battle itself goes through many different stages, many different phases, and all of these change in real time. And the player ends up experiencing something that is large-scale, action-packed, and high-octane,” Yoshida explained.
Final Fantasy XVI is aiming for a Summer 2023 launch, exclusively on PS5. In other Final Fantasy XVI news following the recent trailer from the PlayStation State of Play presentation, the game’s development crew includes an all-star roster of Devil May Cry and Dragon Quest talent. You can also check out another interview with Yoshida in which he explains why Final Fantasy XVI has a mature rating, something which only a handful of role-playing games from Square Enix have shipped with.