While many fans yearn for Final Fantasy’s return to its former turn-based glory days, they shouldn’t hold their breath. The upcoming Final Fantasy XVI’s trailer showcases an action-based combat system, as the series continues to be influenced by the more popular western RPGs of modern times.
Games like The Witcher 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have single handedly outsold all of the Final Fantasy games released over the last decade. This is true, even if you combine all FF titles from FFXIII to Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Even new properties such as Horizon Zero Dawn, and Ghost of Tsushima have pulled in more impressive sales numbers. Therefore, it is safe to say that we live in the era of the Western-RPG. This fact is not lost on Square Enix. Final Fantasy XV marked the series’ (non MMO) entry point into the open-world genre years ago.
Final Fantasy XVI looks to continue that trend as its producer, Naoki Yoshida, hinted on a recent interview translated by Audrey from Japanese website 4Gamer.net. When asked about games that impressed him in 2020, Yoshida had no reservations in naming Western Open-World game Ghost of Tsushima as his favorite.
Here is what Yoshida had to say about the game:
Ghost of Tsushima. It is overflowing with love for Kurosawa Akira’s work, but the more I played the game, the more I thought, “how exactly did they create this?” and “Why did they create it in this way?” I learned a lot from this game. It impressed me on so many levels! – Naoki Yoshida
Yoshi-P has another small interview with 4Gamer where he talks about Ghost of Tsushima, Demon, Slayer, Donald Trump, and how his team has plans to release more info about FF14 & FF16 in 2021!
— ☆オードリーAudrey☆ (@aitaikimochi) December 28, 2020
Final Fantasy XVI is Currently in the Midst of its Development
As Square looks to the West for inspiration, it is easy to deduct that given the likely ‘Action-RPG Open-world’ nature of Final Fantasy XVI, Ghost of Tsushima will have a great impact on its design. Which is not a bad thing given GoT’s critical reception (83 Metacritic), and sales numbers.
Yoshida went on to say that this year there would be more information about the long-awaited Final Fantasy XVI project. This could mean that the game won’t see our shores until 2022. Given the complexity of modern game development, and Cyberpunk 2077’s high profile disastrous launch, Square Enix can take as much time as it needs.
Given Square Enix’s conscious efforts to compete with Western teams in the open world genre, expectations for FFXVI will be high. Apart from Ghost of Tsushima’s gorgeous visual display, games like Red Dead Redemption 2 have set new standards on what is expected from open world games. Can Final Fantasy XVI stand alongside those two titans? Can it become a redefining RPG for the genre? Will it bring the series back to its prominent place amongst gamers?
Yoshida is known for saving FFXIV from the brink of disaster. So, if anyone is capable within Square Enix to modernize, and revitalize the main series, it is him. We will keep you posted on Final Fantasy XVI updates as more information becomes available.
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