After a long period of relative silence, Square Enix recently showed off a brand-new Final Fantasy 16 trailer along with a release window. To follow up from the trailer, IGN had the opportunity to speak with producer Naoki Yoshida, who is currently spearheading the project along with an all-star team of developers.
In the course of speaking with Yoshida, we learned plenty about Square Enix’s upcoming mainline Final Fantasy project, including confirmation that it won’t be an open world RPG after all. Here are the main highlights.
Naoki Yoshida confirmed that Final Fantasy 16 will have a form of party-based combat with AI characters, and he also discussed how Eikons — Final Fantasy 16’s version of summons — will figure into the gameplay.
“We didn’t want to overwhelm users in our newest trailer, so we focused solely on Clive’s battles. That said, for most of his journey, Clive will be accompanied by one or more companions,” Yoshida says. “These companions will participate in battle, as well as trade banter with Clive. That said, the party members will be AI-driven so as to allow players to focus solely on controlling Clive.”
Final Fantasy 16 won’t be following in the footsteps of its predecessor and won’t be offering a true open world. Instead, it will divide up its regions into more contained areas while still taking inspiration from other triple-A games, Yoshida said.
“To bring a story that feels like it spans an entire globe and beyond, we decided to avoid an open world design that limits us to a single open world space, and instead focus on an independent area-based game design that can give players a better feel of a truly “global” scale,” he explains.
Remember the pup from Final Fantasy 16’s very first trailer? Naoki Yoshida revealed his name while teasing that he may have a much bigger role to play in the gameplay.
“Well, let’s just say he’s more wolf than dog—and his name is ‘Torgal,'” Yoshida told IGN. “As for him being a party member, you’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll have more info on parties soon.”
Final Fantasy 16 New screenshots
On top of the new trailer, Square Enix also revealed new characters while providing more detail on the background of the world. Final Fantasy 16 was previously revealed to be a PS5 exclusive with a Medieval European setting.
Final Fantasy 16 is currently slated to release in Summer 2023. A PC version may follow, but it remains unconfirmed. While you wait, check out the rest of our Summer of Gaming coverage, which includes a brand-new reveal for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.