Final Fantasy XVI won’t be open world

Final Fantasy XVI won’t be a fully open-world game, according to producer Naoki Yoshida.

Yoshida recently told IGN that, instead of going fully open world like its predecessor, Final Fantasy XVI will focus on “independent area-based game design.” That decision is due to Yoshida and the rest of the development team wanting to make a “story that feels like it spans an entire globe and beyond.” Focusing on a single open-world space would have limited the scope, Yoshida said.

However, that’s not to say current gaming trends won’t find their way into Final Fantasy XVI in some form. Yoshida admitted that, through “extensive user research,” Square Enix found that “many of the younger generation of gamers have never played a Final Fantasy or don’t have any interest in the series.” In an effort to win those players over, Yoshida said that Final Fantasy XVI players will “find inspiration from recent triple-A open world RPGS.”

Square Enix revealed gameplay from Final Fantasy XVI during PlayStation’s June 2022 State of Play. We also got a release window for the PlayStation 5 exclusive of summer 2023.

As it so happens, that won’t be the next Final Fantasy game to launch. The newly revealed Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion will launch winter 2022 on multiple platforms, followed by Final Fantasy VII Rebirth in winter 2023. In other words, Square Enix will have plenty of chances to turn the younger generation of gamers into Final Fantasy fans over the next couple of years.

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