Naoki Yoshida has said he was worried about taking on Final Fantasy 16 while continuing his work as producer and director on MMORPG Final Fantasy 14.
In a PlayStation Blog interview, the Final Fantasy 16 producer describes how he was honoured to be offered the opportunity to work on a single-player game in the series, but thought fans may criticise him.
"I said 'Thanks, but I have my hands full with Final Fantasy 14, so let me think about it.' I was truly honoured that the company would choose my section, Creative Business Unit 3, to be responsible for making the next entry in the FF series. But, as you probably know, I'm already the producer and director of Final Fantasy 14. I was worried that if I took on the directorship of 16, too, fans of both games would have good reason to believe I wasn't giving either project my full attention," said Yoshida.
Of course, the offer of Final Fantasy 16 follows the immense success of Final Fantasy 14 that Yoshida and Creative Business Unit 3 have generated.
And while there will certainly be an influence of 14 on 16, Yoshida is keen for the new game to have its own identity.
"[Final Fantasy 16] is its own entity, separate from [Final Fantasy 14] and the other games in the series, so you won't find as many 'tributes' as you will in [Final Fantasy 14]. That doesn't mean that there won't be some easter eggs, though! That said, [Final Fantasy 16]'s main focus will be on maintaining that series-wide feel of 'playing a movie' rather than drawing from past titles," Yoshida told IGN.
He elaborated further to Game Informer: "So Final Fantasy 14 was designed as an MMORPG from the ground up whereas Final Fantasy 16 has been designed as a single-player game from the ground up, so from the get-go, you're going to have completely different design concepts. MMORPGs, as you know, are all about the long haul - you're stringing together experiences over an extended period of time to maintain that user base.
"Single-player games, on the other hand, are a lot more about that, I guess you could say, instant gratification. They're speedy, they hit you with excitement. That excitement is concentrated into a smaller package. So with that in mind, you can imagine that at least system-wise, Final Fantasy 14 won't have influenced Final Fantasy 16 that much.
"However, that said, one of the most unique things about Final Fantasy 14 is the kind of connection that the development team has with the community, [and] the amount of communication that goes back and forth between the development team and the community. In the past 11 years, interacting with the community has given us a lot of very, very valuable information on what you know fans want and expect from the series. And so having this 11-year knowledge base, that has helped us and has allowed us to put some of those ideas in and incorporate those ideas into the development of Final Fantasy 16."
Yoshida has also given more details on the game's action battle system and Eikon battles, as well as confirming the game won't take place in an open world.
Final Fantasy 16 is due for release in summer 2023.
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