It’s been a long time since the Final Fantasy franchise has been as formidable as it is right now. Post-revitalization, Final Fantasy XIV has gone on to become one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed titles in the MMO franchise. Previously, it had been a severely struggling title. In a similar way, the Final Fantasy VII remake shattered expectations and became a stunning modern interpretation of the iconic Japanese title. Rightfully so, then, expectations are high for the upcoming release of Final Fantasy 16 in 2023.
Numerous interviews with Naoki Yoshida, the game’s producer, have shed new light on the upcoming title and its place at the forefront of what the Final Fantasy franchise stands for.
The first thing to note about the new game is that Yoshida has taken the game into a much grown-up, mature realm. We see this very clearly within discussions about lore and character development in the new game. In an interview with GameSpot, Yoshida spoke about a new direction for the interpersonal relationships between characters and that which they experience within themselves.
‘One of the main themes explored in Final Fantasy XVI’s narrative deals with the inevitable clash of values and ideals when you get multiple different people with different ideals in the same room; what is truly right and what is truly wrong?’
This emphasis on ideals and values during a time where both of these aspects of human existence are up in the air and are no longer governed by morality is a really refreshing approach in terms of gaming.
On the more literal side, Final Fantasy 16 is also going to be marketed toward a more mature audience. When asked about whether implied nudity in the game’s trailer is a prelude to the title being M-rated, Yoshida expanded on the difficulties of creating compelling content with modern restrictions. ‘When trying to tell a story with difficult adult themes, these ratings can end up becoming somewhat of a hindrance.’
He continues the interview by saying that the team wanted to be ‘sure that we could tell the story that we wanted in the way that we wanted to, we decided to pursue a mature rating in most of the regions that will be releasing the game. This is because we felt it was necessary to allow us to explore those more mature themes that the game tackles.’
We look forward to seeing what the final product looks like and how Yoshida and the rest of the team manage to negotiate the potentially problematic themes that the game intends to address. In other Final Fantasy news, Ever Crisis is gearing up for an early release date!