Naoki Yoshida opens up about Final Fantasy XVI - themes, maturity, gameplay, and more

Naoki Yoshida
Naoki Yoshida's feelings about Final Fantasy XVI (Image via Square Enix)

Naoki Yoshida, the producer of the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, recently spoke about the upcoming title and gave a lot of interesting information. The man credited with saving Final Fantasy XIV has hyped up the game lately, discussing what games, if any, inspired Final Fantasy XVI, how mature the game is, the overarching theme, and much more.

Final Fantasy XVI is going to be a truly unique experience, according to Naoki Yoshida (Image via Square Enix)
Final Fantasy XVI is going to be a truly unique experience, according to Naoki Yoshida (Image via Square Enix)

According to the producer, Final Fantasy XVI promises to be a more mature, adult-themed Final Fantasy and should be a unique experience for fans.


Final Fantasy XVI will be a truly unique experience in the franchise

Final Fantasy XVI is going to be a new experience for fans of the franchise. Yoshida discussed the ratings in particular during his interview with Gamespot, saying they decided to pursue a Mature rating. They have some adult themes and stories to tell, and that means a mature rating.

He made it clear that it isn’t simply because they want the game to be violent or explicit, but it instead allows them to explore mature themes that they couldn’t otherwise with a Teen or lower rating.

“As the game will be focusing heavily on action featuring these real-time battles, sometimes on a massive scale--things that the series hasn't fully explored yet--Final Fantasy XVI will end up feeling like a truly new experience for many fans--unlike any of the past FFs.”

When it comes to the upcoming Final Fantasy title, it really isn’t inspired by other games in the franchise. While no other game served as a major source of inspiration, the Primals of Final Fantasy XIV did serve as an inspiration in some fashion. The Eikons are a major part of the game, as they are in as Primals in FFXIV, so fans can look forward to some truly incredible battles.


Naoki Yoshida did discuss combat too. In the trailer, fans saw Titan doing battle with Shiva, and the first part of it was just a cutscene. Later in the trailer, though, fans get a tiny taste of the actual battle.

According to the developer, it was only a 20th of what fans get to experience in the Eikon battles. The major battles will have many stages and phases and promise to be high-octane and large-scale.

The producer of Final Fantasy XVI also chatted about the actual theme of the game. Where Final Fantasy XV was about male friendships and masculinity, Final Fantasy XVI is more about the clash of values and ideals of people. When multiple people have different ideals gathered, the question becomes, “What is truly right and what is truly wrong?”

Fans are going to see a lot of stories from the perspective of the Dominants and how they feel the world should be. It’s going to lead to some pretty dark stories and ask questions about these people. Should they live the life chosen for them, or should they fight for something else?

Yoshida said he’s honored to be working on the next mainline Final Fantasy title, thanks to work done on Final Fantasy XIV. While there is no release date other than “Summer 2023” for Final Fantasy XVI, it will be an ambitious project unlike the Final Fantasy fanbase has ever seen before.

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