Following delays, Final Fantasy 16 is near the end of development, producer says

Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida has again said that the game is near the end of development.

As spotted by Twitter user @alverich_ff14, an interview with Yoshida can be found in a free magazine given away at Uniqlo stores in Japan.

The interview is mainly focused on the Final Fantasy series in general, which is getting a special Uniqlo clothing line, but ends with Yoshida’s comments on the upcoming 16th game in the series.

“Development of the latest title, Final Fantasy XVI, is in its final stages,” Yoshida said (as translated by VGC).

“Final Fantasy XVI aims to integrate the story and the gaming experience into a single player game. Unlike online, which portrays multiple players simultaneously, Final Fantasy XVI focuses on the individual.

“This makes the story more immersive. It’s a very dense story.

“As an adult, I learnt about society and said to myself ‘reality is not as easy as a video game’. I hope that those who once left Final Fantasy will remember how exciting their passion for video games was back then.”

Yoshida also claimed in October 2021 that Square Enix was putting the finishing touches on the PS5 RPG.

Speaking during a TGS live stream, Yoshida reiterated that Final Fantasy 16’s main design was complete and claimed that the development team was currently finalising the remaining side quests set to appear in the game.

Yoshida said at the time that the game’s character models were also nearly finished and that there were only a few quality improvements left to be done on the game.

However, providing an update on the title last December, Yoshida said Final Fantasy XVI’s development had fallen almost half a year behind schedule.

With staff forced to work from home, he said the Covid-19 pandemic had led to unexpected production issues and that the game’s “next big reveal” wouldn’t occur until spring 2022.

“This has unfortunately hampered communication from the Tokyo office, which, in turn, has to led to delays in—or in extreme cases, cancellations of—asset deliveries from our outsource partners,” he said.

“That said, we have spent much of 2021 addressing this issue and hope to see its impact to a minimum by the new year, allowing us to better focus on the tasks at hand: increasing graphic resource quality, refining combat mechanics, fleshing out individual battles, putting the finishing touches on cutscenes, and conducting overall graphical optimization. Our primary goal is now to be as hands on with the game as possible in order to see it fully polished.”

Uniqlo will be selling a special line of Final Fantasy t-shirts to celebrate the series’ 35th anniversary. There will be 16 shirts, one for each game in the series, which will go on sale in US stores on May 16.