Naoki Yoshida talks Final Fantasy XVI: world and character information coming in October, but no major news until 2021

Information on the recently announced Final Fantasy XVI is thin on the ground - but producer Naoki Yoshida recently made an appearance on a Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online live stream - and the high-profile Square Enix developer was of course asked about his enormous new project.

Yoshida appeared in today's Square Enix Presents at TGS 2020 live stream, first cropping up around 8 hours into the stream alongside Nier series boss Yoko Taro and a few other high-level Square Enix staff. It wasn't long before the conversation turned to Final Fantasy XVI - with Nier staffers Yosuke Saito and Yoko Taro raising the topic with Yoshida, with Taro and his producer Yosuke Saito needling him that it was "unforgivable" that the game isn't done yet. 

Yoshida talked a little about the trailer that was released, saying that at this stage FF16's developers "haven't done optimization or tuning with it at all yet" - which he in turn says makes it "quite troublesome" to be compared to games with imminent releases.

Yoshida also says his team has seen comments from players joking about a potential 2035 release for the game - and that the decision to announce FF16 with real-time footage rather than just a "cool pre-rendered" trailer was deliberate in order to show the real game and "materials that move in-game in real-time with the actual console." The announcement trailer for FF16 appeared at a PlayStation event, but the footage shown was running on PC.

Despite already thinking about another trailer, it might be a little while before we see FF16 again: Yoshida says that until 2021, he'd like his team to focus on the game's development. However, he also pegs late October as a time for fans to look out for the launch of a teaser site for the game alongside the reveal of "some information about the characters and world settings."

Here's our translation of Yoshida's full comments on FF16:

Naoki Yoshida on Final Fantasy XVI at TGS 2020:

Naoki Yoshida: "Indeed, we did make this announcement. But for the next information won't be until 2021. I'd like us to focus on the development... I got the vibes from Yoko [Taro] like he's saying "You'd better be joking!" [laughs].

Around late October - well, we still don't even have a teaser site, so we'll open a teaser site and release some information about the characters and world settings. After that, I'd like to focus on the development."

Yosuke Saito: "Unforgiveable!"

Yoshida: "I mean, this time, we did work our hardest. You know, like a really cool pre-rendered trailer and then - bam - the logo? We didn't want to do that this time. I wanted to show it with materials that move in-game in real-time with the actual console.

But the timing is difficult, as we haven't done optimization or tuning with it at all yet. So it's quite troublesome, especially when it's going to be compared with titles that are coming out soon. However, with a pre-rendered trailer, you'll get comments like "See you again in 2035!" ...I actually saw some comments like that from Americans! [laughs]

So we really wanted to have something actually working and moving. It was a trailer that doesn't actually show the selling points yet - but we'll make those properly later on."

Final Fantasy XVI doesn't yet have a release date, but we do know it'll be coming to PlayStation 5 and probably - at some point - PC. If you can't wait until October for more information, check out our article on 3 things you might have missed in the FF16 trailer - it takes a deep dive into what we can glean about the game, its story, and its mechanics from that first trailer.