Naoki Yoshida gives a Final Fantasy XVI update: “we’re at the finale of development”

Final Fantasy XVI news hasn’t exactly been massively forthcoming of late. Square Enix announced the sixteenth entry in their beloved and storied series back in September of 2020, but since then there’s largely been radio silence. Now, a small update appears in the most unlikely of places: in a fashion brand’s official in-store magazine.

In case you missed it, Square Enix has partnered with fashion company Uniqlo to release sixteen different Final Fantasy t-shirts to celebrate the series’ 35th anniversary - that’s one shirt for every entry in the series, including the upcoming FF16. The latest in-store magazine features a promotion for these shirts, and as part of that there’s a small interview with Naoki Yoshida, Director and Producer of FF14 who is also serving as the Producer on FF16, which is being directed by Hiroshi Takai

“Now we're at the finale of the new game FF16’s development,” Yoshida says in the interview, which we have translated excerpts of. Images of the interview were posted to social media by Japanese fans and picked up by various Japanese blogs.

“We aim for FF16 to have a better unison in story and gaming experience as a single-player game,” he continues.

“Unlike an online [game] that depicts multiple players simultaneously, FF16 focuses on an individual so the state of immersion into the story will be different. I feel like the story will be very deep.

“I hope this will bring back the past enthusiasm to people who grew up to adults, got to know society, [thought] "Real life is not easy like in the game," and went away from FF. I'm creating it while having that thought.”

The interview doesn’t offer much, but it does have Yoshida once again suggesting that development on Final Fantasy XVI is quite advanced - which means we can likely expect more news soon. Our money would be on June - as while there’s no E3, many publishers and developers are still set to reveal news in a similar time frame over the summer. Yoshida last promised news in the Spring - but that seems unlikely now.

In the meantime, if you can’t wait, check out our profiles of the FF16 characters and our look at some things you might have missed in the trailer. Fingers crossed we’re not waiting much longer…