After Final Fantasy VII Remake skyrocketed the franchise back into the limelight, the prospect of a new mainline entry for the series began to feel that much more enticing. Final Fantasy XV came out in 2016, which means there has been plenty of time for Square Enix to kick off development on Final Fantasy XVI, particularly because Square Enix is such a large company with a number of different development teams working under a larger umbrella. Perhaps best of all, new rumors from reliable sources indicate that some kind of announcement or reveal could happen very soon.
Here's what we know so far.
When is the Final Fantasy 16 release date?
Final Fantasy 16 still remains theoretical, and Square Enix hasn't made any official announcements. As such, there's no official release date just yet. A May 2020 rumor claims the company will announce FF16 sometime in summer 2020 as a next-gen title, with plans to release it for PS5 and Xbox Series X in 2022. As noticed by Wccftech in an August 2020 article, a Resetera forums member called Navtra — who has a proven track record predicting events like Sony's June 2020 Future of Gaming presentation — made the bold claim that FF16 is real and "was supposed to get announced in June's event."
"It's supposedly closer than most people would think," Navtra also wrote. "It has some kind of PS5 exclusivity (it was vague back then but it seems to be full timed exclusivity now). And I have no idea why they haven't announced it yet." If true, that could mean a shocking 2021 release date is in order.
There's no telling just how credible this particular rumor is, but it comes just one day after Sony announced a partnership with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics that'll bring Spider-Man to Marvel's Avengers, but only on Sony consoles. Which is to say that for the next Final Fantasy to be a timed exclusive on PlayStation 5 makes a lot of sense; That's the case for FF7 Remake already.
It seems increasingly more possible that FF16 has been in development for quite some time. A now-deleted recruitment page from April 2019 indicating that Square Enix was hiring developers for “a new key project following Final Fantasy XIV, taking up a challenge for the next generation.”
This could be the new mainline Final Fantasy title. Or it could be something else entirely.
Is there a Final Fantasy 16 trailer?
There is no FF16 trailer yet. Watch this space for any updates or teasers that may come out in the coming months.
If FF16 is announced, we'll update this space with any information.
In the meantime, take a look at this fan-made ray-tracing mod that gives the Final Fantasy XV graphics a next-gen overhaul. Whenever it does finally arrive, FF16 could look something like this.
Who is the Final Fantasy 16 director?
Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida was briefly rumored as the director for FF16 but has since expressed his frustration, calling the rumors “annoying” and “big fake news.” He also said that he would remain “in charge of Final Fantasy XIV for more years to come,” but that doesn't nix the possibility that he could be involved in some capacity or that FF16 is in development. Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura regularly works simultaneously on numerous titles, there's no reason to believe Yoshida isn't attached as a producer or in another more hands-on capacity.
Yoshida has also been quite busy, but we don’t exactly know what he’s been working on. In December 2019, he ended his long-running Famitsu column, Yoshida Uncensored, citing a busy schedule. He maintained the column for six years from 2013 to 2019, what could've made him so busy? Perhaps assisting on a new Final Fantasy game?
What type of game is Final Fantasy 16?
According to a sketchy leak on 4chan from May 2020, FF16 is going to draw some inspiration from Dark Souls while retaining combat elements from Final Fantasy XV. Furthermore, there are some major claims about the structure of the overall world: "a job system and customizable characters set in an open world with "cities and dungeons within the rich open-world ... and ... free exploration of entire continents." This would hopefully be an expansion on the open world that was available in FFXV.
Anyone hoping that FF16 might be another MMO will be sorrowfully mistaken. "If you're asking whether the Final Fantasy series will get another MMO soon, I think the chances are unlikely so long as Final Fantasy XIV is doing well," Yoshi-P said in a February 2019 interview. So it doesn’t sound like this “new key project” will be another MMO. It's far more likely that it'll be another next-gen action-RPG, but whether or not it's a Final Fantasy game remains to be seen.
When it comes to setting, Yoshida has a dream for Final Fantasy XVI: "I’d like to see a Final Fantasy that is straightforward fantasy, one that doesn’t have much machinery, and with no mecha in it," he said in a February 2019 interview. Yoshida wants the next mainline game to be a high fantasy title, similar to FF9, FF11, FF12, and the Tactics offshoot series. A high fantasy setting would let the game distinguish itself from the ongoing FF7 Remake, which will presumably be around for many years to come.
Will Final Fantasy 16 impact development on Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2?
Although the FF7 Remake team includes many often associated with mainline Final Fantasy titles, like Kitase and Nomura, FF16 will likely impact the remake series in any way.
Square Enix has internal divisions for every subset of the Final Fantasy franchise. One team might head development for mobile titles, another might focus on remastering old games. In April 2019, there was a massive restructuring of divisions, giving Kitase more power and promoting Yoshida to head of Creative Business Unit III. His unit works on Final Fantasy XIV, XI, and developed Dragon Quest Builders.
The now-deleted recruitment page that first hinted at FF16 was precisely for this unit. Yoshida’s team presumably had such an expansive recruitment process to prepare for developing FF16. When it was available, the recruitment page described the title with words like “inaugural” and “core,” implying this upcoming game to be important, like FF16 would hypothetically be.
Square Enix has already done some potential hires for the game. In June 2020, Ryota Suzuki, designer of Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon's Dogma, was reported to have joined Unit III as the Battle Director for an upcoming game. If this is FF16, it wouldn’t take away from FF7 Remake Part 2 simply since they’re in completely different teams that are both part of Square Enix.
Final Fantasy 16 remains unconfirmed.