Final Fantasy XVI is focusing on area-based design rather than open world

Final Fantasy XVI trailer

You’ll still see some open-world influence though

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Final Fantasy XVI may be ratcheting up the scale, but its world won’t be going fully open. In a new interview, producer Naoki Yoshida discusses the design philosophy behind the world of Final Fantasy XVI, saying it won’t be an open-world RPG.

In an interview with IGN, Yoshida says players might notice inspiration from recent AAA open-world RPGs. But in order to deliver the story the team wants to make, it won’t be one big, contiguous space.

“We’ve found in our extensive user research that many of the younger generation of gamers have never played a Final Fantasy or don’t have any interest in the series,” Yoshida says. “To create a game that might excite and resonate not only with our core fans, but also with that new generation, we played a lot of games ourselves, and so yes, in [Final Fantasy XVI] you’ll find inspiration from recent triple-A open-world RPGs.”

“However, to bring a story that feels like it spans an entire globe and beyond, we decided to avoid an open world design that limits us to a single open world space, and instead focus on an independent area-based game design that can give players a better feel of a truly ‘global’ scale,” said Yoshida.

World dominants

Considering the open-world design of Final Fantasy XV had some mixed reception, it looks like Square Enix has opted for a different direction with XVI.

The world’s areas will still need to accommodate its monstrously huge Eikon battles. These fights, held by famous Final Fantasy faces like Shiva, Ramuh, and Ifrit, are massive and will be involved in the battles of Final Fantasy XVI. How that happens, though, varies from Eikon to Eikon.

In an interview with Game Informer, Yoshida says the team doesn’t use the same exact system twice for Eikon-versus-Eikon battles. One might be similar to a 3D shooter, while another feels more like a pro wrestling match.

Final Fantasy XVI is aiming to launch in summer 2023 on the PlayStation 5.

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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.
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