With a solid release window for Final Fantasy XVI coming in the summer of 2023, there has been more information coming out for the title which is in the final stages of development. One important aspect being the lack of an open world.
In a new interview, producer Naoki Yoshida has confirmed that Final Fantasy XVI will not be an open world game. This would be a change from the previous mainline title, which was open world for the first major sections of the game.
That said, it appears that there will be open “zones” of the game. This will be similar to games like Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which itself is inspired by Monster Hunter. Yoshida also reveals their world design to be inspired by “recent triple-A open world RPGs”.
“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. 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 16] you’ll find inspiration from recent triple-A open world RPGs,” Yoshida said to IGN.
He added, “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.”
Given his description of the way the world is built in-game, it seems that some similarities come about to a previous Final Fantasy game with Final Fantasy XII. The 2006-released game had many zones between cities where players would contend with battling monsters, while traversing and exploring at their leisure.
What do you think of this design? Did you prefer the way it was handled in Final Fantasy XV, or is this change for the better? Final Fantasy XVI is launching sometime in summer 2023 for PlayStation 5.