According to a recruitment post on the official Square Enix website, the recently announced Final Fantasy XVI has already completed “basic development,” and that the game’s main scenario has been completed, with environmental effects and cutscenes well into production. The recruitment announcement clarifies that Square Enix is looking for “final staff” to work on implementing boss battles and other large-scale resources.
This state of affairs is unexpected, given that Final Fantasy XVI was officially announced less than one month ago during a PlayStation 5 showcase event. XVI, which currently has no announced release date but is confirmed to be a PlayStation 5 exclusive title, will be the first entry in the main Final Fantasy series since 2016’s Final Fantasy XV. This seeming confirmation of near-complete development is especially surprising when compared to XV, which began its life as the non-main series title Final Fantasy Versus XIII and spent nearly a decade in development before finally releasing.
Despite this good news, it will likely still be several months or possibly as long as a year before the game is released. The recruitment post confirms that the game’s staff is still working remotely, meaning that development has likely slowed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the focus on the ability to create “large-scale resources” might hint that major fight sequences and cut scenes are still a work in progress.
Little is known about the plot of Final Fantasy XVI, which will be produced by Naoki Yoshida and directed by Hiroshi Takai. However, it is known that it will focus on a military struggle between several kingdoms and will use a battle system similar to XV’s but with a heavier focus on Eikons, summoned creatures including series mainstays Ifrit and Shiva.
Hopefully, more information regarding Final Fantasy XVI – including an official release date – will be announced soon.