Square Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy 16 has gone gold.
As reported by PSU, the official Japanese Final Fantasy 16 Twitter account has updated followers that the game has gone gold, meaning Creative Team 3 have officially wrapped up development.
Naoki Yoshida and the rest of Creative Team 3 have been tight lipped throughout the production of Final Fantasy 16, only revealing details now that they are closer to release.
He recently held an extensive talk about the game in the most recent PAX East. We ourselves picked up on details of the talk, and so you can read all about the essentials of Final Fantasy 16 here. This article also links to further details about the game’s development, including the battle system, QTEs, accessibility, and the key location called the Hideaway.
While nowhere as ambitious as Final Fantasy XV, this is possibly an even more consequential game in the long running series, and its success or failure will determine a lot about its immediate future.
Last September, Yoshida got remarkably candid about the state of Final Fantasy as a series. In his own words:
“In terms of whether Final Fantasy is successfully adapting to industry trends, I believe the series is currently struggling.”
In giving this answer, Yoshida was thinking about the mixed reception of Final Fantasy XV. That game proved to be a technological showcase for that generation and a critical and sales success, but not beyond criticism.
Final Fantasy XIV had faced even more issues, very much flopping on the market before Yoshida was assigned to salvage it somehow. It cannot be said enough that the turnaround that Yoshida managed to pull off with this game is nothing short of miraculous.
While I hadn’t emphasized it at the time, it was clear to Square Enix fans that the company had been struggling at large part because of the hubris of their veteran game directors. Particularly notorious were Tetsuya Nomura and Hajime Tabata, but this isn’t even the full picture. The protracted development times of both these games reflected on the company’s failure to live up to their broader ambitions as a whole.
And so, the stage is set for Naoki Yoshida to steer the company on the direction it needed to be in for over a decade. If Final Fantasy 16 is the right way to go, then Naoki Yoshida is the man to head the company’s efforts coming into the next decade of gaming.
Final Fantasy 16 will be released on the PlayStation 5 on June 22, 2023. A PC port is also expected to be announced in the future.