One of the major announcements during the PlayStation 5 reveal stream earlier in 2020 was Final Fantasy XVI. With a lengthy trailer that set the mood and showcased a bit of gameplay, there was a lot to parse for the next mainline entry in the storied franchise. Many mainstays of Final Fantasy lore were put front and center, and you can catch glimpses of how this new game is building off of the series' broader history and its recent past.
In addition to the relatively detailed reveal trailer, Square Enix also launched an official website that contains in-depth looks at FFXVI's new world and characters to get you started on understanding the backstory. What's notable about this entry, in particular, is that it's being developed by Creative Business Unit III--which is the not-so-flashy name for the division behind the incredible MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. It's promising given that Naoki Yoshida is leading production on FFXVI--he led the team behind the rebirth of FFXIV and continues to direct the MMO, which keeps getting better and is regarded as top-tier in its storytelling. FFXVI itself is being directed by Hiroshi Takai, who has a lengthy history with Final Fantasy and Square Enix, and he was even part of developing FFXIV's reboot.
We're still a ways away from the launch of FFXVI, but Yoshida-san has stated that a major reveal of new information on the game is coming in 2021. You can catch up on everything we know so far in the rest of this article. You should also check out our most anticipated games of 2021, or...you can read about how there's never been a better time to get into FFXIV! Be sure to peep our roundup of 50 indie games you should have on your radar in 2021, too.
There's been no word on a release date or release window. Director Hiroshi Takai said in a joint statement with Yoshida-san shortly after the game's reveal, "It may still be some time before we can get it into your hands. However, I promise the wait will be worth it." This may lead you to believe that a 2021 release is off the table, although word has it that the game has been in development for several years now.
Right now, FFXVI is marked as a PS5 console exclusive. It's the only platform indicated on the official website. It won't be a cross-generation game either, so PS4 owners will have to move to the new-generation system in order to play it.
Final Fantasy XVI will be a limited-time PS5 console exclusive. The reveal trailer stated upfront, "The following content is captured on PC emulating the PS5 experience." And at the end of the trailer, the game will be "not available on other platforms for a limited time after release on PS5," with a footnote saying it'll be available on PC. There's currently no word on how long the exclusivity will last.
Although the newest game in the franchise, Final Fantasy VII Remake, remains a PlayStation exclusive, it wouldn't be much of a surprise if FFXVI comes to Xbox at some point, given that the rest of the series lives on Xbox platforms.
The reveal trailer is titled "Awakening" and offers four minutes of story, cutscenes, and gameplay. It's chock-full of details that paint a vivid picture of what FFXVI entails. It also features a powerful orchestrated theme with a few Final Fantasy touches like the iconic Crystal Prelude. If we had to take a wild guess, it sounds a bit like composer Masayoshi Soken's work on FFXIV: Heavensward. You can watch the trailer below.
From what we can tell from the trailer and official website, there's conflict between realms (basically nations) in the world of Valisthea, a bunch of political drama, but also a focus on Dominants--these are a few special people who can wield the power of Eikons, which are what summons are called in FFXVI's world (and in FFXIV).
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