Final Fantasy 14 Director Naoki Yoshida Says Developing An MMO And FF16 Isn’t As Different As You Think
A new mainline Final Fantasy single-player game, Final Fantasy XVI, is coming to PlayStation 5 this summer, and I got a sneak peek at it not too long ago. Here you can read about my impressions of the game after spending about two hours with it. In addition to playing Final Fantasy XVI, I also got to interview the game’s director Hiroshi Takai and combat director Ryota Suzuki during this preview.
Particularly intriguing to me is how Creative Business Unit III, the in-house studio working on the upcoming game, manages to work on both Final Fantasy XVI and its wildly successful MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. Yoshida, the creator and director of Final Fantasy XIV, claims that there aren’t as many differences as you might expect.
Yoshida, speaking through a translator, says, “It’s probably not as different as you’d expect creating an ongoing [game like FFXIV] as well as a standalone game because for Final Fantasy XIV, if you look at the original A Realm Reborn and our expansions, they are all stories that have beginnings, middles, and ends.”
During a presentation I attended before getting my hands on Final Fantasy XVI, Yoshida mentioned that players will get to experience Clive in his twenties and thirties. Joshua, Clive’s younger brother, is a Dominant, which in Final Fantasy XVI means he can channel the strength of an Eikon, such as Ifrit or Garuda. It appears that Clive and Joshua’s friendship is the driving force behind the plot. As Yoshida mentioned in this sneak peek, Clive’s story revolves around vengeance and its repercussions for the characters. Takai promises that, unlike an MMO, the game will have a satisfying conclusion rather than leaving players hanging.
However, he notes that one key difference is that in MMO development, you must also craft the story’s next big twist.
Final Fantasy XVI doesn’t force you to do that,” Yoshida says. It’s possible that we could add a hook that piques your interest in additional material. That said, with Final Fantasy XVI, that wasn’t our intention. So, we set out to write a tale with a beginning, middle, and end. In place of a more generalised story, we decided to zero in on the protagonist Clive and the events in his life. That’s not to say it isn’t profound, though; we zero in so closely on Clive that we get a bird’s-eye view of his entire life.