When it was revealed that Creative Business Unit III (who we often refer to as the Final Fantasy XIV team) was leading development on Final Fantasy XVI, many dedicated FFXIV players leaned toward feeling hopeful about the franchise’s next mainline entry. For one, it’s exciting to see that team branch out and take on a high-profile single-player entry. And with a history of delivering high-tier expansions at a steady pace, FFXIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida being lead producer on FFXVI is promising. And another new detail makes things even more promising for us FFXIV sickos.
Sony’s summertime State of Play stream capped off with some words from Yoshi-P and brand-new gameplay trailer for FFXVI. Then a PlayStation Blog post gave more new information about the game. One of the details was that FFXIV composer Masayoshi Soken is indeed the lead composer for FFXVI as well.
Since the premiere trailer in 2020, any FFXIV player with a sharp-enough ear could draw similarities between the music in that trailer and the more orchestral tunes from FFXIV‘s discography, and make an educated guess that Soken was behind it.
As sound director and lead composer for FFXIV, Soken has helped create music that is inseparable from the unforgettable stories told throughout FFXIV. With Endwalker being the latest body of work, Soken and company brought the emotional storytelling to new heights with a soundtrack that complemented the narrative themes to near-perfection. At the last FFXIV Fan Fest, which was in early 2021, Soken revealed that he had been battling cancer throughout 2020 and continued to work on new music for the game — listening to “To The Edge” from FFXIV 5.3 was never the same after Soken told his story. During that Fan Fest, he also mentioned that his cancer was in remission and has been in good health since.
That said, if there’s one thing you can safely bet on with FFXVI, it’s that the game will have a banging soundtrack. You can hear some of that music in the new trailer below.
This latest trailer, dubbed “Dominance,” shows off real-time gameplay and more story-focused cutscenes. Since its reveal, FFXVI had been hinting that Eikons (or summons, in broader franchise terms) are central to the plot. Familiar names such as Shiva, Phoenix, Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan took center stage again in this latest trailer to hammer the point that the fate of FFXVI‘s world hangs in the balance of these god-like beings. And the Dominants, people who can control and embody Eikons, are important players in the story.
With actual gameplay being shown, we got a look at the UI and some of the RPG elements the game will be using and it’s definitely taking the series in a different direction. Ryota Suzuki is the combat designer for FFXVI, and you can easily draw similarities to his previous work in the Devil May Cry series. FFXVI has an unmistakable stylized character action-RPG gameplay foundation, which appears to deviate from the traditional party-based focus of the franchise.
FFXVI is set to launch sometime in Summer 2023. But just because parts of the FFXIV team are working on it, doesn’t mean the critically acclaimed MMO is slowing down. The next content update with FFXIV Patch 6.15 releases on June 7 and the main story continues in Patch 6.2 with tons of new content which we expect to launch sometime in August this year. Plans to give FFXIV a graphics overhaul with the next expansion and Patch 7.0 have already been revealed, too.