Sony and Square Enix kicked off today’s PlayStation 5 showcase with a huge bombshell, namely the surprise announcement of Final Fantasy XVI, the latest installment in Square Enix’s celebrated flagship RPG franchise!
A lengthy pre-rendered reveal trailer, captured on a PC designed to mimic PlayStation 5 hardware, teased many details about the game and its world, which will once again be an all-new universe with all-new characters. Most of the plot details were intentionally kept vague, but Final Fantasy XVI was confirmed to be bringing back the action-based combat that the series pioneered in the previous Final Fantasy XV. The storyline will also heavily incorporate crystals and dueling kingdoms, calling back to the earlier days of Final Fantasy franchise storylines. There was also a heavy focus on familiar summon spirits such as Ifrit, Titan, Shiva and Phoenix, who will supposedly play key roles in the storyline, Phoenix in particular. Finally, the return of series mascots and faithful mounts, Chocobos were shown off, as were some familiar Final Fantasy monsters such as the putrid Malboro.
Most curious about this reveal however is the fact that the trailer originally claimed Final Fantasy XVI would also be made available for PC. This may have been a boo-boo however, because Square Enix has since scrubbed any mention of a PC version of Final Fantasy XVI, including on PlayStation’s own re-uploads of the trailer, a strange phenomenon that also occurred with Sony’s Demon Souls remake. At this point, both Final Fantasy XVI and Demon’s Souls are now being marketed as PlayStation 5 exclusives, though that exclusivity does appear to be timed, possibly suggesting that both games will eventually make their way to other platforms, including PC.
Final Fantasy XVI has no release date at this time, though Square Enix has promised more details about the game will be revealed in 2021. Curiously, Final Fantasy XVI is also being developed by Square Enix’s Creative Business Unit III, a subsidiary that primarily focuses on MMORPG’s like Final Fantasy XIV Online. Despite this fact, Square Enix has separately confirmed Final Fantasy XVI is a single-player RPG that can be played offline.
Sadly, no updates were given on the ongoing Final Fantasy VII Remake saga during Sony’s presentation, but we’ll no doubt hear more about that soon as well, especially considering rumblings that the next game in that sub-series is already well into development.