Final Fantasy 16 is real, and it's coming to PC. The game was announced during a Sony livestream showing off upcoming PS5 games, but FF16's debut trailer clearly stated that a PC version is on the way (despite Square Enix's strange insistence that it has only been announced for PS5).
This is the first wholly new mainline Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy 15 and, in true series form, it appears to star brand new characters in a whole new world. We've got just one trailer and a bit of information on the official website to run with for now, with FF16's producer Yoshida says he hopes will lead to plenty of fan speculation.
Here's everything we know, and have speculated, about Final Fantasy 16:
When does Final Fantasy 16 release?
Square Enix hasn't shared an official release date yet, unfortunately. We could still be in for a long wait. With that in mind, PC players should note that FF15 took almost two years to come to PC. Hopefully, we'll get a simultaneous release this time around.
Will we see Final Fantasy 16 at E3?
It's definitely possible. Square Enix is hosting its own showcase event on Sunday, June 13th. You can find the time details over in our E3 2021 schedule. If it does show off some FFXVI details, that would fit with past comments the publisher has made.
"Our next big information reveal is scheduled for 2021, so in the meantime, I expect everyone to have fun speculating, as we have a lot in store—not only for the newest entry in the series, Final Fantasy XVI, but for Final Fantasy XIV, too. Needless to say, I’ll be working hard on both," producer Yoshida has previously mentioned.
Our first look at FF16 focuses on the broader tones and themes of the game, which are definitely trending darker than any modern game in the series. The trailer feels very similar to the dramatic CG trailers that Naoki Yoshida's team would make for FF14 expansions, which did an amazing job of selling the action and kicking off its stories.
The game seems to star the personal bodyguard of a prince named Joshua. We also hear familiar names from the series like Shiva, Phoenix, and Ifrit. With little to go on story-wise, the big highlight here is the setting, which appears to be more medieval this time around. That's a stark difference from FF15 (and other games in the series), which melded magic and monsters with modern trappings like electronics and cars.
Final Fantasy 16's story will involve a fight against the Blight
New information on FF16's website helps to provide some context to all those proper nouns from the reveal trailer.
The world of Valisthea has giant glittering mountains called Mothercrystals, Square Enix say. "For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions."
Then there are Eikons and Dominants—the former are the most powerful creatures in the world and the latter are the human vessels able to call upon their power. Depending on the nation they're from, Dominants might be revered as royalty for their power or controlled because of it.
Meet Final Fantasy 16's characters
Main character Clive (yup, that's his name alright) is the oldest son of the Archduke of Rosaria and was expected to be the new Dominant who would inherit the power of Phoenix. Instead, his younger brother becomes the Dominant and Clive gets the consolation prize of being named the First Shield of Rosaria. As the shield, he can wield a small part of Phoenix's flame and is in charge of protecting his brother. "Clive's promising career is to end in tragedy at the hands of a mysterious dark Eikon, Ifrit, setting him on a dangerous road to revenge," Square Enix say.
Joshua is the second son of the Archduke. He's the sweet and soft younger boy archetype—a noble kid who treats everyone beneath his social standing with respect. He looks up to his brother Clive too, of course. " Joshua often laments that it was he, the frail and bookish younger son, who was granted command of the firebird's flames, and not his stronger, braver brother," say Square Enix.
Jill was born in the northern territories and was made a ward in Rosaria at a young age to secure peace between the two. She's been raised alongside the Rosfield boys, so it seems she's like a sister to them. "Ever kind, gracious, and unassuming, Jill has become a trusted confidant to the brothers," Square Enix say.
Yoshida and Takai are working on FF16
Another exciting bit of this announcement is the names attached to it: Final Fantasy 14 producer Naoki Yoshida and series developer Hiroshi Takai. After Yoshida's Creative Business Unit III studio famously turned around FF14, making it the huge success it is today, it'll be interesting to see how the pair tackle a traditional Final Fantasy presumably detached from multiplayer.
Additionally, Square Enix recently hired Ryota Suzuki as a "battle director" and he is rumored to be working on FF16. Suzuki was designer of Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon's Dogma, which is a solid pedigree.
Final Fantasy 16 is another action-forward take on combat
If you've played FF15, or part one of the FF7 remake, you won't be surprised to see that Final Fantasy 16's combat appears to be action-heavy. The combat system reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts combines party synergy and abilities with stylish real-time action.
But you may spend more time alone, too?
Final Fantasy is known for its party systems with deep synergies, but every bit of combat we saw in this trailer showed the main character alone against monsters. That could just be Square Enix pacing out the reveals of party members, but it could indicate that you'll spend a lot of time in FF16 fighting alone. That would be a big change, and would also work with the idea of your character being the prince's sole bodyguard.
The trailer also hints at Joshua having some sort of special power, so perhaps he will be a party member?
FF16's confusing exclusivity
Remember how I said FF16 was announced for PC in the reveal trailer and then somewhat unannounced by Square Enix? We can't know for sure what's causing the confusing messaging, but games industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls claims that it all has to do with a timed exclusivity deal with Sony.
According to Harding-Rolls, FF16 will be exclusive to the PS5 for its first six months. That would be the earliest time that the game can come to PC. As for other consoles, he says Sony has that exclusivity locked down for a full year. If this is true, it's not an usual arrangement. Games supported in part by first party publishers often have timed exclusivity, though barring FF16 from PC as well does go a bit farther than most.
As for why Square Enix is trying to put the cat back in the bag about FF16 on PC? It's possible that Sony wasn't psyched about it. As a showcase during its big PS5 games event, Sony likely wanted viewers to feel like the PS5 was the only way to play FF16 (which it will be, just not forever, perhaps).
There is no official confirmation of FF XVI coming to PC, however the structure of the deal and the mention in the Sony PS5 showcase does suggest this is the case. When this arrives after the 6 months contractual period is up is obviously down to SE. /2September 17, 2020
Thank goodness. Driving the car in FF15 was fun and all, but nothing could compare to mounting a chocobo and taking on the wilds with your buds.