Final Fantasy 16 doesn’t have turn-based combat, in a bid to appeal to a younger audience.
That’s according to producer Naoki Yoshida speaking to Famitsu (and translated by VGC) in an extensive new interview on the game.
“I’m from a generation that grew up with command and turn-based RPGs,” said Yoshida. “I think I understand how interesting and immersive it can be. On the other hand, for the past decade or so, I’ve seen quite a number of opinions saying ‘I don’t understand the attraction of selecting commands in video games’.
“This opinion is only increasing, particularly with younger audiences who do not typically play RPGs.”
He notes that RPGs originated from tabletop games, but technology has advanced now to allow for more complex real time combat.
“For several console generations now, all character expressions can be done in real-time. Actions such as ‘press the trigger and your character will shoot a gun’ and ‘press the button and your character will swing their sword’ can now be easily expressed without going through a command system.
“It’s now common for gamers younger than me to love such games. As a result, it seems that it does not make sense to go through a command prompt, such as ‘Battle’, to make a decision during a battle.
“This is not an argument of what is good or bad, but there is a difference based on the player’s preferences and age. Furthermore, there is a big difference between a command system and a turn-based system, and these are often conflated, but are two different concepts.”
The battle director of Final Fantasy 16 is Ryota Suzuki, famous for his work on Devil May Cry 5, Dragon’s Dogma, and Marvel Vs. Capcom. That’s led to the action-focus of this battle system.
Elsewhere in the interview, Yoshida explained why the game isn’t open world.
“I want a story of a hero who saves the world, because this is Final Fantasy. I want a summon to go wild and destroy the map. I want to release this game as soon as possible. I cannot release this game in parts,” said Yoshida, describing the main aims for the project.
“When considering these four main points, I believe it is practically impossible to ask for everything. If we had a development period of about 15 years, we may have had the opportunity of challenging ourselves with an open world [smiles]. After all, it’s almost impossible in terms of time and cost to create a global story within an open world.”
He added: “I thought that the development team would be worried about this. Delivering what we believe is the best story, in an experience that blends together games and movies, does not require an open world.”
In addition, Yoshida previously stated the game returns to a classic setting to counter “static” recent games.