A new wave of interviews has revealed a wealth of info on Final Fantasy XVI, including that the upcoming action-RPG is 95% complete and the team expects to announce a release date by the end of the year.
In an interview with Famitsu, Director Hiroshi Takai was asked about the current state of Final Fantasy XVI’s progress, which is where he said it was 95% complete. Following up, Takai says “The current situation is that we play through the game day by day, tweak the rough parts, and brush up the parts that have flaws in performance or drawing. The rest is bugfixing.”
According to Producer Naoki Yoshida, the scale of Final Fantasy XVI has required immense amounts of debugging, resulting in most of the team being immersed in the process for weeks on end. Despite that, Yoshida feels confident that the team will be able to announce a release date by the end of 2022.
Elsewhere, in an interview with IGN, the development team provided more details on Final Fantasy XVI’s approach to diversity, side content, and focus on actions. When asked if Final Fantasy XVI will feature more black characters, or characters of colour in general, the producer had a bit of a disappointing response.
“Our design concept from the earliest stages of development has always heavily featured medieval Europe, incorporating historical, cultural, political, and anthropological standards that were prevalent at the time. When deciding on a setting that was best suited to the story we wanted to tell—the story of a land beset by the Blight—we felt that rather than create something on a global scale, it was necessary to limit the scope it to a single landmass — one geographically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world in an age without airplanes, television, or telephones,” says Yoshida
“Due to the underlying geographical, technological, and geopolitical constraints of this setting, Valisthea was never going to realistically be as diverse as say a modern-day Earth…or even Final Fantasy XIV that has an entire planet (and moon) worth of nations, races, and cultures at its disposal. The isolated nature of this realm, however, does end up playing a large part in the story and is one of the reasons Valisthea’s fate is tied to the rest of the world.”
It’s certainly disappointing to see a lack of diversity, especially from a series that has oftentimes done a good job of it. Outside those details, Yoshida has said that Final Fantasy XVI will take roughly 30-40 hours to complete for the main story, but 70+ when including side content. You can read the full IGN interview for even more details.