Since the announcement in September 2020, Final Fantasy XVI has been labeled by many as an Open World video game, a direct evolution of 2016’s Final Fantasy XV. The Producer of the new chapter Naoki Yoshida, however, confirmed that it is not this is the case and that, in reality, the game will not have the classic Open World structure already seen in many recent Triple-A video games, although some of these have been a “great inspiration” for the development team.
During the new interview, Yoshida explained that Final Fantasy XVI would have a “brick structure” similar to the one seen in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, another video game mislabeled as Open World. Although it was not developed as a classic Open World, Naoki Yoshida explained that ” Final Fantasy XVI draws inspiration from many recent Triple-A Open World RPGs, ” Unfortunately, the Producer preferred not to reveal the names.
“Our large-scale research has confirmed that many new generation players have never played a Final Fantasy and are not interested in trying one,” said Yoshida. “To create a game that could excite and entertain both our old fans and new generations, we played a lot of new RPGs, so yes, in Final Fantasy XVI, you will find inspiration from several recent Open World RPGs. To tell a story involving the entire game world, we decided to avoid a design that would have limited us to a single large map that can be explored without interruption and instead create more independent areas to give players an impression of a global scale. “
With these words, Naoki Yoshida confirmed that the story of Final Fantasy XVI would bring Clive and his party to many areas of Valisthea, perhaps to seek the Dominants in control of the various invocations (here called Eikon). For this reason, a single map would not have been enough to represent the size of the world correctly, and the team preferred to opt for more explorable areas, perhaps accessible from a central hub as in Final Fantasy X.