So far, Tetsuya Nomura, once solely a graphic designer and now prolific game director, has had his hand in multiple Final Fantasy projects. If he has not been working on a Final Fantasy title, it has been Kingdom Hearts, two of Square Enix’s most beloved and popular titles. So then, does this mean he might actually be working on Final Fantasy XVI?
You might say that he is working on it because, well, why not? He’s worked on everything else right? He’s worked on about four or so games at a time, juggling his time around each project. We might suppose this is common for him, so why wouldn’t he continue with this schedule?
Say Square Enix were to use him for Final Fantasy XVI. He has built up a significant name recognition over the past two decades with the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and his artwork has become synonymous with the later half of Final Fantasy’s main line series. Nomura might not only be a name people trust, he might also be a name people want.
But do I think this is a good thing? No. Not for Nomura; being overstretched is a negative. Overwork in the video game industry has been a hot topic of debate, and crunch has never been well for anyone’s physical health. For a middle age man like Nomura, it might actually prove to be exhausting.
Also consider the health of the Final Fantasy franchise. Nomura’s stride as a director and storyteller took off under his influence with the Kingdom Hearts series. But the Kingdom Hearts series has a unique style that might seem out of place in Final Fantasy. Even more so, the lines between the two are surely to blur, as we have seen with Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III. With multiple games helmed by the same director, we could see a level of consistency that would essentially rob the other of their identities.
But this isn’t about whether or not I think he’d be good for the project. This is whether or not I believe he might actually be working on Final Fantasy XVI.
A director such as Tetsuya Nomura may worked on multiple games at the same time in the past, but doesn’t mean that they are currently working on a title – Final Fantasy XVI – right now, at the moment. That’s not a certainty, that’s at best a strong possibility that, at the moment, Final Fantasy XVI is far from his mind.
Keep in mind, Nomura still has other installments of the Final Fantasy VII Remake to consider, along with the new saga for Kingdom Hearts. The Final Fantasy VII Remake has took a wild new direction most people haven’t expected. If he is to subvert our expectations, he’ll want to concentrate his efforts on these two titles exclusively.
And who knows, maybe this will be good for both Final Fantasy and Tetsuya Nomura. The health of both rely on diversity in habit, and I’m looking forward to a refreshing new talent for the new Final Fantasy XVI.