I’m sure you want Ito.
Tabata has proclaimed that 75% of the original team is still working on Final Fantasy XV. Nomura has his attention divided between the Final Fantasy VII: Remake and Kingdom Hearts III. Itou then would be our guy now.
But first, let’s talk about what Itou has in store for him.
Final Fantasy games are much more different now than they were since the PlayStation 2 days. That’s right! If you recall, the last game Itou had involvement on was Final Fantasy XII. They may give him a refresher since he worked on Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age for PS4. But otherwise, nearly a decade past since he his involvement.
Maintaining Final Fantasy’s status quo of awesome CGI scenes and great graphics lead to high production costs. They broke even with development costs. They’re making a profit. But considering the time spent in development, the advertisers and others that still need to pay. Will this mean a lower return on investments?
Final Fantasy XV gave game developers hope that console games could still be viable. But of course, mobile gaming is very popular and relies on very fast actions. The days of slow turn-based will make Final Fantasy gamers feel right at home. For their target audience, they’re going to want something faster paced. Similar to that of a mobile game.
Also, keep in mind that mobile games are cheaper, and still able to generate a ton of profit.
This is the Final Fantasy that Final Fantasy XVI has inherited. Now, let’s talk about what a director will have Final Fantasy XVI look like.
First, if you’re expecting strictly turn-based, forget it. We’re largely past that in Final Fantasy games. They may not do real-time action, they may not do strictly turn-based or even ATB. It’ll be something different, something fresh but familiar at the same time. Why not, Itou’s done Final Fantasy XII’s gambit system. I think we’ll see something along those lines. But then again, Toriyama has done a new faster-paced style of gaming found in Final Fantasy XIII.
Final Fantasy XVI won’t come out on the PS5. Like Final Fantasy IX and XII before it, it’ll be a send off to fans for this console’s generation. But in style, substance, and presentation, it’ll be monumentally different. Final Fantasy IX sent off the PlayStation 1. Final Fantasy XII sent off the PlayStation 2. But Final Fantasy XIII sent off the PlayStation 3.
Yes, Japanese developers are going to copy Final Fantasy XV in terms of open-world aesthetics. But Final Fantasy XVI is going to shape the mold again, this time by making the quest feel relevant overall. Also, the tech race will continue at full speed, with Final Fantasy XVI leading the charge. Finally, we’ll have in-game character models that will look near photo-realistic. Itou’s Final Fantasy’s felt large. Toriyama’s were large too but felt small.
Of course, we could most likely see a game written and directed by Toriyama.
…surprise – it’s Yoko Taro! Agni’s Philosophy type of writing in Witch Chapter 0 fits his style of writing. Of course, Tabata wrote and directed it. Still, he may hand it off. At least that’s what I want.
Or, how would you feel if it were him?