Final Fantasy XVI Is Set to Release Some Time before 2035
On this week’s podcast the panel discussed the big Final Fantasy XVI news that has been making the rounds this week. Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has stated that the game is coming out “sooner than people think.”, and he asserts this on the grounds that he knows several people close to the project, and they have confirmed that it has been in some form of development for four years.
I’ve heard from people who know the game, have worked on the game or are familiar with the game’s development that it’s actually been in development for at least four years in some capacity. So it’s coming sooner than people think.
15 I think really set a terrible precedent. It was announced as Versus 13 in 2006 and then took ten years to make, so I think they want to shy away from that. It makes sense: 15 came out in 2016, so it’s already been four years since the last Final Fantasy game.
“Sooner than people think” is a particualrtly unhelpful statement, seeing as it relies on the subjective metric of what each and every person considers to be “soon”, which is bound to contain a high degree of variance. On a cosmic scale the rise and fall of empires could be considered brief and transient affairs, so Schreier’s unquantifiable metric of “sooness” does not convey anything of value to us, or at least it does not do so in isolation.
If only we could have an authoritative source confirm to us fan expectations for the game’s release, then we could begin to establish what sooner than that might look like. Well it just so happens that we are in luck, as this week Yoshi P himself has confirmed that series fans are expecting the game to launch in 2035, and so, if Schreier is to be believed, we should see the game some time before then. If people think that Final Fantasy XVI will release in 2035, then 2034 will be “sooner than people think.”
We worked very hard. I didn’t want to just release a movie or pre-rendered footage and bam, the logo! I really wanted to show real-time, in-game footage but the gameplay hasn’t been optimized and fine-tuned. Producing the trailer was exhausting during this time of the game’s development.
But if we released a pre-rendered trailer, fans would say ‘See you in 2035!’ or something. I’ve seen those comments from America and elsewhere. We really wanted to actually show something in-game.
In all seriousness, the fact that Yoshi P is specifically indicating that the game is not too far off probably means that it will be arriving in a somewhat reasonable timeframe. Apparently Final Fantasy XVI‘s next big reveal is set for 2021, and you really do not have these kind of big reveals unless the company is attempting to get the ball rolling on the marketing for their game. It will probably be the case that, barring unforseen setbacks, the game will likely release six months on from next year’s reveal event – probably in the first half of 2022.
TGS: JRPG Announcements
One says TGS, but in the midst of Covid it scarcely qualifies – reduced to a four day streaming event across September 24, 25, 26, and 27. That being said, for peeople not in attendence the result is much the same: game announcements! Most relevant to our interest here at TDT is Collection of Saga: Final Fantasy Legend. This collection bundles together the Gameboy releases of Makai Toushi Sa·Ga, Sa・Ga2: Hihō Densetsu, and SaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha – these titles are better known in the West as The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II, and Final Fantasy Legend III. This release is set to be a worthy companion to Romancing Saga 2, Romancing Saga 3 and Scarlet Grace. It is especially convenient for us here at TDT, since it makes it a lot easier to pick one of these games for a site playthrough. Collection of Saga will release worldwide for the Switch on December 15.
In other JRPG news, apparently Konami still makes games. Who knew? Konami this week showed off a great looking action RPG called Edens Zero. The game has fantastic visuals and art direction, with some particularly busty character designs for the female characters. That being said, this appears to be an RPG based on an ongoing manga, which is often a red flag with respect to the quality of a game’s story. Often times these games are given a no consequence filler plot so that the game’s story will not derail the story of the manga. More than anything this game is just noteworthy because it is Konami developing it, when they are not widely viewed as a game developer these days. Konami have yet to confirm which console Edens Zero is being developed for.
Microsoft Buys Zenimax (Bethesda)
We have long criticised Microsoft for their inclination to take out their chequebook and buy their way to success instead of building their way there from the ground up – and this week’s happening only adds fuel to that fire. So this week Microsoft confirmed that they have acquired Zenimax for a cool $7.5 billion. This means that they now own studios including Bethesda, Id, Tango Gameworks, and Arkane. It also means that they now own franchises including The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Wolfenstein, Prey, and The Evil Within. It also means that Microsoft now finds itself in ownership of two Playstation timed-exclusives that they have to honour – Ghostwire Tokyo and Death Loop.
Microsoft have obviously bought Zenimax to get their hands on some exclusive games for their forthcoming console, but by God this is an expensive way of doing things. Microsoft are paying market value for some hyper popular gaming properties, and then Thanos-snapping away half of their value by excluding Playstation and Nintendo releases. Perhaps the money they are making from Xbox Game Pass makes this worth it, but it sounds pretty dicey. It is going to be genuinely interesting to see which existing contracts with Sony and Nintendo Microsoft are going to have to honour. The forthcoming expansion to Doom Eternal will almost certainly find its way to Playstation. Microsoft will have to be hoping that Bethesda has not signed any contracts with Sony to bring Starfield to the PS5, since that is the biggest upcoming release from the Zenimax group.
There is nothing here that one personally views as a huge loss, but it is troubling to see the size of the acquisitions that Microsoft is willing to make. There have been persistent rumours all year that Microsoft were looking at acquiring Sega. Initially one was not all that worried, because the size of the acquisition seemed preposterous, yet if Microsoft are willing to spend $7.5 billion on buying Zenimax then a Sega acqision is not much more of a stretch. Sega of course owns Atlus, a company which is absolutely integral to the JRPG landscape. Microsoft would think absolutely nothing of crashing Atlus into the side of a mountain – Atlus are not the reason they are interested in Sega, and JRPGs do not sell on the Xbox platform. The PC is a lucreative platform for Atlus, but it cannot make up for the loss of an ability to release on both Nintendo and Sony hardware. One hopes that the purchase of Zenimax has sated Microsoft’s appetite for multi-billion dollar purchases, because Atlus is one of the best things that the JRPG industry still has going for it.