Producer Yoshida wants to make a game adults who grew up with Final Fantasy can get excited about.

Final Fantasy doesn’t try to limit itself to the confines of reality. “Fantasy” is right there in the title, after all, and with the cast primarily consisting of adventurers in their teens or early 20s, the games tend to be especially youthful feeling fantasies.

But for the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, producer Naoki Yoshida doesn’t want a story steeped in naive optimism, or even naive pessimism, for that matter. In a recent appearance on Tokyo FM radio talk show One Morning Yoshida was asked about what kind of narrative gamers can expect in the newest numbered installment of Square Enix’s flagship RPG franchise, and responded with:

“I can’t say very much about it right now. However, since the first Final Fantasy, I’ve been playing the games in the series as they’re released, and I’m now approaching my 50s…Like the Warriors of Light leveling up, I’ve grown as a person, and along the way you get to know…I guess you could call it the pain of world? I’m aiming to make XVI a Final Fantasy that people who know both the good things and the painful things in the real world can get really excited about again.

I think there’s a kind of anguish you can only understand once you become an adult. I want to make this game a fantasy that fans who grew up with Final Fantasy , now that they know more about the real world, will be able to get something out of and mentally engage with, to make a fantasy that they can enjoy once again.”

▼ Trailer for Final Fantasy XVI

Yoshida says this philosophy can already be seen in some of his work in Final Fantasy XIV, the franchise’s current online multiplayer game which has flourished since he took its reins, and consistently pleases fans not just with its graphics and gameplay, but with its story too.

Yoshida also told One Morning that Final Fantasy XVI is heavily leaning into the action elements for its new combat engine, but that the development team is taking care not to lock out players more accustomed to slower-paced RPG battles, with a variety of support systems and easy input methods for those who are primarily interested in the story.

Final Fantasy XVI is in development for the PlayStation 5, but currently has no announced release date, but with patience being a virtue many people acquire s they get older, perhaps that too ties into the themes Yoshida want to incorporate into the game.

Sources: Hachima Kiko, Game’s Talk
Images: YouTube/PlayStation
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