Is Final Fantasy 16 Coming Out In 2023

Final Fantasy 16 is one of the most anticipated upcoming RPGs, and there are plenty of questions surrounding its release date, with some speculation that it could release in 2023. Since the game was first revealed at a State of Play event in September 2020, players are speculating that the game may receive an update at PlayStation’s State of Play event on June 2. The State of Play will be focused on PSVR 2 games and other games from third-party developers, meaning there’s a chance that Final Fantasy 16 could get shown off as well.

After September 2020’s reveal trailer, news on Final Fantasy 16 and its release date has been relatively quiet, with updates coming via interviews but no other trailers or event appearances. Because of this, not much is known about the game so far. It’s been shown that the game will feature an action combat system closer to Final Fantasy 15‘s than some of the series’ turn-based, strategic gameplay. It also seems to be a return to the fantasy side of Final Fantasywith other games choosing more modern settings instead.


Related: FF7 Remake Part 2 & Final Fantasy 16: Which Will Release First?

With the absence of updates, it’s not hard to believe that Final Fantasy 16‘s release date could be delayed to 2023. On the other hand, though, the game’s producer says FF16 is nearly complete, with a trailer coming soon. With the developer’s confidence in how far the game has come along, it seems not out of the realm of possibility that FF16 releases this year. However, with the trend of delayed games recently, Final Fantasy fans should also prepare for a possible 2023 release instead.

Why Final Fantasy 16 Could Be Heading For A 2023 Release

Final Fantasy 16 World Art

The strongest case for a delay into 2023 for Final Fantasy 16′s release date is the lack of news or trailers on the game so far. For a game in a landmark video game franchise, the marketing cycle would probably be longer than a few months. Even if the game did get a big gameplay trailer at the upcoming State of Play on June 2, that would only leave around five months of advertising if Square Enix wanted to get the game out before the busy Black Friday shopping day. However, the game’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, has said he won’t show Final Fantasy 16 until close to release. “Close to release“could be different for everyone, though. To some, close might be three or four months away, while Yoshida could be thinking that within a year is close to release.

Another reason to hold back the release of the game until 2023 is due to the game’s exclusivity. When it was revealed, it was seemingly confirmed that Final Fantasy 16 would be a PS5 timed-exclusive. Very few games have been released as a PS5 exclusive, and even fewer of those have been third-party releases. With it still not being possible in most areas to go into a store and buy a PlayStation 5 due to low stock, Square might be holding the release until it can have the biggest initial sales impact it can, by waiting for PS5s to be more readily available.

Related: What Final Fantasy 12’s Setting & Story Could Mean For FF16

Final Fantasy 16 could also be getting delayed to make room for Final Fantasy 7 Remake 2. While the first part of this saga was released only two years ago, the release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade shows that there has been work done on the game on PlayStation 5 already. With the combat systems and how existing party members play likely remaining the same, a quick turnaround time isn’t out of the question. There’s even a Final Fantasy 7 25th anniversary announcement coming, which could indicate an upcoming release for the remake’s sequel. It would be a bad business decision to release two Final Fantasy games so close to each other, so FF16 gold FF7R 2 coming in 2022 likely means that the other isn’t.

Final Fantasy 16 Could Also Still Be On Track For A 2022 Release

Despite having no trailer, being exclusive to the elusive PS5, and the possibility of being edged out by Final Fantasy 7 Remaketea Final Fantasy 16 release date hasn’t been formally delayed yet. In addition to not getting a formal delay as of the time of writing, the developers seem confident in a 2022 release, as Yoshida says FF16 is nearing the end of its development. If the game is as close to the finish line as the developers have said, it seems like an odd choice to delay the game into 2023 regardless.

On top of that, Final Fantasy 16‘s release date not being this year would leave Square Enix without a big Holiday 2022 title. Especially after selling off studios earlier this year, a big holiday release title would be huge for the company. Final Fantasy 16 would almost certainly be a huge success in the holiday, being anticipated by fans of traditional RPGs as well as Naoki Yoshida’s last work, Final Fantasy XIVtea Final Fantasy MMO that has a sizable following. With Square’s other big 2022 title, Forspokenbeing delayed already, and the possibility of another delay on the way, losing Final Fantasy 16 from this year would be a big blow to the company’s release calendar.

Related: Which Square Enix Team Is Making FF16 (& Why It Matters)

In addition to base development being done, other factors of the game have been progressing rapidly as well. Voice acting in particular is an area that has seen a lot of progress, according to Square Enix. Usually done closer to the end of development, especially with a big RPG, FF16‘s voice acting is nearly finished and scenarios are set. This likely means that the story is set, and developers know where the Final Fantasy characters of FF16 are going and how they are growing and changing. Because of this, even if it isn’t all programmed and playable, developers should know where characters are going and what they will be doing during different parts of the story, which should speed up development significantly.

Overall, it seems Final Fantasy 16‘s release date is still a bit of a toss-up. There’s strong evidence to be made for both cases. On one hand, the lack of gameplay footage and overall radio silence on the game’s promotion seems to point to the game being pushed into 2023. On the other hand, the FF16 development team seems confident in a 2022 release and is even teasing a big FF16 reveal coming in 2022. As far as big reveals go, a release date and gameplay trailer would both fit the bill pretty well. The mystery could be solved very soon, too, with PlayStation’s State of Play on June 2 being a prime destination to show off gameplay and announce a release date for Final Fantasy 16. This summer seems to be the prime place for Final Fantasy 16 to get a release date, so players will likely soon know for sure when they can return to the world of Final Fantasy.

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