Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida has said he thinks “Maybe it’s time we removed the numbers”. Final Fantasy games. In an interview with GQ, he talked about the baggage that inevitably comes with having a 35-year-old series with soon to be 16 numbered mainline games in it (not including the sequels and spin-offs, I might add), and the confusion it continues to create with new players. “Every numbered title we release in the series, we have to go into it like, ‘It’s OK, you don’t have to play the rest of them,'” he said, and removing them is “something that I’ve discussed with the higher-ups”. It’s an understandable problem, for sure, although I think I’d be quite sad to see the numerals go entirely. As long as they don’t pull a Mortal Kombat and go back to 1though, we’re good.
Maybe it’s about time we removed the numbers from the title,” he told GQ. “For example, you have Final Fantasy 14. You get a new player coming in and it’s like, “Wait a minute, why do I have to play Final Fantasy 14 if 16 is out?” Why don’t we just call it Final Fantasy Online – just get rid of the number altogether, and that’ll make it easier to understand.”
He stresses that no one’s actually made a decision on removing the numbers just yet, though. “Whether Final Fantasy 17 or Final Fantasy 18 should have a number or not – that’s going to be on whoever has to develop that game and whoever’s in charge of the branding, so that’s their problem, not ours!” he said.
Yoshida took great pains to emphasize how newcomer-friendly Final Fantasy 16 is in Sony’s dedicated State Of Play presentation for it last month (embedded above). Not only will the RPG have several ring accessories its hero Clive can equip to lengthen things like parry and evasion windows, but you can also enable an automatic, single attack cue that will let Clive dole out ever-flashy sword swipes without having to deal with too many complex button presses . What’s more, these rings will be automatically equipped to Clive should you choose his ‘Story Focused’ mode at the start of the game.
Alas, there’s still no word on when Final Fantasy 16 will be coming to PC just yet, only that Square Enix would like to bring it to PC “at some point”, which makes me sad. Still, I’m very much looking forward to playing it on PS5 when it comes out on June 22nd, so apologies in advance for the inevitable tidal wave of FF16 supporter posts. You’ve been warned.
Do you think Final Fantasy should ditch the numbers and go for Stranger Of Paradise-style subtitles instead? Answers on a postcard (in the comments).