Final Fantasy XVI was surprise revealed in 2020 as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, and Square Enix and PlayStation have remained closely aligned throughout its showings since then. Be it State of Plays, PlayStation Showcases, or even PlayStation Blogs, it’s clear Final Fantasy XVI is a big release for Sony.
During my cover story trip to Square Enix’s Tokyo, Japan, offices, I asked producer Naoki Yoshida how developer Creative Business Unit III feels about the game’s PS5 exclusivity and what that does for the studio in terms of development. He says it’s important to distinguish that CBUIII doesn’t go into game development thinking it wants to limit a game to just one platform or company. When the team started development on FFXVI, the studio “looked at all options,” Yoshida says.
Final Fantasy XVI Producer Naoki Yoshida
“Final Fantasy, being one of Square Enix’s very important franchises up there with Dragon Quest and the Kingdom Hearts series – when we do begin development, we do approach multiple platforms, multiple companies, about releasing the game. And when you approach them, they’re going to come back to us with their offers.”
The team and Square Enix then consider all those offers and decide what will be best for the project. In this case, Square Enix liked PlayStation’s offer best; it doesn’t hurt that PlayStation and Square Enix have a decades-long relationship resulting in various Square Enix exclusives on PlayStation consoles.
From a development perspective, Yoshida says CBUIII wants as many people worldwide to play the game as possible.
“That said, from a developer and programmer perspective, limiting development to one system makes it not only easier on us but allows us the ability to optimize it,” he continues. “And that allows us the ability to maximize performance for that one system because we’re only concentrating on that one system.”
On top of that, Yoshida says the team gets a lot of help from the first party – PlayStation in this instance – and its developers and programmers who help CBUIII maximize a game’s performance.
“It allows us to create the game that we want to create [and] it makes it easier for us to do that.”
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