Square Enix has discussed the possibility of dropping numbers from Final Fantasy game titles, according to the producer of the latest series entry.
In an interview with GQ, Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida suggested using numbers in mainline series entries could be off-putting for new players, who might think they need to have played the previous games to enjoy the latest one.
“A lot of players are going to come in and they’re going to look at it like a comic book where you have to read from the beginning to know what’s going on now,” he said.
“It’s hard for marketing because every numbered title that 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.’”
Yoshida was asked if Square Enix could stop releasing numbered series entries for good.
“That’s actually something that I’ve discussed with the higher-ups,” he replied. “Maybe it’s about time we removed the numbers from the title. 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.
“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!”
Final Fantasy 16 will be released for PlayStation 5 on June 22.
In a newly published Final Fantasy 16 preview, we said the game has the potential to be one of the best titles in the series, which launched in 1987 and had shipped over 173 million copies as of March 2022.
“Final Fantasy 16 has the potential to stake a claim as a defining RPG of the early generation,” we wrote. “With production values that are off the charts and music that will knock you off your feet, the game left an incredibly strong impression.”
After spending four hours with the game, VGC also got the chance to interview Ben Starr, who plays protagonist Clive Rosfield, and Susannah Fielding, who plays another main character, Jill Warrick.