The next main installment in the franchise, Final Fantasy XVI will not be open world, according to producer Naoki Yoshida.
In an interview with IGN, Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida confirmed that the upcoming game will not have an open world like previous game Final Fantasy XV. Instead, the RPG will have "area-based game design" which Yoshida says will "give players a better feel of a truly 'global' scale."
Open worlds have been a prominent trend in recent RPGs, but can often risk feeling empty or overwhelming in some aspects. While Final Fantasy XVI won't be open world in the traditional sense, Yoshida confirmed that the game takes "inspiration from recent triple-A open world RPGs."
More information surrounding Final Fantasy XVI has slowly been rolled out, including that of the Eikons — the game's summoning mechanic — and how they fit into combat. Speaking with IGN, Yoshida said, "Some will face Clive as fierce enemies, some will be friends and come to Clive’s aid."
"There will also be times where the player will control an Eikon in real-time, battling other Eikons. The battle type and scale are somewhat fluid, and change seamlessly in real-time depending on the battle."
It seems the summoning mechanic will be similar to that of Final Fantasy XV, as well as other aspects of the combat. Players will mostly be focused on Clive as the playable character, who will be propped up by AI-controlled party members.
Final Fantasy XVI will be released in Summer 2023 for the PlayStation 5.