In an interview with Dengeki Online, Final Fantasy XVI Producer Naoki Yoshida and Directors Hiroshi Takai and Kazutoyo Maehiro revealed information about FFXVI. The developers talked about the reason for wanting to raise the game’s age rating and detailed some new gameplay mechanics like “Buddies.” [Thanks, Dengeki!]
Director Takai confirmed that they deliberately raised the age rating of the game, with the purpose of broadening the range of expression available with a higher rating. This is due to the Japanese CERO rating system being very restrictive when it comes to depiction of blood, wounds, or violence. Yoshida cited the development of FFXIV as having difficulties including certain scenes, due to the rating of the game being 15 ages or higher.
In terms of new gameplay details, the developers made a distinction between party members, which will fight for themselves automatically, and “Buddies” like Torgal the dog. These work similar to party members, with the exception of being able to receive partial orders, such as “heal” or “choose from several attack options.” In addition, the game won’t have elemental weaknesses, with each Eikon and element acting as distinct mechanics that enable different actions and moves.
Final Fantasy XVI will release first for PlayStation 5 on June 22, 2023.