Final Fantasy 16 Successfully Appealed To Younger Players, Says Square Enix

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Expanded To New Audience With Action Combat Gameplay!

Story Highlight
  • Final Fantasy 16 broke away from this IP’s traditions in many ways, including its combat.
  • Square Enix says it aimed to attract a broader audience and succeded.
  • The studio will still appeal to older and hardcore players in the future.

Final Fantasy 16 has been out for nearly a year, and the dust around this title has been settled. It sold 3 million units at launch, but reception remained divisive, with hardcore fans either loving or disliking the new direction.

Square Enix recently discussed this approach, claiming that it was aimed at bringing in new players to the IP. The gaming giant states that Final Fantasy 16 succeeded and introduced many younger players to this series.

Why it matters: Final Fantasy has a legacy lasting nearly three decades, so it can be difficult for younger audiences to relate to this series.

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Speaking to Push Square, Square Enix discussed the transition from turn-based combat.

According to DLC director Takeo Kujiraoka, recent Final Fantasy games have attracted older fans. This is no longer the case for Final Fantasy 16, as the director states that surveys show a wider age group played this entry.

Square Enix states that this release saw more players in their teens and twenties.

We’ve achieved one of our goals – to have players of all ages play Final Fantasy.

-Takeo Kujiraoka

One major difference was the action-based combat. The game was often compared to Devil May Cry since the combat system aimed for more stylish and fast-paced gameplay revolving around combos.

However, the director was quick to clarify that this would not become a common theme moving forward. Future Final Fantasy games will try and cater to all groups as the studio hopes to unlock exciting possibilities.

Despite the new players, Final Fantasy 16 was limited by its PS5 exclusivity. This will change soon, with producer Naoki Yoshida confirming that the development of the PC port is rapidly heading toward its conclusion.

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Square Enix’s statement is interesting because this year’s highly-rated Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth takes the opposite approach.

It adopts a hybrid combat system and requires knowledge of the first remake. This means that the entry appeals to more hardcore fans, and reports claim that it sold about half as many units as its predecessor because of these limitations.

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