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Final Fantasy 16 on PS4 was scrapped in the middle of development

Producer Naoki Yoshida reveals the original plans
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Naoki Yoshida, the man at Square Enix behind the successful turnaround of Final Fantasy 14 and producer of Final Fantasy 16, said that last year’s installment was originally planned as a “multi-platform release on PlayStation 4 as well.”

He revealed this during an interview with PlayStation’s Shuhei Yoshida, which was uploaded by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science on YouTube.

Asked if the decision to make Final Fantasy 16 only available on the more powerful hardware was made early in development, the Square Enix producer said: “No, it was around the middle of development, I believe. Originally, we were expecting to have a multi-platform release on PlayStation 4 as well.”

FF16 Phoenix Eikon

The impressive Eikon fights contain some of visual highlights of the game.

According to him, technical limitations were the decisive factor: “To some extent, the assets were pushing the PlayStation 4 to its absolute limits, but in the end, the Final Fantasy series has a certain level of graphical fidelity expected of it, and when we tried to eliminate basically all loading on the PS4 version, there were certain parts where we were having to reduce the quality to a point lower than [Final Fantasy] 15.”

“We wanted to create the very best story experience, one that made you feel like you were blasting through it on a roller coaster from start to finish without any loading at all and being amazed by what you’re seeing,” he continued. Obviously, that artistic vision was at odds with the restrictions the PS4’s hardware imposed on the team.

“I just thought it was going to be really hard to do that on PS4,” the producer said. Naoki Yoshida reported that he’d explained all this to higher-ups at Square Enix and asked them for permission to just focus on the PS5 version at first, which was granted.

The developer also revealed that the team spent a little over a year playing the game ahead of release to decide where to put the PS5 DualSense controller’s haptic feedback feature to use.