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Final Fantasy 16 moved away from turn-based combat to appeal to younger players

Final Fantasy 16 lead and producer Naoki Yoshida claims that while he loves command-based RPGs, younger players aren't as fond of those systems.


One of the lamentations of new Final Fantasy games is how they’re moving further and further away from turn-based, command-driven RPGs for a more action-oriented approach. It’s been going on at least since Final Fantasy 15, continued through Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and will also continue on in Final Fantasy 16. Lead producer Naoki Yoshida recently spoke to why this was, claiming that it’s to help the game appeal to younger players which Yoshida believes just aren’t as fond of those turn-based systems.

Yoshida recently spoke to the matter of turn-based and action combat in RPGs in a recent issue of Famitsu, as translated by Video Games Chronicle. When asked about turn-based combat in regards to Final Fantasy 16, Yoshida went into detail on why such a system wouldn’t be in the game.

“I’m from a generation that grew up with command and turn-based RPGs,” Yoshida said. “I think I understand how interesting and immersive it can be. On the other hand, for the past decade or so, I’ve seen quite a number of opinions saying ‘I don’t understand the attraction of selecting commands in video games’. This opinion is only increasing, particularly with younger audiences who do not typically play RPGs.”

A knight with a sword from Final Fantasy 16.
Final Fantasy 16 moved away from turn-based combat to appeal to younger players not fond of such systems, according to Naoki Yoshida.
Source: Square Enix

Yoshida goes on to say that this sentiment is why his team worked towards a more action-styled combat system that would be more engaging to younger players.

“It’s now common for gamers younger than me to love such games,” Yoshida continued. “As a result, it seems that it does not make sense to go through a command prompt, such as ‘Battle’, to make a decision during a battle… As I said, I believe I know the fun of command system RPGs, and I want to continue developing them, but I thought about the expected sales of Final Fantasy XVI and the impact that we have to deliver.”

It's an interesting rhetoric, but also sounds like Square Enix has a lot riding on the title and wants it to appeal to as many players as possible. As Final Fantasy 16 nears completion and prepares for a launch in summer 2023, stay tuned for more details, such as a concrete release date, right here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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