Final Fantasy 16 leads were originally developing a Bloodborne-like game prior to working on Final Fantasy 14.
Over the past few years, Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida has been publishing a regular column for Famitsu called “Yoshida Uncensored.” The works were collected in a book in 2018, and Yoshida, assistant director Hiroshi Takai, and lead UI artist Horishi Minagawa all got together to celebrate the occasion with a new interview, which has just resurfaced thanks to newfound attention on ResetEra (opens in new tab).
All three discuss a “hardcore action game targeting Western markets,” that they were originally developing in 2010 before being called in to help the struggling Final Fantasy 14. “It was similar to Bloodborne,” says Takai, when asked what genre the cancelled project was going to be. Yoshida adds that it was an action game, not an RPG, and was reminded of the project upon eventually seeing Bloodborne.
“If we’d kept going and Bloodborne was released first, we’d probably be freaking out right now,” says Minagawa. Takai says the project even had the “same weapons and guns” as Bloodborne, but would actually star five players in a multiplayer setting, with four players taking on hero roles, and the fifth player attempting to hunt them down as the villain.
All three were working on this original game, which doesn’t even have an official title or codename, but were ultimately pulled off the project to steer Final Fantasy 14 to the ground-breaking success we’re seeing now. You can check out the full Yoshida Uncensored collected works via a Google Drive (opens in new tab) file, if you’re interested in how Final Fantasy 14 came to be the hit we know it as.
What’s really interesting, though, is that all three creatives are now spearheading Final Fantasy 16. The action is very much a big part of the new game, and Square Enix even recruited Devil May Cry 5’s main combat designer (opens in new tab) to an unknown project, which many speculate is Final Fantasy 16. It’s not unreasonable, therefore, to wonder whether elements of the canned Bloodborne-like game have made it into Final Fantasy 16.
Yoshida recently said Final Fantasy 16 is in the “final stages of development,” so it might not be too long until we finally see more of the new RPG.