During the Final Fantasy XVI pre-launch celebration, the new chief executive officer of Square Enix Takashi Kiryu introduced the show with a message to the fans.
Kiryu-san appeared on stage speaking in pretty good English without a translator, (which is actually quite rare for Japanese executives unless they have perfect mastery of the language) recounting his experience as a fan of the Final Fantasy franchise since his childhood.
He then talked about his philosophy and goals as the new Square Enix CEO, ending his speech with a bold promise to the fans of the storied Japanese developer.
I believe games offer infinite possibilities. They have the potential to alter the course of our lives. As the new CEO of Square Enix, I will continue to cherish these childhood memories that instilled in me a gamer's spirit, and strive to deliver for all of the fans across the world that entertainment that promises new unforgettable experiences.
Square Enix has produced works that have changed people's lives including my own. It is my promise: We will continue to do so. I want to craft moments and memories that stay with you for a lifetime. I want Square Enix to grow stronger and better at providing experiences that resonate with you now and forever.
We also learned that PlatinumGames and the Kingdom Hearts team helped with the development of Final Fantasy XVI. PlatinumGames' Takahisa Taura, who spearheaded the battle system of NieR: Automata, led the team at the Osaka-based studio that worked on Final Fantasy XVI.
Kingdom Hearts IV co-director Tai Yasue mentioned that his team provided support on the battle parts and more. Since this is unusual, they initially thought about politely declining, but when they learned more about the plans for the game and its story, they decided to make it work no matter what.
While specifics about what the two teams worked on were not shared, we heard that more information will come after the game releases.
Speaking of Kiryu-san, during a livestream aired just after the announcement of his new roles, we learned that he also plays Final Fantasy XIV together with his wife.
Final Fantasy XVI is coming for PS5 on June 22. If you'd like to learn more, you can read my preview and enjoy our interview with producer Naoki Yoshida and art director Hiroshi Minagawa. A demo of the game is releasing tomorrow, including most of the content that I tested for my preview, so you'll soon be able to form your own opinion.
Speaking of Final Fantasy news, a couple of days ago we saw a new trailer of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, which will release in early 2024. Considering that the next expansion for Final Fantasy XIV will likely be announced in July and should come in 2024 as well (if the usual patterns are preserved), fans of the franchise have a lot to look forward to over the next year or so.