The Man Who Helped Save Final Fantasy XIV
With Final Fantasy XVI on the horizon–we hope–there’s no better time to look into the people behind the title. Immediately, it becomes clear that the new Final Fantasy will be wrapped up in the legacy of its predecessors. More than they usually are, we mean. Both director and producer are veterans of Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix’s MMO, and they worked together on the game-saving A Realm Reborn rebuild. For a while, we had suspicions that Naoki Yoshida, director of FFXIV, would jump ship to direct the franchise’s next mainline installment. We were wrong. Naoki Yoshida will be working on FFVI, but only as producer. Square Enix veteran Hiroshi Takai will be taking the director’s seat
So, who is Hiroshi Takai? Here’s the short answer: he’s been working at Square for thirty years, he contributed greatly to the cult SaGa series, and he was a troubleshooter during the construction of A Realm Reborn. In early 2014, he described his position like this: “My job is to work on odds and ends that trouble the developers. I’m directly in charge of effects and I oversee the level team that is in charge of planning the fields and dungeons, but essentially my work is really a bit of everything.”
That sounds cool, but what does it actually mean for FFXVI? Well, for starters, it means that the new director is the same man who was in charge of every FFXIV new patch trailer until Stormblood. The man who kept his assistant director position until the Heavensward expansion came out. The one who created the “default” Hyuran Warrior who returns with a new job every expansion–the one Western fanbase affectionately calls Poster Boy and the Japanese fanbase knows as Hiroshi. He did the effects for Legend of Mana, directed the ambitious The Last Remnant, and has probably been working on FFXVI since 2015, when he began easing off of his responsibilities to FFXIV. So yeah, Hiroshi Takai is kind of a big deal, and we’re eager to see where he takes us.
Right now, the FFXVI is already planning to improve its visuals, which seems squarely in Takai’s skillset. If this man is Final Fantasy’s future, we’re here for it. When the release date is set, the game will be released for PS5 and PC.