As the summer season swings in, rumors swirl around potential new game announcements, and the Final Fantasy series has long been part of that tradition. Recently, a 4chan rumor suggested that Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida would helm the next numbered entry as its director.
Yoshida fielded this rumor during a rebroadcast of the ‘Letter from the Producer Live’ broadcast series the team is airing as part of the COVID-19 Stay Home initiative. The team has also been providing commentary alongside them in the chat. According to RPGSite, Yoshida candidly wrote: “Ah, looks like some kind of big fake news came out. I’ll say it clearly – it’s annoying.”
He went on to say that he would be staying in his role on Final Fantasy XIV “for more years to come (as long as I don’t die from sickness or accident)”.
Recently, following a restructuring of Square Enix’s business divisions, Yoshida became the head of Division 3. This divison presides over the development of Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, and recently put out the lovely Dragon Quest Builders 2. Per a recruitment page Square Enix has hosted for several years (and updated last year to reflect the restructuring) the company is recruiting for a large-scale project.
“We have launched a new core project following “Final Fantasy XIV”, and we are beginning the challenge for the next generation. This project has already completed initial development, has completed the development environment, and is now in the stage of full-scale large-scale development. We are looking for developers who can give us “interest”, “fun” and “surprise” together.”
It’s still up in the air whether this project could become Final Fantasy XVI or another title, but the announcement of a new big-budget Final Fantasy game usually doesn’t slip far behind the release of the last one.