Final Fantasy 16 ditched turn-based combat to appeal to younger audiences

Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida said that the upcoming RPG has ditched turn-based combat to appeal to younger audiences.

When speaking to the Japanese media outlet Famitsu, Yoshida suggested that Square Enix decided against turn-based combat in the hope of appealing to a mass audience.

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I’m from a generation that grew up with command and turn-based RPGs,” said Yoshida. “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,” added the FF16 producer. “This opinion is only increasing, particularly with younger audiences who do not typically play RPGs.

Gaming and technology have evolved

final fantasy
Credit: Square Enix

Yoshida went on to say that with gaming appealing to a more mass audience in the modern era, as well as the evolution of console technology, this was a reason why some RPGs have ditched turn-based combat.

For several console generations now, all character expressions can be done in real-time. Actions such as ‘press the trigger and your character will shoot a gun’ and ‘press the button and your character will swing their sword’ can now be easily expressed without going through a command system.

It’s now common for gamers younger than me to love such games. 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.

final fantasy
Credit: Square Enix

Acton-based vs Turn-based

Yoshida concluded: “This is not an argument of what is good or bad, but there is a difference based on the player’s preferences and age. Furthermore, there is a big difference between a command system and a turn-based system, and these are often conflated, but are two different concepts.

I’m sure this won’t be news many would want to hear, especially for long-time fans of the Final Fantasy series. It’s a shame that both action-based, as well as turn-based combat, couldn’t be an option.

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When Final Fantasy 7 was originally released for the PS1 in 1997, it had turn-based mechanics. However, the 2020 FF7 Remake instead opted for action-based combat mechanics. I suppose at the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference.

Do you prefer action-based or turn-based combat in your favourite RPGs? Let us know across our social media channels. Final Fantasy 16 will release for PS5 in 2023.

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Featured Image Credit: Square Enix/Source: VGC via Famitsu