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Why Final Fantasy 16 Threw Out This Kind Of Combat

When "Final Fantasy 16" launches on PS5 next summer, it will continue a trend for the series that might upset some older fans. Following in the footsteps of "Final Fantasy 15" and the "Final Fantasy 7" remake trilogy, "Final Fantasy 16" will feature a real-time action combat system, which has taken the place of the traditional turn-based combat system that "Final Fantasy" used for most of the series. According to the game's producer, this change has been made to help reach a wider audience.

Speaking to Famitsu (translation via VGC), "Final Fantasy 16" producer Naoki Yoshida said the action combat system is intended to help ease a younger audience into the series. Considering the fact that "Final Fantasy 16" is going to be rated M, he is likely referring to gamers in their late teens or 20s who missed the majority of turn-based "Final Fantasy" games.

"I'm from a generation that grew up with command and turn-based RPGs," Yoshida said. "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." Yoshida also said that the advancement in console technology has driven modern games toward being more action-focused.

More powerful consoles lead to more fluid action

"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," Yoshida said (per VGC).

Yoshida explained that because action games have become the norm in recent years, the generation of gamers younger than him seem to prefer those titles over turn-based games. Plus, Yoshida argued it doesn't make sense to use lengthy prompts and turn-based attacks if the game can be done without it. He continued to say that the argument is not necessarily about one mechanic being good or bad when compared to another, instead saying that the dev's decisions come down to the expectations of players and their personal preferences.

Yoshida stated that the expectations for "Final Fantasy 16" and its sales meant that going with an action-combat system made the most sense. Yoshida did clarify that he felt a modern command/turn-based combat system could be done well, but possibly wouldn't sell as well.