It’s been a minute since we learned anything new about Final Fantasy XVI, the latest title in Square Enix’s long-running RPG series. The game will be a PS5 console exclusive — at least for a while — and will feature real-time combat. We expected to learn more about FFXVI at various Sony and Square Enix events over the past few months, but both companies have been tight lipped, at least until now. We finally have a substantial update on FFXVI, and it involves an unusual choice for the game’s voice acting.
Information comes from Japanese YouTube channel WasyaganaTV, as translated by DualShockers. The WasyaganaTV staff spoke with FFXVI producer Naoki Yoshida, who had a lot to say on the subjects of motion capture and voice acting:
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“We’ve been prioritizing English recording. And we’re specifically doing it in British English.,” he said. “And it’s full capture, as in, the motion capture actors are also doing the voice acting simultaneously … That’s why the English dubbing has progressed the most. The Japanese dubbing will start soon.”
While this doesn’t shed much light on FFXVI’s development process overall, it does give us two interesting pieces of information. The first is that Square Enix seems to be employing British voice actors, as opposed to the primarily American cast behind Final Fantasy XV. Aside from the accents, however, that probably won’t change much about the game.
The more interesting aspect of this story is that Square Enix is working on the English version of FFXVI before the Japanese version. This is an unusual move, as Square Enix is a Japanese company, and is currently developing the game in Japan. Ever since Final Fantasy X (the first mainline FF title with voice acting) came out 20 years ago, the Japanese dub has always preceded the English one by at least a few months.
Whether this has any deep meaning for the direction of the game, or the series, is debatable. Final Fantasy XV also used Western mocap actors, so the situation is not wholly without precedent. Furthermore, Square Enix hasn’t commented whether the voicework reversal will affect FFXVI’s release date at all. Final Fantasy XV had a simultaneous worldwide release, so it would make sense for FFXVI to follow suit.
In any case, fans can rest assured that Final Fantasy XVI is still underway, and that development is far enough along to include mocap and voice recording. Beyond that, we’re still waiting on the next big reveal. But since Sony didn’t participate in E3 2021, perhaps the company will host its own event sooner rather than later.
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.