‘Final Fantasy XVI’ Director And Producer Reveal How Long It Takes To Beat, Promise “Endless Gameplay” With Online Leaderboards And Challenging New Game+ Mode

Clive Rosfield (Yuma Uchida) stands before the might of Ifrit in Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix
Clive Rosfield (Yuma Uchida) stands before the might of Ifrit in Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

Director Hiroshi Takai and Producer Naoki Yoshida of Final Fantasy XVI revealed how long it takes to beat, promising “endless gameplay” with online leaderboards. 

Dion Lesage (Yūichi Nakamura/Stewart Clarke) in Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

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The news reportedly comes via the latest print issue of Famitsu magazine in Japan, with excerpts translated by Aitai Japan founder and CEO @aitaikimochi. “The newest Famitsu magazine has new(?) bits of game info for FF16 from the previously released interview with the devs.”

She explains that Final Fantasy XVI director Hiroshi Takai “says there will be a leader board that you can compete with players around the world, allowing for endless gameplay.”

Garuda gleefully battles against Ifrit via Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

According to her translation, Famitsu confirmed with producer Naoki Yoshida that Final Fantasy XVI would have 11 hours worth of cutscenes. He explained however that “The 11 hour estimate does not even include scenes that happen during battle events, so it truly is a chunky amount. And that doesn’t include side quests either.” Takai added “We also have cutscenes prepared for content not related to the main story as well.”

This prompted Famitsu to ask “How many hours does it take to clear the game’s main story?” Takai emphasized that “FF16 is a story driven game that will take you on a roller coaster trip. You’ll see the entirety of Clive’s way of life, and the game will probably take about 35 hours to clear. If we include side content, it’ll can be double that amount.”

Famitsu calculates “Double the amount, that means about 70 hours…That’s way more than expected!”

Benedikta Harman (Nina Yndis) via Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

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For comparison, according to HowLongToBeat.com, Final Fantasy VII Remake takes 33 hours to complete the main story, and 41 and a half hours with side content. Final Fantasy XV takes 28 hours with just the main story, and 53 hours with side content. 

Under completionist runs, the games take 86 and 94 hours respectively. 

Takai explained that “We heard people asking ‘if you focus on the main story, does that mean there’s not that many side quests?’ That is absolutely not the case as we of course have plenty sidequests prepared.”

Clive Rosfield (Yuma Uchida) unleashes his might in Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

Clive Rosfield (Yuma Uchida) unleashes his might in Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

“When the game development was just starting out,” Yoshida elaborated, “I had the idea in mind that gamers these days are really busy with other things, so I wanted them to be able to at least aim to complete the story. I thought making the game something you can complete in about 20 hours would make sense, but more and more just got packed in.”

Takai echoed “I also thought that it would be good to be able to clear the game in about 24 hours, the duration of a day, but as we worked on the game, things just kept expanding…” before laughing.

Clive Rosfield (Yuma Uchida) slices at a Coeurl with blades of ice thanks to the powers of Shiva via Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

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Yoshida continued, “For this game, we really wanted the player to be able to experience the story from start to finish. If the story length was too long, then it might get tiring to play. That’s why we want FF16 to feel like a roller coaster experience where just when you think you can see the road ahead of you, you’re pulled into another direction.”

“As a result, the game is truly packed with story, battles, etc. that if you did not skip any cutscene, it’ll take about 35 hours for you to understand the meat of the story and complete the game.” Despite the comment about 11 hours of cutscenes, that does not mean they’ll only be 24 hours of gameplay, as it’s possible some cutscenes may play in sidequests.

Hugo Kupka (Alex Lanipekun) via Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

“Now, if you want to master and level up all abilities, gather all accessories, do all the side quests, and fight all the monster hunts, you’re probably looking at about 70~80 hours of gameplay,” Yoshida detailed. “Not only that, but we also included an insanely difficult New Game+ mode that allows you to carry over all your stats called the ‘Final Fantasy Mode.’ That’ll probably add even more gameplay hours.”

“We also will implement a score board for attack points,” Takai interjected, “and after the 2nd round you will see a leader board. Once you try this out, you can literally have endless gameplay and be able to compete with other players around the world, myself included.” Once again, Takai laughed.

A screenshot of Final Fantasy XVI (2023), Square Enix

What do you make of these revelations?

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