Final Fantasy XVI director Hiroshi Takai has confirmed that the game is "fully playable from start to finish" and that the development team is now focused on "optimisation and brush-up" ahead of the summer 2023 release window.

This, of course, is very positive news. Final Fantasy XVI looked fantastic in its latest trailer, which was shown during last night's State of Play broadcast. From our perspective, the RPG's already shaping up brilliantly — and having a whole year to polish things further sounds perfect.

Compared to the development cycles of the most recent mainline Final Fantasy titles, this is surely a good sign. Both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV endured varying degrees of development hell, with the projects being rebooted multiple times between them. And given its current success, it's easy to forget that Final Fantasy XIV had to be completely remade before becoming the juggernaut MMO that we know today.

Naturally, Square Enix has been saddled with a reputation for struggling to produce its blockbusters efficiently — but Final Fantasy XVI looks set to reverse that trend. That said, we've still got at least a year until XVI actually comes out. Hopefully things proceed smoothly from now on.

[source twitter.com]