For those not in the know, the Japanese clothing company Uniqlo has been collaborating with Square Enix on a Final Fantasy 35th anniversary clothing line. The latest issue of the in-store UT magazine includes a short interview excerpt by Final Fantasy XVI producer, Naoki Yoshida. There, he states that development of the game is currently in "the final stretch".
The blurb in full is as follows.
“Currently, development on the latest title, Final Fantasy XVI, is in the final stretch,” Yoshida said. “As a single-player game, Final Fantasy XVI aims to unify the story and gameplay experience. Unlike online games, which portrays multiple players at once, Final Fantasy XVI has an individual focus, which makes the story more immersive. And I think the story has become quite deep. My hope is that the adults who have grown up, understand the rules of society, and drifted away from Final Fantasy thinking ‘the real world isn’t as easy as a video game’ can remember the enthusiasm they had back then. That’s what we’re keeping in mind as we make this game.”
Do bear in mind that this does not necessarily mean the game is on the precipice of full completion. As consumers with no insight into the development process or a contextual understanding of what being "in the final stretch" means to Yoshi-P and the team, we can do little else but guess and hope that both Sony and Square Enix are soon ready to lift the veil once again on a game that we have not seen since its announcement in September 2020.