Producer Naoki Yoshida found that the changed UI “blended too much with what was going on, and it became difficult to see.”
Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida is no stranger to feedback, as evidenced by his work on Final Fantasy 14. When showcasing the action RPG for the first time, there was feedback regarding the UI, namely how it resembled a fighting game.
While those complaints continued as more trailers were revealed, Yoshida and the development team did try to change it. Speaking to Final Fantasy Union (transcription via VGC), he said, “We definitely heard the feedback when we released that first trailer and people saw the UI, and then gave a lot of feedback about how maybe it looked too much like a fighting game. It was too sci-fi and didn’t fit the style of the game.”
However, when the team changed it, it made visibility difficult. “We heard that, and we went back, redid the UI and made it into something that fits the style a little bit better, but we found that it blended too much with what was going on, and it became difficult to see. In the end, Final Fantasy 16 is an action RPG and the action is very fast, and things are moving. And so you need those numbers and those graphics to pop out or you’re going to miss them in the heat of the action.
“And if they’re too blended in and fit the world too well, then you won’t be able to see them, and won’t be able to know what’s going on. So we decided to go back to what we originally had because that fit the best. And we found that, yes, the first time you see it, it takes you out. But the more you see it, the more you get used to it, and the more you realize that it actually fits when what’s going on. So hopefully, players will come to realize that as well, the more they play with it.”
It’s unknown whether there are options to turn off all the damage numbers that pop up or at least reduce the size of the text. Time will tell, so stay tuned.
Final Fantasy 16 is out on June 22nd for PS5. A demo is planned to go live roughly two weeks before launch, with progress carrying over to the full game. It should be a couple of hours long and cover the opening portions of the game.