Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida has confirmed to Japanese publication Dengeki Online that the latest entry in Square Enix’s long-running series will feature only British accents. This decision was made to stay true to the Medieval European setting.
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God Save the Queen
In an interview with Dengeki Online this past week (translated by VGC), Yoshida was asked about Final Fantasy 16’s motion and facial capture work and why publisher Square Enix decided to go with only European accents instead of American. As he explained, the development team didn’t want to deviate from American players’ expectations when it came to the game’s Medieval European setting. “There is an image that ‘Medieval fantasy = Europe’ made popular by The Lord of the Rings,” Yoshida said. As such, the team landed on British actors for the game’s cast.
Detailing further, Yoshida said, “But even though it’s in English, we’ve been careful not to include any American accents. The decision was made to prevent American players from getting angry.” He then jokingly recounted a scenario where a player might be upset at hearing an American voice in a very clearly European setting.
Trust the Process
“This time, the motion capture and voice acting are performed by European actors,” Yoshida explained. “However, since we Japanese designed the game, we first wrote the script in Japanese, then translated it into English, and then did facial capture in English after.” This is similar to the process that FromSoftware takes with its games, writing out most of the script in Japanese with the assistance of native English speakers to get the exact meaning across. Some liberties need to be taken as certain Japanese phrases will have no English equivalent, but this prevents any localization mishaps from occurring.
While this news doesn’t point to a Japanese voice-over option not being included, it appears as if Square Enix is firmly rooting this latest adventure in a Western setting versus any past entries. That might be a little disheartening to hear for longtime fans, but at least Final Fantasy 16 will feel authentic, even if it’s not turn-based.