Final Fantasy XVI’s facial and voice capture has seemingly been completed in English first, and with a focus on characters with British accents.
Producer Naoki Yoshida appeared on streaming show Washagana TV this weekend and – per a Gematsu translation – said that, “This time, English recording is going first. And we have been focusing on British English.” That focus on British English is likely down the game’s high fantasy set-up, rather than Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s more sci-fi inflected aesthetics.
It’s a rarity for Japanese games to record an English language version of the game first – but in this case Yoshida says it comes down to creating full facial capture for the game’s characters. “We can’t possibly hand-animate every cut of a scene,” he explained. “So this time we are doing full facial motion captures and then adding voices to that […] So this is one of the reasons why the English version is ahead of others.” He also explained that the facial capture extends beyond cutscenes.
Yoshida says the Japanese version will be handled “soon”, but it’s not clear if the game will feature entirely separate facial capture for English and Japanese versions. After the release of Ghost of Tsushima, many noted that there was no Japanese lip-sync despite a full voice track, with demand leading to the feature being added in the upcoming director’s cut. We’ve contacted Square Enix for confirmation on that.
We’d previously heard that voiceover work was nearly complete, and that the game will likely skip Tokyo Game Show, as Yoshida would like to “show it when it’s ready”, rather than show off pieces of the final product.
Final Fantasy 16 was announced for PS5 and PC last year (but Square Enix confusingly retracted the PC announcement). Since then we’ve learned about its heroes, world, and story, and the game’s six realms in the world of Valisthea.