Final Fantasy XVI reveal puts FFVII Remake Part 2 release date into question

Final Fantasy XVI was revealed during today’s PlayStation 5 Showcase stream to much fanfare. It was an unexpected announcement, not just because nothing leaked about it (which is more common than not these days), but because Final Fantasy 7 Remake Episode 2 is currently in production. With FFXVI far enough along to reveal, it begs the question of when the second installment of FF7 Remake will be available.

Square Enix has a bad habit of revealing games exceptionally early in their development cycle. Final Fantasy XV started as Final Fantasy XIII Versus and wasn’t released until ten years after its initial announcement. Final Fantasy VII Remake was first shown at E3 2015 and didn’t make it to the market until March of this year.

That gives a few possibilities we can infer from the announcement of Final Fantasy XVI during today’s PS5 stream. Perhaps FFXVI will release sometime in the next two years, with FFVIIR2 following in 2023 or 2024. Alternatively, FFXVI may still be 4-5 years from completion, and FFVIIR2 will launch within the next two years. Logic dictates that because of Square Enix’s relatively slow AAA release schedule that the games won’t launch too close to each other. Square bets heavily on the Final Fantasy name, and it’ll be depending on these games for a big payoff when they’re released.

Which will come out first, Final Fantasy XVI or Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2?

For the last two decades, Square Enix has released a new main series, Final Fantasy title every 5-6 years. FFXV was released in November 2016, so FFXVI might launch as early as late next year. As to when Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 releases seems to depend on whether Square counts it as a main title. The attention the first installment got seems to indicate that the studio sees it as a flagship game, on par with a new numbered entry, which adds to the confusion around the two title’s potential release dates.

There is the possibility that Square Enix is going back to a more frequent release schedule for Final Fantasy. In the late 90s, we saw Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX, launch in September 1997, September 1999, and November 2000. All three of those games were hits, which shows the market can definitely withstand a yearly or bi-yearly Final Fantasy title.

However, with how little information we have about both Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII Remake Part II, it’ll likely be a while before we get any answers. The PlayStation Blog post about FFXVI stated that we wouldn’t get any more info about the game until 2021, so we’ll likely have to hold tight until then before we learn more about the future of Final Fantasy.