Earlier this month, we learned in an interview with Naoki Yoshida that Final Fantasy XVI was almost done with its English Voicework. While this wasn’t indicative of anything usually for Japanese games, and Final Fantasy has been no exception, these teams usually record the game in their native language first before casting an English cast. For instance, when Final Fantasy Versus XIII finally returned under the XV title, we saw multiple showings in Japanese before an English voice cast was suggested to be recording.
It would seem that this process has been reversed in the case of Final Fantasy XVI. As it turns out, the game is being recorded in as, Yoshida puts it “British English” first, with a Japanese voice cast set to record soon after. Yoshida gave an interview to the Japanese media, which was translated by Dualshockers, in which he stated:
We’ve been prioritizing English voice recording. And we’re specifically doing it in British English. We’re using facial capture, so later on, we won’t have to adjust by hand each of the faces during cutscenes.
He went on to state:
And it’s full capture, as in, the motion capture actors are also doing the voice acting simultaneously. Well, we’re not doing it for every single cutscene though. But anyway, that’s why English dubbing has progressed the most. The Japanese dubbing will start soon.
While we knew that the game was not at a point where Yoshi-P felt comfortable showing more of it. Early in February of this year, it was announced that Square Enix was intentionally holding back news of the game until there was something more substantial to show. The game will most likely be absent from TGS 2021 as well.
There are multiple reasons why the studio might choose to record the game like this. With the game being announced for PlayStation 5 as a timed exclusive it could have felt like a more prudent move to have English voicing first to build hype. The franchise has also pushed heavily into the more action-oriented style popular in the West, with Final Fantasy XV being aimed at fans of games such as The Witcher.