Final Fantasy 14 fans won’t be surprised to hear that along with Naoki Yoshida producing Final Fantasy 16 (opens in new tab), the game’s music will be composed by Masayoshi Soken. Keen listeners would have already been able to tell in the game’s two trailers that the music resembles the stuff you hear all the time in the MMO, but now we know for sure via a PlayStation Blog post (opens in new tab).
Last year, Sony put out the Awakening trailer and the moment the choir comes in with a play on the classic Final Fantasy theme, it screams Soken, and now even more so in retrospect. The composer has reached legendary status for blending traditional Final Fantasy music with other genres, including jazz and rock (opens in new tab), for some of the game’s greatest moments. And, best of all, he’s played a lot of the music live in his band The Primals, and by himself, with an Omatatone (opens in new tab).
So far, Final Fantasy 16’s soundtrack doesn’t veer far away from what you’d expect from the series, but I think it’s a given that it’ll jump genres within the final game—you truly can’t restrain Soken.
Soken made a name for himself by transforming the perception of what Final Fantasy music could be as the game crawled back from its failed, original launch. He and Yoshida have talked a lot about their passion for making the music extremely evocative and surprising for long-time Final Fantasy fans over the years. It will be fascinating to see it in the context of a traditional action game with a potentially smaller scale story than the MMO.
Work on Final Fantasy 16 has seemingly gone on for quite a while alongside continuous Final Fantasy 14 development. In May 2021, Soken announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer (opens in new tab) and received treatment throughout 2020. The composer continued to work on music during chemotherapy.
You can hear his newest track in the new Final Fantasy 16 trailer (opens in new tab) from Sony’s State of Play today. The game now has a summer 2023 release date, but it’s still unclear when the PC version will launch.