Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy 16’s director, has given some insight into the game’s development. He also spoke out about the studio’s priority to prioritise its English dub.
Square Enix is known for its Japanese voice acting, but Yoshida said that they haven’t started recording Japanese dialogue. He stated that the English dialogue was being recorded in “British English” with full motion capture, during a livestream to WasyaganaTV.
“We have been prioritising English voice recordings. We are specifically using British English. We are using facial capture so that we don’t have to manually adjust each face during cutscenes later. Yoshida stated that it is full capture. This means that the motion capture actors are simultaneously performing the voice acting. “The Japanese dubbing will begin soon.”
Yoshida mentioned that he has never been to a voice recording session for Final Fantasy 14 because he doesn’t want too much involvement. “I’m a scenarist myself,” Yoshida said. “So I know that I will step in the shoes of writers if I go.” Out of respect for their work, I don’t want to do that. This sentiment extends to Final Fantasy 16, for which he stated he wouldn’t be attending recordings. However, his comments during “scenario focused meetings” will “take into account during recordings.”
Sometimes things can get a bit Dick van Dyke when studios follow the British English route. Square Enix, however, has been an honorable exception for many years. There have been some great localizations for the Dragon Quest series, which reflect a variety of UK accents. However, Balthier is the most beloved Final Fantasy character (voiced by Brit Gideon Emery, but in a formalized dialect; a testament to how sensible Square has always approached these matters in the past). Square Enix and Yoshida have my trust, even though they named the protagonist Clive.