Final Fantasy 16 devs worked on canceled game almost identical to Bloodborne

Bloodborne hunter with FF16 characterSquare Enix / FromSoftware

Square Enix developers working on the upcoming Final Fantasy 16 have revealed details of a long-since canceled game, which happened to be incredibly similar to FromSoftware’s Bloodborne.

When FromSoftware released Bloodborne back in 2015, it made quite a splash with both Souls fans and casuals looking to try their hand at something more challenging. The memorable gothic setting and faster-paced combat made it one of the best games in its genre, and one of the PS4’s must-play titles.

Seven years on, and with no sequel in sight, members of the Final Fantasy 16 team have revealed that they were working on a canceled project that looked identical, long-before Bloodborne hit shelves.

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Bloodborne hunter in combatFromSoftware
The team behind Final Fantasy 16 previously had an idea for a brutal action game.

As discovered by ResetEra, speaking to Japanese magazine Famitsu, FF16 producer Naoki Yoshida mentioned that he, along with Hiroshi Takai and Hiroshi Minagawa, worked on a game that was “basically Bloodborne.” This was said to have been sometime before Yoshida joined the development of Final Fantasy 14.

Takai suggested that the unreleased IP was a “hardcore action game” that adopted a “gothic style,” and had similar weapons and guns that would later show up in Bloodborne. “When I first saw Bloodborne, I thought: ‘Where have I seen this before?'” said Yoshida.

After over a year in development, the proposed IP was shelved before it saw the light of day. After seeing FromSoftware’s work years later, Minagawa was relieved of the cancellation, joking: “If we’d kept going and Bloodborne was released first, we’d probably be freaking out right now.”

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Bloodborne hunter in YarnhamFromSoftware
Bloodborne’s gothic style was one of many things that made it memorable.

Although there were plenty of similarities between the two titles, Yoshida and co. did have some other ideas that didn’t reach Bloodborne in 2015. The unreleased game would’ve had a bigger multiplayer mode, which the trio compared to 2014’s Evolve.

Much like Turtle Rock’s effort, a team of four would have to survive against another player, who would have strong abilities to call upon as they hunted down the squad. “It was basically Bloodborne plus that system,” said Yoshida. “If we’d kept going, I think we’d still be working on it right now.”

“I really wonder how it would’ve turned out,” laughed Minagawa.

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While it would have been interesting to see how the unreleased IP would have faired, the runaway success of both Bloodborne, and later Elden Ring, means that we’ll probably never get to see what Yoshida and his team were working on.