The rumors have flown around about Naoki Yoshida being attached to Final Fantasy XVI as the game’s director. In fact, the rumors have been flying about Final Fantasy XVI and Naoki Yoshida for a while now, something that this exact site has speculated about. But during the ongoing re-broadcast of old live broadcasts with commentary by Yoshida himself, one of the rumors was brought up to Yoshida himself, who dismissed it as fake… sort of.
Here’s the (rough) translation of Yoshida’s comments:
Ah, looks like some kind of big fake news came out. I’ll say it clearly – it’s annoying. I’m still going to continue being in charge of [Final Fantasy XIV] for more years to come (as long as I don’t die from sickness or accident). So please ignore any non-official announcements. It’s so bothersome.
At face value, this is a nail in the coffin that stops all of those rumors dead. At the same time, though… his actual statement does not say that there is no Final Fantasy XVI or that he won’t direct it, just that he will continue to be in charge of FFXIV for more years to come, which is not in any way incongruous with speculation of FFXVI in production and not due to come out for years anyhow. This is a good point to remind people that Yoshida is an expert at picking what he denies and says to create an implication; witness the assumptions that the destination for Shadowbringers would be Garlemald, something he deliberately implied but did not confirm.
Really, it seems like the most unambiguous statement here is to ignore non-official announcements, and by extension, don’t ask him about them. Which makes sense right at face value. If Yoshida could or would say something about these rumors in a public space, he would do so at a specific event with Square-Enix backing, not in the comments of a video.
That’s not to say this confirms that he is the director of FFXVI or that it’s happening or anything like that. It’s confirming that he’s tired of being asked about this rumor and he doesn’t want to respond to it any more. And at the end of the day, that’s a good assumption. If there’s a new game coming, you’ll hear about it, and it certainly doesn’t mean he’s leaving FFXIV soon.