According to Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida during his guest appearance on the latest episode of Washagana TV, he said that facial/motion capture for the upcoming game and the voice recordings will be completed in English first, with a focus on British English.
British English certainly fits the medieval vibe and style of Final Fantasy XVI, and other JRPGs like Dragon Quest XI Echoes Of An Elusive Age has managed to successfully pull off the heavily British and European English accents of the voices without coming off as cringeworthy.
Here is the full comment from Yoshida (via Gematsu):
I’ve been working on Final Fantasy XIV for eight years now, but I’ve never been to a voice recording session. I have my own policies about this. If I go, since I also write some dialogue I would want to step in and say my opinions, making the whole session seem like there are two sound directors. And I think the voice actors may have a hard time if the producer / director comes in and says different things from what they were told from the sound director. So I don’t go to voice recording sessions.
I’m also not going to Final Fantasy XVI recording sessions. Since I’m not the one writing the story. During story meetings, I do say my opinions like, ‘I think this line should be changed, considering the protagonist Clive’s emotions…’ Although the team has been doing a great job of taking my opinions into consideration.
This time, English recording is going first. And we have been focusing on British English.
Also we have to record facial movements. We can’t possibly hand-animate every cut of a scene. So this time we are doing full facial motion captures and then adding voices to that. Those works are not entirely cutscenes though. So this is one of the reasons why the English version is ahead of others. We are going to start the Japanese version soon.
Final Fantasy XVI is currently in development for the PS5. In other recent news, Yoshida also confirmed that we probably won’t see anything from Final Fantasy XVI at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show 2021, which usually takes place sometime in September.