That's according to industry journalist Jason Schreier, who had this to say while talking on the Triple Click (opens in new tab) podcast (thanks, Push Square (opens in new tab)): "I've heard from people who are familiar with the game's development that it's actually been in development for at least four years in some capacity, so it's coming sooner than people think."
It makes sense when you watch the first trailer, revealed during September's PS5 showcase. Typically with a big AAA game announcement like that, you're lucky to see a brief cinematic followed by the game's logo and "coming soon..." But Square Enix came out swinging with cinematics and a generous helping of gameplay footage, certainly indicating that development is well underway.
For reference, Final Fantasy 15 started development way back in 2006, eventually releasing 10 years later in 2016. But that was an extraordinary situation where Square Enix announced the title shortly after development began and changed creative direction numerous times. Likely (hopefully), Final Fantasy 16's development won't hit so many roadblocks.
Of course, "sooner than people think" isn't very specific, so we can't say for sure exactly how soon we're talking here. Square Enix has said the next Final Fantasy 16 reveal isn't coming until next year, so hopefully we'll get a release date then.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Final Fantasy 15 released in 2015. We've updated the article and regret the error.
Final Fantasy 16 is just one of the upcoming PS5 games we can't wait to play.