Naoki Yoshida On Why He Wants Final Fantasy XIV To Crossover With Diablo

Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi’s presence at the London Final Fantasy 14 Fan Fest was bittersweet. On the one hand, Sakaguchi professed to being huge fan and regular player of the MMO, possibly the greatest statement of support an FF game could get. On the other, he said his investment as a player ruled him out of collaborating with the team directly. When I sat down with FF14 producer and director Naoki Yoshida with a bunch of other journalists, we all wanted to know how he felt about the father of Final Fantasy playing FF14.



“More than anything, of course, I’m just really happy,” Yoshida-san says, explaining that the nature of FF14 being an MMO requires a lot of time to get up to date with the current content, so he and the dev team weren’t sure how long Sakaguchi-san would play and that they were waiting with bated breath to see how far he would progress.

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Sakaguchi-san revealed in an earlier panel that he had tackled an Ultimate dungeon in FF14, the most difficult content in the game. Yoshida-san says, “Truth be told, I had not anticipated that Sakaguchi-san would quietly or secretly tackle Ultimate content. He didn’t even tell me.”

Sakaguchi and Yoshida-san at London FFXIV Fan Fest.

Yoshida-san tells us the concept the team has always had for FF14 is for it to be a “theme park” for the series. “To have the founding creator of the franchise himself, Sakaguchi-san, play through Final Fantasy 14 and pick up those various elements from the history of the franchise — we’re talking about a franchise that has a history of 35 years — and he goes on and picks up each element. It makes us realise that what we’ve been doing for the past 13 years really resonates with the fans and that also serves as a source of motivation for us in our development.”

One of the biggest reveals from the keynote was the Final Fantasy 16 crossover event, hotly anticipated since the game’s summer launch. We saw a sneak peek of the rewards players can earn by taking part in the collaboration, including Clive’s outfit, a Torgal mount, and an adorable Torgal minion.

Yoshida-san explained that there are no other outfits based on additional FF16 characters making an appearance because he doesn’t want to ruin FF16 for anyone who has yet to play it, so it was important to keep any elements from further on in the game out of FF14 to avoid spoilers. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of additional items coming in the future.

Final Fantasy 14 A nocturne for heroes, Noctis and the regalia

Yoshida-san also promised that “if there is a demand for [limited time events] to return, then we will definitely consider it”. He also confirmed the team are currently already in talks with Level-5 about the Yokai Watch event returning. Speaking of demands, he also confirmed the team is working on improving and optimising the app.

But the crossover Yoshida-san most wants isn’t FF-based at all, but instead a partnership with Blizzard for a Diablo event“As a gamer and as a fan of games from all over the world, it would be great to achieve these kinds of crossovers with other franchises and to do it in such a way that fans of both franchises would be happy. If we did achieve that, it would generate more hype and more excitement for the overall industry.”

When asked which side quests he would recommend players complete the most, Yoshida-san’s answers encourage players to get a wider experience of the game’s lore and setting. He suggests the Warring Triad quest series from Heavensward, which is intricately linked with the 13th reflection, as well as the 5.X Eden raids, which give more insight into the reflections and what will happen to the other reflections of the source.

We know from some of the already-announced details that Dawntrail will continue the trend of taking inspiration from previous titles, with the new expansion especially leaning into Final Fantasy 11, not only with the inclusion of the Mamool-ja but with the newly announced raid series, Echoes of Vana’diel. Yoshida-san emphasised that there will be quite “strong references” to the series, however, he didn’t want to ruin the surprise with further details at this point.

Final Fantasy 14's FF11 crossover, Echoes of Vana'Diel.

For the Final Fantasy 11 crossover raid content in particular, Yoshida-san said they are currently discussing with the FF11 team what sort of battle and boss content they want to reintroduce in the raid series. The key artwork for the raid was created by renowned series artist Yoshitaka Amano, but Yoshida-san promised that the team would be creating more concept artwork for Echoes of Vana’diel, which would give a better glimpse of what players can expect from the raid.

Recently, a player managed to earn all the currently available achievements in FF14, the first player to get all 2,751. Yoshida-san said that it was fantastic for the team to see someone stick with it and press on to earn each and every accolade. “Whether we create an achievement that would be a higher difficulty that all boils down to this certain player,” Yoshida-san says. “If they are requesting it, then, of course, we’d be happy to do it. In that case, just drop us a message on the forums. If you do send us a message, trust us, we will keep our promise.

It was announced at the Las Vegas Fan Fest that FF14 would finally be coming to Xbox in the near future, with an open beta beginning in January revealed during London’s keynote — a move Yoshida-san was naturally supportive of. “I am quite a die-hard Xbox gamer, so I think more than anyone, me and Phil Spencer are the happiest. Not many Square Enix games have been released on the Xbox platform, and that’s probably a source of envy amongst Xbox fans. It makes me happy to see the dream that I had for a long time in order to deliver the game to many more fans is coming to realization. I think it’s fantastic.”

NEXT: Final Fantasy 14 Community Spotlight: Curtain Call Theater Company

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