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Q&A At E3 2009

Carolyn Koh Posted:
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Final Fantasy XIV Online Q&A @ E3 2009

MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh interviews Hiromichi Tanaka and Nobuaki Komoto, producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV Online.

Final Fantasy XIV Online was revealed by Sony Entertainment at their Press Conference on June 2nd at the Shrine Theater in downtown Los Angeles and a trailer shown. It was announced that Hiromichi Tanaka will produce the game and Nobuaki Komoto will serve as director. Both worked on Final Fantasy XI Online. Nobu Uematsu will return to score the music. The game will be set in the world of Eorzea and the trailers showed races similar to those seen in Final Fantasy XI as well as Chocobos.

An invite only press Q&A was held the next day with Hiromichi Tanaka and Nobuaki Komoto taking questions through an interpreter. Tanaka-san opened by clarifying the remarks made during the Sony Press Conference. Final Fantasy XIV Online will not be exclusive to the PS3, but will be released on the PS3 and PC platforms simultaneously. They are also considering all other options available to them at this time.

Q: What are the ties to the old races of FFXI? Tanaka: The world of FFXIV is a different one from FFXI. The races look similar so that they will feel familiar to players of FFXI, but the world is a different world, and thus the races are also different.

Q: What’s going to happen to FFXI? Tanaka: Development for FFXIV actually began about four or five years ago and has been developed along side FFXI. FFXI is still going strong after seven years and there are no plans to stop development of FFXI.

Q: What influence has more casual games such has World of Warcraft have had on FFXI? Komoto: While we want to make sure our players see more casual game play, we will not be a WoW clone.

Q: What features from FFXI will carry over to FFIV? Will you keep the level synch system? Komoto: Yes, many features of FFXI will be improved upon. We want to bring content for solo players and casual players as well as large party play from the beginning of the game.

Q: Will launch and servers be global? Tanaka: Yes, we will launch simultaneously in all regions, in English, Japanese, German and French, on both the PS3 and PC platform. Whether we will continue to have global cross region / cross platform servers remains to be seen. Players tend to congregate and play with each other, so we may designate language preferred servers. But for now, they will remain the same as FFXI

Q: Will there be a Spanish version? Tanaka: If we find that there are enough Spanish speaking people that want to play FFXIV in their native language, we will certainly consider it, but at this time, no. We have in house translators working closely with our Dev Team in house for the global launch. Any Spanish version at this time, we would have to start again from scratch.

Q: Will player requests have the same impact on FFXIV as they have on FFXI? Komoto: Certainly, we think that the players’ voice is very important and we want to continue to get feedback from users. FFXIV like FFXI will be sensitive to what users want from the game.

Q: Are there any especial elements you want to import or improve from FFXI to FFXIV? Komoto: Our goal from the beginning was to make the best Final Fantasy game possible (with each title). Tanaka: We are implementing new systems (that cannot be revealed at this time) that other MMOs have not used in the past.

Q: Was the trailer shown actual game play footage? Komoto: Parts of it was. Some parts were pre-rendered but others, like the combat were run on the game engine.

Komoto: FFXIV’s key word through out its development is Growth. FFXIV will have new in-game systems for character development as well as expanded job system. It is quite different from FFXI.

Tanaka: The Game system will provide the type of content that players want. FFXIV will be more than just party based. There is solo content, party content, content for those that just want to play 40 minutes a day and content for those that wish to play all day.

FFXIV is completely different from FFXI and as such, there won’t be any porting over of characters from FFXI to FFXIV, even though the character design is similar. We will not be using the playonline system but a new design.

We believe that players will fall in love with the story and world we have planned.

Brave words. Brave words indeed. So in short sentences. FFXIV is a different game but Square Enix is not yet prepared to provide more information. End story. Their official website is up. Check out the trailer at http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com


Carolyn Koh

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn Koh has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.