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Final Fantasy XI Gets a New Producer and Downsizes the Team, With Focus on Maintenance

Christina Gonzalez Updated: Posted:
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Final Fantasy XI producer Akihiko Matsui is leaving his position, and a new producer, Yoji Fujito has taken over operations. Matsui says goodbye and Fujito details a new direction for Final Fantasy XI, one centered around maintenance, with a smaller team.

It has been 21 years since Final Fantasy XI launched, and Matsui has been the game’s producer since August 2012. While we do have a number of classic MMORPGs that continue to run and maintain a community, it’s still something to be running for over two decades. Matsui details his past 10 years in the producer role.

He also mentions the plans for the 20th Vana’versary celebration and look back that happened last year, and also how community fears were sometimes that the game would shut down. None of that happened, and content updates continued. As he continued to make sure things continued on, he even notes that sometimes his nature was to hold back, while someone pushed for some innovations. 

“When I look back on my approach over the past ten years, I feel I was rather conservative and placed too much emphasis on ensuring that FFXI continues on. The person who proposed making improvements such as revamping the installer and adding the term filter was, in fact, Mr. Fujito. Based on those moments, especially his display of initiative to carry on in my stead, I am confident that no one is more suitable than Mr. Fujito to carry on Vana'diel's legacy as producer.”

For his part, Fujito thanks his predecessors and also gives a look at what’s ahead. They’ll be replacing the backend, which may cause extended downtimes.The team is being downsized, for a few reasons. One, keeping them full time on FFXI means making them work on very old technology. It also reflects their content priorities. This year, updates will focus on support and three particular areas: Ambuscade updates, Prime Weapon reforging, and Master Trials.

This isn’t an end though, as they remain committed to keeping things running, and even to schedule live, in-person events again and to create more merchandise. Yet,this news following the Voracious Resurgence storyline and other content definitely means a quieter future for the foreseeable future.

Read the full letter to the community at Final Fantasy XI.


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.