Interview: The past, present and future of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

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With just a day left to go before Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn‘s 27th August launch on PS3, PlayStation Blog sat down with Naoki Yoshida, the game’s producer and director to talk over the game’s long gestation and epic ambitions.

Which element of the game is most going to surprise PlayStation players?

Naoki Yoshida: I think one of the big things will be the amazing graphics which really push the limits of the PS3’s technical capabilities, as well as the fact that it is an MMORPG experience. Also, MMORPGs are most usually controlled using a keyboard and mouse, but our Cross Hot Bar system we’ve developed specifically for gamepad allows for a smooth and exciting MMORPG experience so it is another area which will be of great interest to PS3 players.


What improvements have you made since the original PC release of Final Fantasy XIV?

Naoki Yoshida: I think that it can be split roughly into three areas. To regain the trust of the players, to fundamentally rebuild the game experience from the ground up and most importantly to achieve getting the PlayStation 3 version done while maintaining the high levels of graphical quality and gameplay experience.

To put it simply, every single aspect of the game has been redeveloped, improved and upgraded since the original Final Fantasy XIV launched, so I am fine with it if people want to think of A Realm Reborn as a completely new title in its own right!

You announced at the Japan Expo in Paris that Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII will appear in the game. Why Lightning?
Naoki Yoshida: With Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn we have actively taken efforts to cleverly incorporate elements from across the whole series to date within the setting of Eorzea that forms the game world. I think there will also be many more elements included as the game develops in order to make players from all across the world feel like they are a part of the Final Fantasy experience. There is a solid back story for why Lightning is visiting Eorzea and it will certainly form a chapter in the Lightning Saga that I hope everyone can enjoy!


How regularly do you plan to update the game, and what sort of content can we expect?

Naoki Yoshida: We are planning on doing a major update every three months once the game has been released and continuously adding large scale content. Ongoing support for the game will be included in the monthly subscription.

We have already begun work on the first update that is currently called patch 2.1 and will introduce a large scale housing system as well as “The Wolves’ Den”, the first ever PvP content in the series and also new dungeons, a new daily quest system, new Primal battles, extensions to the main story, new quests and loads of other new content to enjoy.

There will be a significant update every three months so everyone will be able to continue enjoying the game for a very long time! Of course we also have long term plans to release full expansion packs so watch out for future updates on those too.

Some players like to customise their HUD/UI menu (i.e. Aggro meter/DPS meter etc.) How is this handled?

Naoki Yoshida: We are trying to attract a large number of new players who are trying out the MMORPG genre for the first time and an overwhelming amount of customisable features like aggro meters and DPS meters can put pressure on these kinds of players. We will of course have these included within the game but will not be making them generally available for a while. By the time everyone has become accustomed to the game and the interface customisation options available at launch, we will introduce more customisable options with updates on official patches and as Add On tools to open up options for a more dedicated MMORPG interface.


Will it be possible in the final version of the game to switch a player character from one server to another?

Naoki Yoshida: Yes, we will be providing an optional world transfer service and the details of this will be announced shortly before the game’s official release!

Voice chat wasn’t enabled in the recent beta. Will it be integrated in the full version of the game?

Naoki Yoshida: We do not plan on offering official support for voice chat. To explain that decision, the idea of talking directly to other players with your own voice and making it a requirement to do so will not necessarily be a good thing for beginners and new players and many will see it as imposing pressure or causing them unnecessary stress.

I am personally a veteran online gamer so I completely understand the importance of voice chat but if we were to make it an officially supported feature then there is a chance that some players would start to demand that others use it just because it is an “official feature”.

Of course, we will not be prohibiting external voice chat via Skype etc, so individual player communities can still sort out their own preferred means of communication!


The game currently supports four languages: English, French, German and Japanese. Are there any plans to include more European languages?

Naoki Yoshida: There is indeed scope to expand the number of supported languages if player numbers and customer demand reaches a sufficient level. We await word from various communities as to what people want to see.

What are your thoughts on the PS4 system as a developer?

Naoki Yoshida: I have an extremely great appreciation of the PS4’s hardware architecture and memory capacity. Production of the PS4 version of A Realm Reborn is well under way and going according to plan. I hope to be able to unveil this awesome PS4 version as soon as possible!

What will the PS4 system allow you to bring to the development and production of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that hasn’t been possible so far?

Naoki Yoshida: The PS3 version supports an interface specifically designed for game pads but the PS4 offers a huge variety of different interface options and also has the capacity to render an unbelievable number of player characters simultaneously. Both of these are really great features for the future development of the game!


Was it your requirement that PS3, PS4 and PC gamers play on the same servers?

Naoki Yoshida: Yes, of course. I think it would be very sad indeed if say a player with the PS3 version invited a friend to play with them but they could not do so because that friend happened to have the PS4 version. So I really do believe that whatever hardware is being used, all players should be able to play together across platforms.

I think that splitting the community down into different segments is something that we should avoid, even if it may look like it makes for a temporary business success. I am incredibly grateful to Sony for making this kind of cross-platform play possible.

Will the PS4 version of the game contain exclusive content compared to the PS3 version?

Naoki Yoshida: That is not my intention. As I said already, if different platforms give their players a different game experience then it will inevitably lead to the splintering and division of the community and that is really not a good idea for an MMORPG. So I want for all players to have a stable and fun experience regardless of which platform they choose to play the game on, without worrying about which version is best.


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  • was gonna wait for the ps4 version as the graphics and everything will be updated even more.

  • I’ve been playing FF11 for a few years and I’ve been super excited for ARR. I played the beta and I pre-ordered it now. Got it on PC and PS3. And I’ll certainly get it for the PS4 once it comes out. It’s worth getting it for your preferred platform, regardless of graphical quality. The experience goes well beyond graphical quality.

  • When will this become available to download from the ps store?

  • So skip the gimped PS3 version and wait for PS4 where you can use the systems group chat feature because Square-Enix too awkward and not understanding of players needs to include voice chat on the PS3.

    When you play a game with a controller, you don’t want to be switching to a keyboard everytime you want to communicate, or worse, an on-screen keyboard. Do you know how impractical that is during battle?

    Tells me you learned nothing.

  • GTA V is gonna beat EVERY future ps3/ps4 game gta was the 1st ever game to add a world you can explore FACT

  • good to see somting new of the game on blog

    Aurélie Réman ore other pers. ath sony scee
    1= u have large problems on you servers ( lots of pers. geting very iritated about error codes , not getting in , server ful ( even if ith is not jet ful game )

    2- abo types gone be on psn ?????? if not = game over afther 1 month
    3- i find ith sad no (digitale) psn version in europe – i hope ps4 wil have day 1 digitale download
    4- i hope abo 1 jear 100€

    i hope u game wil score big but u need to handel very fast problems whith usa euro servers ( put more en let peopel switch between 3 worlds free , so them can go to lesser overpopulated servers )

  • edit : u have large problems = squire enix

  • @ KylieDog

    A game like this NEEDS a keyboard. I do miss the party cross-chat feature of other systems, but I’m not gonna skip the game just because of it.

    The game is deep, fun and a must-have for MMO fans. I’m in!

  • @CoolRichy007UK Wrong it wasn’t the first open world game GTA 1 came out in 1997 there was games dating back to the 1980’s Turbo esprit 1986 comes to mind. For me personally I’m looking more forward to infamous second son :p

  • Have been enjoying the EA despite not being able to log on Saturday and the issues on Sunday. Having said that realising how good the game looks I’m not all surprised that the amount of people trying to log in at once brought the NA/EU servers down.

    In all honesty, I think if voice chat had been added to the game it would have slowed things down. I just plug a secondary pc keyboard into my ps3 and that works, worked in White Knight Chronicles and works in FFXIV. If I really need to speak to people there is party chat on the vita. People seem to be nitpicking.

    I’m hoping that when the PS4 does come out there will be some way to merge our characters over. I can’t see purchasing the disc again as it was just an installer and once you put the PSN early access code in it gave me the option to download the game (bit redundant since I used a disc) so the game is in my download list – maybe that’s how I migrate my character

  • not entirely certain why my comment is awaiting moderation – just want to know if we will be able to migrate our PS3 characters over on the PS4

  • great game so far. I always have my kb on ly lap.
    I use a triton + headset and al connected to my FC on my mac through teamspeak.

    I recommend everey ff fan this game. U will not regret it. Not for a second!

  • @10 yes u will and to pc.
    U can play today on pc, 2morrow on ps3 and day after back on pc without problems!

  • cant say im very interested in this game after hearing it needs constant payments. its not that i have a problem paying the money its simply that when i buy a game i like to feel like its mine to own and play. games like this it just feels like im hiring the game with a 140% increase in price.
    maybe one day ill hire it for a month in order to get the platinum but i cant say that im gonna get interested in this (or elder scrolls online for that matter) like i was with the beta

    now i just pray that diablo 3 isnt gonna be like this..

  • @CoolRichy007UK,

    GTA is not an MMO, FFXIV is. FACT!
    I am not sure what point you’re trying to make?

    In terms of open world exploration, there are games that go back much further, you must not of been around during the early days of gaming, or just blindly and religiously follow GTA, “GTA IZ THA BESTESTS OF THA BESTEST EVA”, because that’s what you sound like when reading your comment.

    To say “GTA V is gonna beat EVERY future ps3/ps4 game”, wow you must have some powerful time travelling skills to made such a bold and idiotic statement. No doubt it will be fantastic, but games will always be superseded by other games as technology progresses. FACT!

    Titles like Elite and Shenmue set the roadwork and standard for open world gaming to evolve and will continue to do so, learn your gaming history before making blunt statements that make you sound like a preschooler.

  • @Izorpo

    Yes – PS3 PS4 PC anywhere you want.

    It’s realy pathetic the EU is the only region NOT to get this as DD preorder on the Store. Luckilly even if you get a hard copy it will fully install on hard drive and will not require to have the BD in the PS3 anymore. Also – be aware that DD version is locked both by region as well as to PSN account you’ve purchased to so you’ll be unable to use it with any other account on the same (or your secondary) PS3.

  • CE items arent available through PSN, game is already released so they should be downloadable.

  • @WizzNL: Try again at noon. Usually the Store team actiavte them around that timeframe (I remember that being the case with Injustice’s Zombie Mode).

  • There was quite a relief for me ,to find out in one of Jawad’s reply ,that ffxiv is out on psn (sen) in europe on a release day , so Im waiting too

  • “With just a few week left to go”

    A few week left to go? its the 27th today launch day why isnt it on the store? I’ve been out to try get a copy of the game and everywhere has sold out, the USA have this on their store so why isnt it on EU store?

  • Will there be any kind of free trial? Tried to get on the beta but my square enix login kept messing up and I dont really want to fork out for the game etc, if it was just the game id love to try it but with all the extras it puts me off :/ I understand there are servers etc to maintain but still believe games should be a one off payment.

  • to late for trial now unless you’ll get hold of the preorder code which will let you to play for free till Friday.

  • stil need diferent abo in store
    also upgrade normale edition to special edition
    tank u if u lisening sony / squire enix

    mi mony = in mi wallet but can not spend if u not relase u stuf on day of lounch = -100

  • so you have to purchase the game and then pay a monthly subscription to actually play it? Am I missing something here as this sounds like a complete rip off? surely this isnt the case

  • Hi

    I purchased this game earlier from PS store and im still unable to play it, I created a post on the forum about my problem could somebody please help? thanks!

    Link to forum post:


    you get 30 days free when you buy the game, its tells you this in the description

  • I played the beta and I couldn’t get used to the minimap. It needs to be rotational, or have an option to change it to rotational. The game’s really good, tho. I would buy the game, but I’m too broke to pay for the monthly fee.

  • cheers vavires and hec007

    I guess I lucked out getting my pre-order in less than a week before release. Not sure if it works the same with the PSN version but you should receive your items as in game mail from the moggle delivery.

    I don’t think people will be able to plat this game in a months time. The allowances for levequests alone will take time to build up.

    I never thought I would ever pay a monthly subscription to play a game but Final Fantasy XIV is worth it. Initial server issues aside, I think I will need months just to take everything in. Graphically it looks like what you expect from a Final fantasy game, maybe not as much detail on clothes or textures but for such a large world with so many people playing it, it’s simply amazing – now if only the hubb would give me back the telly to get back to it T_T

  • still waiting to play the game and i have lost all hope on SE to let us play today…why let us download it if you guys will only let us play tomorrow when store updates?

    a big let down with this outcome

  • Hi, @dawson001.

    Yes, you buy the game, and then subscribe to the service.

    A number of MMORPGs follow this rule (World of Warcraft being a prime example) for the first year or so… a number of them have now taken on a Free-To-Play model, because of low subscriptions or big dropouts.

    FTP sounds great at first but it also means you get locked out of “premium” services. It’s up to you which is more of a rip-off!

    Prices start from £7.69/£10.99 per month if that helps!

  • Forgot to ask, does anyone know when it will be available as a DD?

    I looked last night to no avail… and heard this morning it was up and taken down again due to high player numbers destabilising servers.

  • why bring game to ps3/ps4 when u have no abo on psn !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i want 180 days abo ( mi mony standing in mi wallet )
    so i can redeem free gift .

    desater lounch , big game + lots of peopel want to play but even litel steps like abo tru psn them forget = if no abo to be found very soon i stop .

  • @monoliet

    I feel like this is a noob-ish question but what is “abo”?

  • Quote: “Which element of the game is most going to surprise PlayStation players?”

    Answer: That it works!

    13 days since release day, I can finally get in to the game and play. When I do get in I will have up to 5 hours – no lag and smooth game play. But, 2 – 3 hours attempting to log in to get into the game in the first place is just massively ridiculous and I haven’t been able to get in to play at all today!

    Add to this, extremely useless customer service (still had no reply after 2 weeks), it doesn’t bode well at all.

    I was going to jump ship from Xbox to PS4, but after this I may reconsider and stay with Xbox One – at least I know Xbox Live will work and be be more reliable and robust an issue separate from all the Square Enix issues with FF14.

    Destiny and Elder Scrolls Online is where it’s at possibly!

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