Superstar Producer Final Fantasy XIV’s First Square Enix Game Has Been Canceled

Naoki Yoshida, the man often credited with filming Final Fantasy XIV around after the miserable launch of the MMO and who is now in charge of bringing the next Final Fantasy XVI to life, was not always the superstar we know today. In fact, Square Enix superiors canceled Yoshida’s very first project at the company.

Talk with We are Vana’dielthe official Final Fantasy XI community site, Yoshida spoke about his experience during the 2003 merger between Square Co. and Enix Corporation, then separate role-playing game behemoths. Yoshida was an outside developer working with Enix on an online PC game when the two companies decided to join forces.

“As a result, we were told the game might not remain exclusive to the PC, and of course, after the merge we were told to rework it for the PlayStation 2,” Yoshida said. Final Fantasy XI producer Akihiko Matsui. “There was a big difference in memory capacity between PCs and PS2 even back then, so frankly, I was like, ‘You’re kidding me, aren’t you? “”

Sure enough, the move from PC to the much less powerful PlayStation 2 raised a whole host of issues for Yoshida’s game. He was eventually called into a meeting with Square Enix executives to provide a full account of the issues the development was facing. They had high hopes for him, Yoshida explained, and original Final Fantasy XI producer Tanaka Hiromichi in particular was ready to provide him with the support he needed to get the game back on track.

Unfortunately, the project just wasn’t meant to be as Square Enix kept asking for more features. A sales meeting decided that the game needed an all-new story mode, which led to a debate within the company on how to break the news to Yoshida’s team after already telling them asked for various changes. Rather than continuing to rework the game, it was put on hold indefinitely.

Although Yoshida hasn’t broached the subject here, in a recent interview with game informant he briefly described this canceled project as an ambitious role-playing game where cooperation with other players was essential to see the different branches of the overall storyline.

“You would follow this path, then you would have to team up with someone else who went through a different story, or there was an item you had to get to change your path, but that item can only be gotten from someone. another,” Yoshida said.

Stories like this are in spades in the industry. Game development can be a tough process of starts and stops, and often even the finest products are held together by tape and dreams. We’ll probably never know all the games that never saw the light of day. But something about a man as beloved as Yoshida sharing his experiences of failure struck me as significant. Here’s a guy who oversees Square Enix’s two online sites today Final Fantasy games while guiding the iconic franchise’s next single-player adventure, and even he wasn’t immune to interference and cancellations early in his career.

Despite this setback, important people at Square Enix saw something in Yoshida, which drove the future Deny series producer Yosuke Saito to bring him on board in 2005 as an official employee. From there, Yoshida would work on Dragon Quest X (another online game, by the way) and various spin-offs before being tasked with rescuing the defaulter Final Fantasy XIV. The rest is history, and according to Yoshida, his success in transforming the MMO is tied to this abandoned project.

“This chain of events is actually one of the reasons I was determined to rebuild Final Fantasy XIV“Yoshida said. “Despite everything [original Final Fantasy XI producer Tanaka Hiromichi] had done for me, I couldn’t release the title he had high hopes for, so I felt like rebuilding Final Fantasy XIV was the only way for me to pay it back.

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