Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida has explained that World of Warcraft was partly responsible for helping to fix the MMO after its launch.
According to the director of Final Fantasy XIV, the game’s recovery and success after its initial launch failure was partly due to World of Warcraft. Despite attracting more than 16 million subscribers following its re-release, the game was initially met with a huge amount of criticism. It was one of the worst-reviewed Square Enix games of all time and servers were almost completely dead after just a few months. The publisher quickly set about attempting to fix the problems, and put Naoki Yoshida in charge of those efforts.
The latest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV is set to release for PlayStation consoles and PC on November 23, 2021. Endwalker will be the fourth major expansion for the MMO, following on from Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. An interview earlier this year revealed that Endwalker will have more story content than its predecessors, with Yoshida suggesting that it will also have 30% more cutscenes and story elements.
Final Fantasy XIV owes parts of its recovery and subsequent success to Blizzard’s hit MMO, according to a developer at Division 5. Speaking to PCGamesN, director and producer Naoki Yoshida—who is known as Yoshi-P to many fans of the game—explained that part of the success of the MMO was thanks to World of Warcraft. Yoshida said that his team deeply respects its competitor, and that “FFXIV’s strong recovery wouldn’t have been possible” without it. When it came to trying to fix Final Fantasy XIV after its disastrous launch, the director and other developers used World of Warcraft to study how to make a fun and successful MMO.
“I was playing WoW, and used that as a form of study. I deployed what I’d learned through the various teams and together we used that in development. We really didn’t have the luxury of bringing our own ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’.”
While World of Warcraft may have had a major influence on Final Fantasy XIV, it doesn’t mean that the game cannot be criticized or does not have its own problems. The launch of the Burning Crusade expansion in May led to a DDoS attack on World of Warcraft Classic, which knocked the servers offline for several hours. Players attempting to get online were met with disconnections and high amounts of latency.
While Final Fantasy XIV was a huge letdown when it first launched, its turnaround has proven that players should not write off releases immediately. Even those with major issues can be fixed and improved, especially if the developers take some advice from the most popular comparable games on the market.
Next: Final Fantasy 14: The Best Jobs (& How to Unlock Them)
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC on November 23, 2021.
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