[E3 2009] Square Enix Final Fantasy XIV Press Q&A

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Yesterday at the SCEA press conference, jaws dropped and excitement ensued as a surprise trailer revealed the next epic MMO in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XIV. The game is planned for a simultaneous global release in 2010 in English, Japanese, German and French.

Square Enix today held a Q&A press session to talk exclusively about Final Fantasy XIV with Senior Vice President Shinji Hashimoto, Producer of the game Hiromichi Tanaka, and Director Nobuaki Komoto (pictured). At the beginning of the press Q&A, Hashimoto noted a clarification that the game will be released on both PS3 and PC — it’s not a PS3 exclusive as indicated during the Sony conference. They are also considering other hardware options at this time as well, so don’t rule out a port to the Xbox 360.

The team also confirmed that at yesterday’s press conference, the video quality shown was a mixture of both pre-rendered and in-game gameplay, so we can definitely expect some stellar quality graphics.

In finding a way to create the best Final Fantasy game ever, the team began discussions several years ago, and decided that the best FF game would be in the MMO genre. About five years ago, FFXIV development began simultaneously to FFXI, and has since gone full steam ahead over the past couple years. One of the game’s influences was World of Warcraft, but the plans are to take the game even further by implementing new systems that are different from what’s on the MMO market now.

The team also confirmed that there are no ties to Final Fantasy XI, despite having obvious similarities in character types and races in the trailer released yesterday at the SCEA press conference. The game world is set in Eorzea, a new and different world from FFXI‘s Vana’diel. The similarities in races were created for fans with an affection for characters in FFXI. The team explained the resemblance of the characters as in a movie, where the same actors play different characters.

Expect for a similar epic storytelling style presented in high quality graphics, as well as additional expansion on in-game systems. The job system will change, and actually be quite different from FFXI, and allow players to grow and develop more naturally.

As to whether FFXI will stick around once FFXIV launches, the team has confirmed that they will continue to develop for FFXI in the upcoming years, with no plans to phase out the game.

New changes will also be seen in the online connection as FFXIV will not be using the Play Online system, but rather via friends lists. Additionally, players should expect battles of many-versus-many, as well as many-versus-one.

The servers will have a similar set up as FFXI with worldwide cross regional servers, but there is no confirmation of regional servers. FFXI players can choose any server now, but the team is seeing that people prefer to stay on one server, and so they are still trying to find a good balance.

In terms of the FFXI and FFXIV communities possibly linking together, the team says that they will be treated independently, but if players want those connections they will create them.

There is no confirmed beta testing schedule as of yet, but definitely look forward to more news coming soon.

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