Over 35 years in the past Hironobu Sakaguchi and a small group of builders launched the primary Closing Fantasy sport, inadvertently beginning a legacy spanning a number of entries and spin-offs that’s nonetheless going sturdy in the present day. He might have bowed out to go his personal method again in 2003, however he’s nonetheless generally known as the daddy of the Closing Fantasy collection. It’s been 20 years since he left Sq. Enix and had something to do with the video games, which is why it’s been such a shock and delight to observe him reminisce and go all in on FFXIV.
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Initially, he began taking part in the MMO as a courtesy in preparation for a chat on the collection he was doing with Naoki Yoshida in 2021, however shortly discovered himself totally hooked. And taking part in 12 hours a day.
“It just about is 50% of my day,” Sakaguchi informed us throughout a panel on the latest FFXIV Fan Pageant. “If I’m fascinated by the time I spent not sleeping, I used to be taking part in 80% of the day. Then if you happen to took away the time I spent consuming, I feel I’d up it to 100%.”
He first began on the finish of September 2021 and had completed the bottom sport and three expansions value of content material in simply over a month – a formidable feat for even most FFXIV diehards. Whereas taking part in, he’d tweet his adventures, usually revelling within the nostalgic references to earlier video games.
Even the Dawntrail key artwork is a transparent homage to Closing Fantasy 3. | Picture credit score: Sq. Enix
Typically the dev group can be following his progress on Twitter to see simply how far he would go. “Greater than something I’m actually completely satisfied,” stated Naoki Yoshida – director and producer of FFXIV – throughout a press Q&A at Fanfest. “Contemplating how busy Sakaguchi is, we have been questioning with baited breath to see how far he would go. However, in fact, the idea of XIV is to function a theme park for the franchise. So to have the founding creator of the franchise play it and choose up on every factor – it makes us realise that what we have been doing for the previous 10 years actually resonates with us and is an actual motivator for us.”
Whereas the group have been usually nervous about his progress, they'd nothing to fret about. “Oh yeah, man, it’s the alternative – I can’t depart. Closing Fantasy XIV has grow to be a part of my life!” Sakaguchi revealed on the panel.
He’s grow to be so obsessed that he even has his personal in-game style model known as SakaGUCCI: “As a creator, I actually appreciated getting my fingers on crafting so I took my identify as a play on phrases to craft objects with my identify on them handy out.” He’s even saved the sport’s economic system in thoughts, discovering a technique to sort out the difficulty of potential resellers for his objects. “I didn’t need to disrupt the world of XIV so having them glamour them on the spot or go into content material with them would forestall folks from placing it on marketboards and shield the integrity of the sport. It’s an important alternative to make new pals by doing this so I’m actually having fun with that.”
Sakaguchi attended the panel at Closing Fantasy FanFest 2023. | Picture credit score: Sq. Enix
Throughout Fanfest, each Yoshida and Sakaguchi performed by way of a number of boss fights in entrance of a crowd of hundreds whereas each participating in a panel and exhibiting off their expertise in-game. Sakaguchi even made time for a spot of griefing by chasing Yoshida all the way down to hit him with tankbuster strikes and patting the underside of a semi-naked snowman. It’s gotten to the purpose the place he’s now tackling Final content material (the toughest battles within the sport). A lot to Yoshida’s shock, “reality be informed, I had not anticipated that he would secretly sort out Final content material.”
With the pair turning into so shut by way of Sakaguchi’s love for FFXIV, you’d assume that them working collectively in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later can be a certain factor, however Sakaguchi has different concepts. When requested if he’s ever think about engaged on a situation for the sport, his reply was emphatic: “Completely not! if I labored on this behind the scenes I’d not be capable of simply take pleasure in it as a fan. So no offence, however no.”
“In fact it will be nice to work collectively, and I perceive your reply, however perhaps I might ease you in with some seasonal content material?” Yoshida tentatively steered in response.
“Completely not.” Sakaguchi was stalwart. Sadly, evidently Sakaguchi loves the sport an excessive amount of to ever think about engaged on it.
Have you ever ever seen such pleasure? | Picture credit score: Sq. Enix
It’s been an utter delight to observe him play over the 2 years and simply take pleasure in it. It appears like such a uncommon factor to have the ability to come again to a factor you as soon as made and have been answerable for, and be capable of take pleasure in your time with it as a participant reasonably than a creator.
On the very finish of the FanFestival, Sakaguchi mirrored these sentiments after Yoshida thanked him for creating the collection: “I'll thanks again for making Closing Fantasy even higher shifting ahead.”
Unsurprisingly, it precipitated Yoshida to burst into tears. It’s the very best praise he might pay, and if even the Father of Closing Fantasy thinks a sport is even higher than his personal then you understand it’s value taking part in.