Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida is overseeing a new project that may very well be another big online game

Yoshida plans to wear a wardrobe of Front Mission shirts for the next year to ruin people's hopes

    
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Throw wide the gates.

We don’t know what it will include. We don’t know when it will be released. We don’t even have a title. What we do have is confirmation that the Third Business Division of Square-Enix, overseen by Naoki Yoshida (producer/director of Final Fantasy XIV), is recruiting for a new project that has apparently been in early development for about a year now. The early foundations have been laid and thus the project is beginning large-scale recruitment and development.

Before anyone panics, this doesn’t mean anything for FFXIV itself at this point; Yoshida is the general manager of this particular division, which includes FFXIV as well as Final Fantasy XI and which is a separate role from his position as producer and director of FFXIV. There’s also no indication yet about what franchise this will be a part of, whether it will be an MMO, or anything else. None of this has stopped eager fans from assuming that we’re seeing the kickoff for Final Fantasy XVI as a new MMO, of course.

And it’s worth noting that this is the start of another fiscal year in Japan, so there’s good reason for these sorts of corporate things to be announced today. It seems unlikely as a joke.

Source: Square-Enix via Reddit

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Vunak23

Yoshi-P has always said he is a big fan of PvP games and was a hardcore DAoC player if I remember right. He has said he would have liked to create a game like it in the past. Maybe he is recruiting for his passion project.

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meltwithyou

I can’t imagine how frigging busy that dude must be. FF14 has been pretty consistently profitable for the company, I’m sure a lot is riding on his shoulders…

I can only imagine what happens if he fails…………….

Seppuku

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Danny Smith

After FFXV being a development trainwreck and part of their colossal 130 million dollar loss in the last fiscal year i honestly think at this point they had A Realm Reborn sandwiched between “The Decade of Lightning” and “JRPG as a service” and outside of spin off’s Yoshi made the only mainlain outing in the series thats overwhelmingly positive in consumer reaction since FFX 18 years ago.

Consider how every other team is tied up with projects i would not be surprised if he is being handed the reigns of FFXVI. Either as an online game or single player game who knows. They have tried things like Final Fantasy Explorers and FFXV Comrades so after the runaway success of stuff like Monster Hunter World maybe they want a multiplayer online game thats not a regular mmo like Phantasy Star Online with a FFIX style setting?

At this point i think its safe to say the 7 remake is not coming this console generation and i kind of doubt if we are seeing it before the games 25th anniversary. They have just blown their load with current gen ports so they need a new Final Fantasy game to sell mainline or not. I would love to see Yoshida maybe work on something like a Vagrant Story title but at this point i would bet good gil we are getting a game set in Ivalice with the FF name from Yoshi’s team. He is the only dude thats pulled off a net positive for the brand in two console generations, who else do they have to put in charge thats better suited right now?

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John Kiser

I’m not sure where you are pulling the number 130 million dollar loss fron. They lost 33 million not 130 as far as anything I can find. Also given the current generation of consoles in all likelihood you’d see something able to be released for current and next gen both and just do visual stepping depending on which console it is running on.

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Sorenthaz

I think another Final Fantasy MMO is unlikely to happen anytime soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they start prototyping and playing around with ideas for a new one for release maybe sometime between like 2022-2024.

There are defnitely quite a few ways in which FFXIV could certainly be topped, especially if they could get a better data structure in place so things like inventory space is much more expandable (I’m very concerned that there’s been no mention about inventory improvements for Shadowbringers yet; at the very least I’d like to see the Glamour Dresser size get doubled). Also more open zones that don’t feel so lifeless outside of looking pretty, maybe go back to FFXI’s roots to some degree and focus more on open world content than streamlining it into nothing but instances (with the only real open world FFXI-esque content being found in Eureka).

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John Kiser

I mean if FFXIV’s dev cycle from start to finish is anything to go by we’d see a potential release in 2023. If they make a whole new engine + game content etc. It would be very likely that we see another expansion cycle of FFXIV before we ultimately see a release of a new title that is an MMORPG in the series.

Also, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. You and I must of played two VERY different version of FFXI. While it didn’t do instanced dungeons every single bit of the maps was still instanced out the same way FFXIV did. There is sporadic problems with the design of being more open world like FFXI was if you get a large crowd as well and it ends up potentially leading to you needing to do channels for each and every single zone to compensate for the kind of design mechanics that ffxi relied on. Games that rely on basically camps with pullers and stuff properly with high populations definitely need the addition of channels now.

Ultimately I think 14 offers a sort of good balance with in zone events for harder mobs and instanced dungeons. I think totally open world can work, but is also sorta messy due to camping.

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cursedseishi

So I get the jape in the underlining text beneath the title…

But as a major Front Mission fan (whom you don’t want to ask what all I had to do to get Front Mission 5, as well as make it playable in english…)? Trust me, if there was a way of ruining our hopes specifically any further it’d be a work of the Divine. If the main artist behind Metal Gear and well-known names from Armored Core couldn’t even make the mecha segments of Left Alive (the Metal-Gear-Survive-Knockoff-By-Way-Of-Front-Mission) fun or interesting to watch or look at…? Yeah, nothing can.
Heck, the game offered cleared game save files as a pre-order bonus…! I don’t pre-order or buy games just to have them come beaten already for me! And the game flopped harder than Fallout 76 did at launch, since barely 3 days into its launch in Japan it went to bargain bin prices…

My hopes have been thoroughly ruined as is, Eliot… Plus, there was already a Front Mission MMO, but I’ve heard next to nothing about it aside from it existing for a time. I’m settling on the next Sakura Wars game to get my turn-based mecha fix now…

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Danny Smith

At this point just remake Front Mission 3 and i’ll take it.

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cursedseishi

I mean… why stop there, honestly? Honestly, at the very least I’d kill to see Front Mission 3 get even just an updated port playable on PC or on PS4 much like they’ve done with Final Fantasy. And heck, include Front Mission 4 as a PS2 classic–especially since Sony has gone dark on releases for that on the console as well.

Or… gods, just give me a proper translation of FM5!

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Fouille

Am pretty sure it wont be another final fantasy mmo

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

Why? They have 2 concurrently running FFXIV MMOs that are both successful and profitable. It’s not inconcievably to assume they might add a third, assuming it was a suitably different game from the other two.

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Dominick Critelli

Because XIV is the WoW of Japan. When XIV, even vanilla 1.0 XIV came out, XI was dated and had lost a good chunk of it’s playerbase. XIV is on top of the MMO Market over there, it’d be absolutely daft from a business standpoint to introduce new competition to your own game which is on top of the market, when you could just funnel those resources into improving the game you already have.

It would be like if Riot announced they were making a new MOBA, it makes no practical sense.

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John Kiser

Any MMORPG square would put out would make the argument moot though. In japan they currently operate FFXIV, FFXI, and Dragon Quest X. Unless they do a rush cycle on the project it is likely to be another 4 years out at least if it is an mmorpg. It took 5 years between FFXIV starting development and actually being released and another almost 3 years for ARR to come out.

Let’s also remember a few things here history wise of FFXI shall we? At the time FFXI was actually fairly popular game. Yes WoW overtook it numbers wise, but 1.5 mill active subscribers with about 3 mill characters between them in 2005 was nothing to sneeze at at the time. WoW’s initial launch was around that in late/early 2005 and then grew and then dwindled back down to that over the years largely.

Eastern game developers (japan, korea etc) have far less of a problem cannibalizing the player base of one game and bringing them into another vs western developers who love to cycle the same games over and over and over and only attempt to stick to what they can build franchises out of to attract people to the same game over and over again.

They could be developing a game for when they feel FFXIV’s population may start to dwindle despite expansions coming out at the time. WoW sees a spike when an expansion comes out now, but then people seem to leave still in droves and they could feel like 4 years from now FFXIV could be in a similar situation at which point dropping a new MMORPG in the franchise might breath new life and the like into the genre for them…

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Eamil

Alternately, this could be a game for the people who want another FFXI; that game still retains enough of a loyal player base to make it profitable, and the crowdfunding success of games like Ashes of Creation and Pantheon proves there’s a significant portion of gamers that want something that isn’t a WoW clone. A game like that could be a success without draining players from FFXIV.

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John Kiser

Frankly I wouldn’t be opposed to an XI like game that is more open and not so quest hub oriented and the like and operated like XI used to back in the day, but I hope they’d also learn some lessons from XI and the like.

A few problems XI had to me ultimately was it felt like the devs didn’t understand zone progression at all particularly early on in the game. There was a point where the best course of action even with a static group that got together 3 or 4 times a week was literally sitting in an area killing crawlers for WEEKS on end to actually get anywhere… 4 damn weeks at minimum in the same zone killing the same exact creatures with no freaking variance and one other zone that was too far a trek to realistically be worth it.

I have zero problem with it taking awhile to level, but if you are going to do something like that you need a lot of zone and mob variance so that it doesn’t get super stale in one area which can cause boredom.

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Eamil

Oh I agree completely. I’d want it to be to FFXI what Pantheon is aiming to be to Everquest – while it’ll be a while before we see how well they execute on that, Pantheon is at least open about wanting to evolve from EQ rather than copy it.

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John Kiser

There was a lot of crap about XI that i just really really didn’t enjoy and it caused me to quick after hitting a certain point. I’ve basically been around the genre from the get go and just some things were poorly thought out. I’d honestly just kill for a remaster of it as a lot of my problems no longer exist with the title, but it is really really annoying to play it on a modern monitor.

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John Kiser

We saw the jump from FFXI to FFXIV after a 8 to 11 year gap (depending if you take the 1.0 launch of FFXIV or the 2.0 launch which was FFXIV : A Realm Reborn), so it isn’t necessarily inconceivable that a new one is in the works in some fashion. That said it is entirely hard to say what they’d develop into an MMORPG if it is an MMORPG and with Yoshi P (Naoki Yoshida) overseeing some parts of things the likelihood that it is an mmorpg itself are pretty high as he’s been really big in the company as being quite good at that.

Yoshida himself is an avid mmorpg gamer and actually has played many over the years and actually plays FFXIV where a lot of devs/producers seem to not play their own games. It very well could be another Final Fantasy MMORPG or another IPs MMORPG or something entirely new, but do remember it is one year into development and it could be that we’ll see 1 or 2 more FFXIV expansion before we actually see the release of whatever this is. Expansions are at two year intervals and MMORPGS can have a pretty hefty time line for development.

The original FFXIV started development in 2005 and didn’t come out until 2010. The release of FFXIV : A realm reborn as fast as it was done was actually mind boggling and they must of reused assets they had already and laid them out in a different manner because if you consider this – FFXIV launched in late september of 2010 (might as well of been october). Yoshida was named director of FFXIV sometime between September 30th 2010 and December 31st and in the time period since he was made director until ARR’s launch he had developers build a whole new engine revamped storyline dialogue/cinematics/placement of assets to build out new maps etc and all the actual content of the game on top of any new assets and the like needed.

A Realm Reborn came out in August 27th 2013 a little under 3 years after the initial launch of FFXIV 1.0. The amount of work they actually did in that time period is astounding. They could very well develop another final fantasy mmorpg though. The game could ultimately be anything. We shouldn’t forget that technically speaking Square currently operates three mmorpgs (though one is japan and china only at the moment and they are talking about bringing it west as an offline rpg).

The game could also not be an MMORPG. Yoshida has expressed interest in making a battle royale like game at some point. Yoshida has been quoted as saying “I would like to make a battle royale game. I have some ideas to do that,” Yoshida told GameSpot through a translator. “I have some ideas to make that type of game fun. As an online game designer, I would like to make an MMORPG from scratch without any limitations or restrictions. Removing all those kind of restrictions, I would like to make one MMORPG that fits the current trend before I die. I would also like [to work on] Diablo 4.”

So who knows what we could get ultimately.

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Rolan Storm

No one does. As always it was interesting to read your comments.

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John Kiser

I’ll def be watching whatever it might be. Yosh-P seems to love what he does and it shows

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Rolan Storm

True, he does. Not a fan of battle royale I still am interested whatever he wants to cook. I’d love to see nextgen MMORPG of his creation (preferably another FF) though. But chances to that are slight.

Never clicked fully with FFXIV still always thought about it as a great game (it does not need my praise – numbers talk, heh). #waitnseeusualobvious :)

Blinkenn
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Blinkenn

another big online game ‘for mobile’
ftfy

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John Kiser

There is already a final fantasy 11 game in the works that nexon is developing for square for mobile so I doubt they’d release another big online game for it. Square has been pretty good with mobile stuff even if people hate the updated art style.

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Witches

IF this is serious, Square and Disney made a deal to produce Marvel games.

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Koshelkin
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John Kiser

They did, but most of that is probably going to end up handled by crystal dynamics linked by Koshelkin below or eidos and not the branch of square that is in japan that Naoki Yoshida works with.

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Skoryy

Bubble Bobble: The MMO