If you’ve ever thought to yourself that Final Fantasy XI updates so reliably that it really shouldn’t be called a maintenance mode, you’re not entirely wrong. But that doesn’t just happen for no reason; according to a new interview with producer Akihiko Matsui and director Yoji Fujito, this is in and of itself above and beyond the requirements for the game in this stage of life. The staff working on the game wants to keep delivering content, and that’s why the game keeps updating steadily and figuring out how how to deliver more content with a small staff and budget.
The current plans are to deliver something big for players when the 20th anniversary rolls around, with the caveat that the game’s staffing and budget are determined over the span of one year which makes long-term planning difficult. Still, the intent is to keep giving players new things to look forward to and find ways to deliver what is possible with the game’s current playerbase, which has remained fairly steady even after the “conclusion” storyline. So yes, the game is in maintenance mode, but given the choice this team would be happy to keep maintaining it well into the 30-year mark.