Final Fantasy XIV’s digital fan festival has been full of moments; plenty of game reveals, some brilliant developer dancing, and a moment where composer Masayoshi Soken took the stage to deliver a rendition of the track Civilizations complete with Otamatones. It also was the place where it was revealed that Soken had been fighting against cancer while working on music for the MMORPG.
The revelation was made at the end of the fan festival by both Soken and director Naoki Yoshida. Soken’s diagnosis was made last year and saw him spend months in the hospital; however, Soken had asked Yoshida to not tell any other members of the team in order not to worry them. Despite being in the hospital, the composer had continued to work for months on patch 5.3 and the song To the Edge at the time, and he says that the positive reaction from players to his work had given him a reason to live, along with the support from Yoshida, Square-Enix’s CEO, the company’s HR department, and the devs from the sound team.
During the discussion, Yoshida broke down in tears as he apologized to the devs for not revealing this to them sooner, while also saying that he was happy to have his friend back. Indeed, Soken is back; he was given the go-ahead by his doctors to make it to the fan festival as his cancer is almost in full remission. Soken further offered some personal thanks to players for the outpouring of support while promising to pay back that support with more music, and indeed the support keeps coming.
I'm looking at you! I owe it all to every one of WoL. Ill pay u back with the contents! ! I hope y'all keep enjoying our game!
見てるよ！ヒカセンのみんなのお陰だよ。ほんとにありがとう。感謝はゲームで返していきます！これからもよろしくね！#FFXIV #FF14 https://t.co/zokxZlvkjH
— ニー祖堅 (@SOKENsquareenix) May 16, 2021