Final Fantasy XI and Ragnarok Online studio heads look to the future and discuss classic servers


The 20th anniversary site for Final Fantasy XI continues to offer new interviews, and the latest one caps off a series of discussions with FFXI producer Akihiko Matsui and Yoshida Iwata, an executive general manager at GungHo Online Entertainment responsible for the similarly aged Ragnarok Online. And with such long histories behind both games, the interview turned to the subject of classic servers, with both of them shooting down the idea and explaining how it doesn’t mesh with the design philosophies of the games:

I personally have a negative view of classic servers. First of all, assuming we could even recreate the game environment as it was at a certain point in time, there’d still be complaints and issues unique to that version of the game. We’d also have to hold events of some kind and maintenance would be required down the road. MMORPGs aren’t so simple that you can just neglect those aspects and stay in business. Furthermore, considering these tasks come with their own costs, it’s hard to imagine that classic servers will provide enough benefit to be considered worthwhile.

Matsui goes on to specify that games like World of Warcraft fundamentally change the game so frequently that the appeal can be there, but games like FFXI are meant to be more consistent and thus would have less appeal to even go back to the lengthy Level 75 era. (The level cap was raised due to player demand, after all.) Matsui and Iwata also share their plans for the future, noting that their respective games are responsible for helping to push creative minds into the MMO space and produce a long-lasting friendly rivalry to push both games to be the best they can be. Check out the full interview for more.

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