Naoki Yoshida recently took charge and has the unenviable position as the newly appointed director of Final Fantasy XIV. He has a tough job ahead turning the game and, perhaps, most paramount the economy around.
Yoshida seems to have quite a bit of experience with online RPGs. Speaking with 4gamer, Yoshida said Diablo got him into the online RPG genre. He played it for about a year before moving on to Ultima Online, which Yoshida stuck with for two and a half years. During that time he started playing first person shooters like Unreal Tournament. He went back to Diablo when Diablo II and its expansion pack Lord of Destruction came out. Those kept him busy for another year and a half. Then he started Dark Age of Camelot, which he played for six years. Of course, Yoshidia says, he played Everquest and World of Warcraft too.
In 2004, Yoshidia joined Square Enix as they started focusing on HD console development. His first game was Dragon Quest Monster Battle Road, an arcade title, where his name appears in the credits.
"My train of thought is MMORPGs are like a theme park," Yoshida said prompting 4gamer to dig further. He explained that as an analogy theme park attractions are like content. You start with the basics like a roller coaster or a haunted house, from there you create a theme, and add many attractions or content. Yoshidia gave Disneyland as an example, which expanded with its own identity by building Cinderella’s Castle and Toontown.
Getting down to specifics and before expanding the proverbial park Yoshidia said a working economy is essential for a MMORPG. He’s aware the economy has problems too and as it is players are not properly motivated to continue playing.
Yoshidia, like many players, realizes there isn’t a quick fix, but he is confident quarter-by-quarter he can improve Final Fantasy XIV by opening lines of communication with the game’s community.