Current Final Fantasy XIV producer-cum-director, Naoki Yoshida, took over the post in December 2010, as part of a major shake-up to the game’s entire development team. A fan of games such as Diablo, Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot, Yoshida compares MMORPGs to theme parks.
Following the recent events in Japan, Square Enix have temporarily suspended their Final Fantasy XIV service in order to conserve power as requested by the Tokyo Electric Power Company. Recently, Yoshida had a few more insights to offer regarding just how else the earthquakes have affected Final Fantasy XIV.
In a post on the Final Fantasy XIV forums, Yoshida writes that, while the game’s development team is safe and sound, there are staff members with family in the regions of Japan that were affected by the earthquakes. “Due to this, the concerns of the nuclear plants, and the ongoing aftershocks, we are not at our best,” Yoshida admits.
“The planned blackouts in the Kanto region have disrupted public transportation, preventing many from even making it to work,” Yoshida reveals. “In addition, our French and German localization staff have left Tokyo at the urging of their respective embassies. For these reasons, and to allow our staff to focus on their safety and that of their families, I have decided to make adjustments to the development schedule.”
Patches 1.16a and 1.17 for Final Fantasy XIV were to be released by the end of March. However, given the current state of affairs, Yoshida says, you can expect a delay of one or two weeks. This time won’t be wasted, however. The development team will be “making making minor improvements” as well as laying the groundwork for future content.
Yoshida also teased an upcoming new feature:the Grand Companies of Eorzea (formerly referred to as “public companies”). He says that information regarding these will be revealed just prior to the release of patch 1.17.