Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida had plenty of interesting stuff to talk about in a recent interview with Korean website Game Focus. From his thoughts on the decline of the MMORPG genre to equipment that shows too much skin.
Keep in mind that the info below is from a summary of the original Korean interview, provided and translated into Japanese by Kultur.
Are MMORPGs dead?
- The “MMORPG genre is dead” is a common topic in the West.
- There aren’t that many companies around the world willing to make new MMORPGs.
- Games are usually made after receiving an investment, but since MMORPGs come with high business risks, investors have begun thinking that their invested money would be difficult to recover.
- MMORPGs nowadays can’t be as successful unless they’re large-scale games.
- Some companies want to make MMORPGs but they can’t afford it. The companies that try making MMORPGs are told by investors to just work on different genres instead.
- We’re currently in a state where those who want to make MMORPGs really can’t because of this.
- Yoshi-P’s personal opinion is that MMORPGs aren’t dead, but rather, they’re just taking a break.
- He feels that it’ll be another 10~15 years until they become big again.
- Yoshida is turning 44-years-old next year, but he feels that he won’t be able to make high-tempo action games when he hits around 60. That said, an MMORPG that you can relax and enjoy would be perfect.
- Yoshi-P says that playing video games is more common with his generation than the previous generation. He believes that when he gets old, we’ll be in an era where playing games will become a completely normal thing.
Final Fantasy XIV, the MMORPG for Beginners
- If we don’t get new generations of MMORPGs, Yoshi-P believes the genre itself would come to an end.
- In South Korea, there are plenty of games that will let you create a character start a game and begin using flashy skills right off the bat; however, such games have a bit of a hurdle for casual gamers that come from a social games background.
- Final Fantasy XIV has strong characteristics going on, but it’s also important to make it into a game that puts consideration into casual gamers.
- The developers understand that Final Fantasy XIV’s first half isn’t that fun, but something they wonder about is whether it’d be a good idea to introduce complicated skills and systems to new players from the get-go.
- Korean games have to keep players of a new generation in mind, and not doing so would make things even tougher.
- It’s often said that Final Fantasy XIV has a lot of female players, but they never made it with the intention adding more female players.
- Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t have many things that would leave a sour taste to female players.
- Yoshi-P, who was once a core gamer, never cared for equipment that shows too much skin.
- He says that since people have an image that online games are dominated by male players, there are many that think adding sexy female characters and a bunch of risqué equipment would make it popular.
- He feels that this is something that the makers just assume on their own, and believes that if female gamers see some of these equipment, some of them might think “what the heck is this?”
- Since Final Fantasy XIV requires a monthly fee to play, it can go on without needing a gacha system for super sexy outfits.
- Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t have anything like that, so he believes it’s a game that can be played with no worries.
- You can see underwear by taking off equipment, but after analyzing data he was able to find that not many of the female players do so on purpose.
- MMORPGs are enjoyed by people of various age and gender, so he feels that they need to do the opposite of catering it towards just a specific category of players.
Are there any new games you’d like to make?
- Yoshi-P works both as a producer and director, but he would like to quit being a producer as soon as possible.
- If anyone could take his position as a producer, he would quit in a heartbeat.
- Having two positions doesn’t mean you get double the salary.
- One issue is that there isn’t anyone who would say “hey, I’ll be the producer, so you can switch out, Yoshida.” He also says that he has more motivation for Final Fantasy XIV than anyone else.
- Forcing himself to work is what he considers a discourtesy to the players. He believes that since he’s the most motivated of all, he must work as the producer for now.
- There are many games that switch out producers and directors for each new expansion pack, but Yoshi-P says that there’s still much more he’d like to do with Final Fantasy XIV.
- And until he does everything he wants to do for Final Fantasy XIV, his motivation for it isn’t going anywhere.
- Of course there are players that say “Yoshida should just quit already” [laughs].
- Personally speaking, Yoshida has plans for about four games that he’d like to make, but he’ll work on those once he gets a little older.
- He says that the thought of raising his successor has occurred to him, but since there isn’t anyone for now, it is what it is.
- His favorite character from the Final Fantasy series is Sephiroth.
Final Fantasy XIV is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.