Following the announcement of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, fans of Square Enix’s MMO immediately sensed that this would be a pivotal moment for the game, as it will mark the end of a ten-year narrative cycle. The director Naoki Yoshida discusses the path taken so far and some details of the next expansion.
On the PlayStation Blog pages, Naoki Yoshida answered several questions about Endwalker, from its birth to what users could expect. Among the known elements, Endwalker will mark the end of the Hydaelyn saga, which lasted a decade. But when did the idea of the conclusion arise in Yoshida’s mind? And how much have the plans changed over the course of development?
Since A Realm Reborn, the idea of the “Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga” already existed and was what we were working off of when creating the story. Being able to tell this story to its conclusion required Final Fantasy XIV to succeed as an MMORPG. We were far from being able to declare the ongoing story as the Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga even at the time of Heavensward’s release. Following the release of Stormblood and having seen the growing community and success of the game, I thought it was time to more fully flesh out the concepts of the story and think as to how and where this conclusion might take place.
Back then, I felt 6.0 or 7.0 would be a good time to wrap things up. Still, with the excitement we saw with Shadowbringers being even higher than our expectations, I decided we shouldn’t draw the story out awkwardly and continue the wave of excitement by concluding the story with Endwalker.
Regarding the future of Final Fantasy XIV, Yoshida said that “Everything is still in very rough and preliminary stages, but I do have ideas of where to take the story after Endwalker even for the next few years.”
From a playful perspective, one of the most important innovations is the new Job (extension of the base class) by Endwalker: the Sage. Yoshida says the intention was to create a new curator, but that his team didn’t just want to take a class from the series’ past and introduce it into the title. Something new was needed. From this idea came the intuition of giving life to a curator who magically commands his weapons.
Finally, remember that Endwalker will arrive this fall and that Final Fantasy XIV will be released on PlayStation 5 on April 13.