Square Enix’s long-running MMO Final Fantasy XIV Online is currently only available on PlayStation 4 and PC, but the title could eventually come to Xbox and Nintendo platforms.
Speaking to GameSpot from the Square Enix Japan offices today in Shinjuku, game director Naoki Yoshida said versions of the game are possible for Xbox and Nintendo systems. In fact, he said discussions with Microsoft and Nintendo, as well as Google, are currently underway.
As he’s said in previous interviews, Yoshida stressed with GameSpot that Final Fantasy XIV needs to support cross-play to have its playerbases united and offer the best experience. That’s currently possible on PS4 and PC, but not with other systems, which has presumably kept the game off Xbox and Nintendo systems so far. However, now that Sony, as well as Nintendo, are beginning to allow cross-play with competing platforms for games like Fortnite and Rocket League, it seems more likely than ever that Final Fantasy XIV comes to new platforms.
Nothing is certain at this stage, and Yoshida wouldn’t be drawn too far into a speculative conversation about where Final Fantasy XIV may be released someday.
“Talks with platform-holders has been going on. The fundamental philosophy with FF14 is we want it on labels with cross-platform play with any devices, hardware possible,” Yoshida said through a translator. “So as long as the regulations with the counterpart hardware companies has then we can actually pass that, then the possibility, the chance is quite high [of FFXIV coming to Xbox and Nintendo systems].
“So we are talking with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Google, of course; we cannot say anything at the moment because we are still in negotiations, but once we have details we can make an announcement; we can bring the news to everyone. We are currently negotiating will all those platforms.”
In our nearly hour-long interview with Yoshida, he repeatedly mentioned that Square Enix wants Final Fantasy XIV Online to reach as many people as possible. It already has more than 14 million registered players, and launching the game on Xbox and Nintendo systems would only increase the game’s footprint further still. Also in the interview, I asked Yoshida if Square Enix might consider dropping the game’s monthly subscription fee in favour of a free-to-play business model in an effort to help the game reach even more players.
It’s not likely to happen. Final Fantasy XIV Online is currently free up to level 35, and that’s as “free-to-play” as the game is likely to be for the foreseeable future.
“F2P is not a bad model. F2P in general in games, players try it, and then just go. For FF14, our basic game design is we want players to spend a little bit of time and because the game gets interesting [over time]. If we shift to F2P with the current game design, then either the community or the game itself would break. So it’s not going to be good. If we were to move to a F2P model, we should have to completely rehash, recreate the game design from scratch. Changing simply to FP2 now is not a good game design decision. It’s not a good direction.”
GameSpot’s wide-ranging interview with Yoshida covered a number of other topics, including the controversial new race, Hrothgar, coming in the Shadowbringers expansion, as well as the new raid boss designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and even Yoshida’s stance on battle royale. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.
We sat down with Yoshida as part of the Final Fantasy Fan Fest. For more, check out GameSpot’s recent stories linked below.
Disclosure: Square Enix paid for GameSpot’s flight to Tokyo and accomodation.